What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I find it amazing that this sixth chapter of Romans is the answer to so many FAQs from Christians.
It answers so many questions because it is very general, but so specific. The question, “Can a Christian _________________?” is not answered with a yes or no, but rather with “Your identity is one that is in Christ”.
Now it is an absolute scriptural fact that one who is in Christ is no longer in bondage as a servant to sin. Whether you feel it or believe it is irrelevant. God has said it and it is true.
But notice too that a Christian can again make himself a servant to sin if he so chooses. This can be likened to a slave being freed from cruel bondage, and immediately with his new found freedom he goes to work as a hired hand to that same cruel slave-holder. Why would he do that? He is free!
This is the result of not reckoning that old man dead indeed unto sin. A free man working as slave even though he is not a slave is still essentially a slave. Why anyone would do that is difficult to answer, but it happens all the time. So often the answer from the nominal Christian “scoffer” is that “God is not going to send you to hell for ____________, so go ahead, it is fine.”
But that is never the scriptural answer to this. The apostle of grace does not tell us to continue in sin because we are under grace, he tells us not to continue in sin because we are under grace. We bring ourselves under the Lordship of Christ because we are under grace. We yield ourselves servants to righteousness because we are under grace. Grace is not license to sin, it is freedom not to sin. It is freedom from the bondage of sin and to go back and yield to sin is not freedom. It is a return to voluntary slavery. Why would you do that?
This is not religious bondage instead of sinful bondage. This is being who you are in Christ and saying good riddance to who you were in Adam.
That which the Lord said in John’s gospel about freedom by the Son is absolutely true of us today:
John 8:36 — “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
By His death on the cross for our sins, and work of God in baptizing us into Him and His death, we have actually been made free. We are free, and the true exercise of this freedom first is to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin (negative direction), but alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ (positive direction).
God has given the saved, the believer in our Lord Jesus, a gift of eternal life. That gift has a privilege and a responsibility. It is a waste of that privilege to continue life as a slave to sin, asking slave questions about the limits of what is allowed rather than living as those who are alive from the dead.
Colossians 3:12–17 — “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
The apostle Paul closes this chapter with one of the most well known verses to fundamental, Bible-believing Christians:
Romans 6:23 — “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
While this verse is most often used in a gospel presentation known as the Romans Road, in context, while reminding us of our great salvation, it is showing the Christian his alternatives. Is he going to go to work — yield himself — to the old slave-master, sin, or will he yield himself to the wonderful grace giver, our rightful Lord, Jesus Christ?
That, friends, is how grace deals with sin. Sin was a brutal overlord, whose payment when all was said and done, was death. God freely gives to the one in Christ eternal life, so the question is simple:
Whom will you now serve?
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.