For many Christians, we tend to misunderstand the concept of God’s grace. We sometimes continue on in old practices that were associated with our lives before we came to know Christ. I feel as if we may do this not fully understanding our freedoms in Christ and thinking that we are covered by grace. We all need to be justified through faith because of sin, so how did this justification take place, and how are we to live under this justification?
Romans 5 gives an excellent description of how our faith in God justifies us as sinners. It explains how sin entered the world, and how it has been conquered by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Because of the overwhelming amount of sin, we needed Christ to make us righteous again. Verse 20 shows us that the Old Testament law was put into effect to show us that sin was in our hearts, and that when this “sin increased, grace abounded all the more” this grace was provided through the death of our Savior. As we enter into chapter 6, we are asked this question:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?”
What does this statement mean? We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) aren’t we always going to sin? To find the meaning in this statement, we must read further in the text. Let’s read on through verses 2-4.
“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.”
The text shows us that as baptized believers, we have taken part in a death to sin so that we may be made into something new. To continue constantly in the sinful life we used to lead would mean that we have not died to sin. If we have not died to sin, we are still living in sin, and grace is not covering us. If the death of our old self has not taken place, how can we be raised from that death, or be covered by grace? Lets read on through verses 5-11.
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 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. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
To be covered by the grace of God, we must die to sin, be buried with Christ through baptism and be resurrected into a new person. When we become Christians, we cannot continue in the same path as we once were on. The will of God demands a change, one that takes full devotion and wisdom to obtain. Death is defined as “the end of life” and when we enter into God’s grace, we end the old life, and start a new one. In doing this, we are set free from sin. Death through sin will no longer have dominion over us because we are set free and alive in Christ.
As Christians, things will come up that demand a change. This is part of our growth in Christ. Maybe we need to change the old way we used to dress for modesty purposes when we study about 1 Timothy 2:9. Maybe we do not need to watch our favorite TV show any more because it does not contain things spoken of in Philippians 4:8. Now comes the question, shall we continue on in sin so that grace may abound? Will we willfully continue on in it hoping grace will cover us, or will we put it to death? Freedom in Christ bestowed upon us by the grace of God is not a freedom to continue on in sin. “Live as a people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).
By Ashley Hudson
Ashley Hudson is a stay-at-home-mom with three children ages 9, 5, and 3. She and her family worship at the 7th and Beech Church of Christ in Durant, Oklahoma. Her husband, Jake, is the Campus Minister for the Student Bible Center at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Be sure to check out her blog at www.hudsonfive.wordpress.com