Rom. 6:1,2 ¶ 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?
It’s funny, as much as things change everything always remains the same. This scripture makes that totally clear. Paul’s basic message was that all mankind could have access to God and eternal life by the grace of the Lord Jesus through faith in Him. Being acceptable to God had nothing to do with our deeds, it was totally by grace through faith. Obviously, as we read this verse in Romans, Paul is dealing with the fallout and misapplication of this teaching. Some were saying that if we are covered by grace God understands and overlooks my continued lifestyle of sin because He knows how weak I am and after all, He made me that way. Doesn’t this all sound way too familiar? In every generation Christians have to address this persistent doctrinal error. In Augustine’s day he called it pelagianism. Martin Luther dealt with the same error and called it antinomianism. Today, we have the same repackaged error, it is called the “grace message”.
The disturbing thing about this is that people who embrace it are given a pass to continue in whatever their carnal desires dictate. It come in the form of fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery (the violation of marriage vows), drunkenness (I know you drink because you like the taste), substance abuse, homosexual behavior; the list is endless. The good news is that Christ not only forgave us but absolutely delivers us from habitual sin. Here is how Adam Clarke described it in the 1700’s.
“And we need not wonder that a Gentile, just emerging from the deepest darkness, might entertain such thoughts as these; when we find that eighteen centuries after this, persons have appeared in the most Christian countries of Europe, not merely asking such a question, but defending the doctrine with all their might; and asserting in the most unqualified manner, “that believers were under no obligation to keep the moral law of God; that Christ had kept it for them; that his keeping it was imputed to them; and that God, who had exacted it from Him, who was their surety and representative, would not exact it from them, forasmuch as it would be injustice to require two payments for one debt.” These are the Antinomians who once flourished in this land, and whose race is not yet utterly extinct.”
So there you have it. Don’t settle for a cheap cover up for sinful behavior. Step into life! Living free from habitual sin is not only possible, it is a much more enjoyable life.