“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4).
The modern gospel that is permeating the church of today, at least here in America, speaks the opposite of this. They do not speak of us dying to sin or ceasing to live in sin, but rather they give carte blanche for their adherents to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord and against other humans. For they discourage repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord, calling it works-based salvation, which is to be avoided.
But when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives we are crucified with Christ in death to sin that we may walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Gal 2:20; Eph 4:24). The old has gone. The new has come. We are to be changed people, not the same people we were before only now we attend gatherings of what is called church and we socialize with others who do the same.
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
That’s right. When we come to genuine faith in Jesus Christ, a faith which is gifted to us by God, our old sinful selves are put to death with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, in order that we might no longer be enslaved (addicted) to sin, living under sin’s control. So, this is not forgiveness of sins so that we can go on living in sin only now without guilt and without the fear of punishment.
Yet so many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, feel as though they have the freedom now to sin without guilt, for they say that all their sins are forgiven and so no matter how much they sin it will no longer be held against them. And if they start to feel guilty about their sins, well then they just “claim who you are in Christ,” as though that somehow makes it all okay, thus also assuming that they are in Christ.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14).
As those who have died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24), by the grace of God, we are not to let sin reign (be in power, rule) in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. We are no longer to walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, and in sin, but we are to walk according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. For if we live in sin we will not inherit eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-14).
For the grace of God instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14), the works God had planned in advance that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10).
“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? ..For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:15-19).
By no means! We do not become lawless just because we do not have to obey all the Old Covenant ceremonial, sacrificial, liturgical, and purification laws that the Jews of old had to obey. We still have to obey our Lord, and we still have to obey his moral laws, for it says so all throughout the New Testament, and also it is in agreement with God’s divine character and his will for our lives, for we serve a holy and righteous God.
Therefore, if sin is what we obey, as a matter of practice, it is not going to end in eternal life for us, but it will end in eternal death. But if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification and to eternal life with God. For it should be that we no longer present our members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, but now we are to present ourselves as slaves (bondservants) to righteousness leading to sanctification.
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:20-23).
If we are still living as slaves (the addicted) to sin, we are free in regard to righteousness, meaning that God’s righteousness is not imputed to our lives. We are not genuinely saved from our sins and heaven is not our eternal destiny. For it doesn’t matter what we profess with our lips or what we think we believe in our hearts if the evidence of a changed life is nonexistent, and if we continue living as though we never died with Christ to sin.
But if we have truly been set free from our slavery to sin, and if we have now become slaves of God and of his righteousness, then the fruit (the results) we get from that leads to sanctification and its end is eternal life. For our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns, so we must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God.
For the free gift of God is not carte blanche to keep sinning as much as you want without guilt or fear of punishment. The free gift of God puts sin to death in your life and it empowers you to live godly and holy lives. So, if you keep on in your sin, obeying its lusts instead of obeying the Lord, the wages of that sin is death, not life eternal with God. So, please take this to heart, for we are all going to be judged by what we do.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Sweet Beulah Land
By Squire Parsons
I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.
I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land
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