We had a great time in the word of God in our Romans class, I ended my teaching section of Romans with Romans 6:1, 2. I remember writing a post on this last January, but its an important enough issue to revisit, first here is the text we learned in Church this past Lord’s day.
so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 5:21, 6:1,2
The rhetorical question Paul is asking is… Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Paul answers his own question, May it never be!
Paul is saying “Absolutely Not! May it never be!” There were these people called Antinomians and still are in some forms today “The Antinomians say they’re saved by grace but they live sinful lives, what we do doesn’t matter as long as we believe rightly. They say, “I’m under grace, I can do what I want to do! I’m free in Jesus, I can do whatever I want to do because God loves me just the way I am”
Yes we as Christians are free in Christ Jesus, no longer under the bondage of sin, BUT! We have become slaves of righteousness Romans 6:18 says.
Then Romans 6:22 says But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Peter tell us to Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God in 1 Peter 2:16.
Jude 4 warns us about ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As I told the class our goal as Christians is not perfectionism, its Holiness! Of course the Christian life is not a straight line from A to Glorification… Of course we are going to have setbacks and struggles with our sin-life… That is why Paul wrote the conflict of two natures in Romans 7.
Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life because we live in Christ!
So I have to ask the question, do we want Justification without Sanctification and without Holiness?
Peter calls us to Holiness: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:13, 14
I have heard this so many times from people, I made a decision years ago for Christ, I walked the aisle, I sign the card, I prayed the prayer, my Pastor said I was saved, he welcomed me in the family of God! I’m ok. I’ll be fine! I’m saved! I love Jesus and his teaching, but I just want to have fun, I’ll get back into it after.
But Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
Wearing Christian Tee-Shirts and Bracelets, doesn’t make you a Christian, Tattooing your body or growing a soul patch doesn’t make you a Christian, quoting a lyric from your favorite Contemporary Christian Artist doesn’t make you a Christian! Living one foot in the world and one in Christ, so as to have the best of both worlds doesn’t make you a Christian!
What makes you a Christian is fellowship with Jesus Christ OUR Lord! 1 Corinthians 1:9 and what He’s done for you on that cross, what makes you a Christian is His free gift of GRACE and that grace will as Thomas Watson said “Alters a Mans Walk” Grace Changes you, you can no longer pick and choose and do what you want to do. We present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, we no longer conform to this world but are being transformed by the renewing of our minds Romans 12:1, 2
Spurgeon asks this question in one of his sermons… “If grace does not make you to differ from your own surroundings, is it really grace at all?”
Then he said this….
“Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.”
Are we to continue in sin so grace can abound more? Continue is (epimeno) abide, endure, continue, stay or remain, the word continue means to practice or to habitually yield to sin. Paul’s answer May it never be!
Grace never causes a believer to love sin and pursue it, grace causes a believer to hate their sin and flee from it, grace causes a believer to confess their sins to God.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 18-10
I think if there was a verse I could pick out that describes a professing Christian who says their saved and live their life their own way would be Judges 21:25 ”In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Are we living like there is no King Jesus in our life, doing what is right in our own eyes? That is what the unbeliever does!
I’ll close with these words from 1 John 2:15, 16 and 17.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
Grace does NOT promote SIN!
Grace promotes HOLINESS!
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria