Tuesday, February 02 2021
“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?” (Romans 6:1–2 ESV). Since the grace of God through Jesus Christ has brought forgiveness of sins, many have sought to take advantage of God’s forgiving grace. Some say, “God understands that I need to let loose. I mean God gave me these desires.” God’s grace saves repentant-baptized believers from sins so that they no longer let sin reign over them. “If I cannot continue to sin, what use is grace to me?”
For the perimeter of God’s forgiveness, the apostle John’s words in 1 John 1 are excellent for understanding the extent of God’s forgiving grace. John wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Walking in the light means that Christians no longer continue to sin (1 John 2:1–6; 3:4–6; cf. Hebrews 10:26–27). Walking in the light does not mean that Christians must not ever sin again. John noted after this, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). For Christians, confessing these sins to God is essential to forgiveness as John expanded, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:9–10). Therefore, Christians can live with great confidence when we faithfully walk in the light and live apart willfully continuing to sin. The perimeters of God’s grace are that God continues to wash away our sins as the faithful walk in the light and confess our sins to Him.
How do the conditions of God’s grace change the conditions of the Christian’s life? The apostle Paul explained that believers are baptized into the death of Christ to walk in a new life apart from sin (Romans 6:3–4). Baptized believers are crucifying the old person with Christ in order that they may destroy the body of sin to no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Because of the deadly nature of sin, the apostle expanded and taught, “Therefore, sin must not reign in your mortal body unto this to obey your desires” (Romans 6:12). Grace trains Christians to deny apathy and worldly desires to live controlled, upright, and devoted lives (Titus 2:12). Further in Romans 6, Paul commanded that Christians must not offer the members of one’s body as instruments of unrighteousness and sin, but offer themselves to God as alive from the dead and offer one’s members as instruments of righteousness to God because Christians are under grace (Romans 6:13–14). However, God’s grace through Jesus Christ does not permit continual sinning (Romans 6:15). Christians must allow God’s grace to train them and change them. A person is a servant to what they obey either to sin unto death or to obedience unto righteousness (6:16). Offering the members of one’s body as an obedient servant of God brings the believer to righteousness and unto holiness (6:19).
By God’s grace, all people have the opportunity to repent (2 Peter 3:9). God’s forgiving grace for the evil that we have done urges repentance. For God’s grace and mercy, Paul declared, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). Thank God for His forgiving grace and the conditions of grace in Jesus Christ. Christians can live with great confidence when we walk in the light and live apart from willfully living in sin. God continues to wash away our sins as we walk in the light and confess our sins to Him.