In Romans 5 the apostle Paul talks about sin increasing and grace increasing all the more.
One conclusion could be that we keep on sinning so that God’s grace looks even better. If preached properly, grace should appear scandalous and utterly irresponsible. We are telling people that they can do what they like, it doesn’t affect their salvation at all. This is what Paul is leading towards throughout his letter to the Romans.
However, Paul’s next statement in Romans 6 is absolutely key:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2)
Knowing this truth is crucial to our freedom. We have died to sin.
We are now faced with another question which so many Christians struggle with. It goes something like this: “I know I’m saved but how do I get free from the power of sin”. Reality feels so different doesn’t it? We can know by reading the bible that we have died to sin and yet feel utterly crushed because we continue to sin.
As Christians we can know we are forgiven, yet still feel in slavery to sin.
In his book ‘God’s lavish grace’ Terry Virgo highlights 3 very important steps:
(1) We need to know
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3)
We need to know that the bible is true. If it is not, simply put, God is a liar and we are to be pitied amongst all people. We need to see that the fact that we are freed from the power of sin is for all of us, not just some elite Christians who have really got their act together. We need to also realise that it is not some future experience that happens when we go to heaven. No, it’s true NOW. If you are still struggling, make a note of some of the following verses. Take them like medicine 3 times a day if you have to, until the truth gets right inside.
(2) Count yourself dead to sin
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
This is an accounting term, reckoning, making sure it’s in the ‘right column’.
It is not mind over matter. We consider it true because it is true.
When I go to Spain I set my watch forward an hour. I have transitioned from one country to another, therefore this is now the correct time in my new location. We need to ‘set our watches’. If your ‘watch’ says you are dead to sin, then you are dead to sin. Reckon it so.
(3) Take responsibility
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12)
Why does it say ‘mortal’ bodies? Because until we get resurrection bodies, we still have to put up with these old things; “…treasure in jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Before salvation, our spirits and bodies were happy to sin but now they are at war with each other. We need to take authority over our bodies and make wise choices; where we spend our time, what we allow ourselves to look at etc.
We now belong to a new master and are slaves of righteousness.
So should we carry on sinning? Why would we want to?!