We Are Under Grace Not Under The Law - Romans 6
In chapter six, Paul raises a few questions that need to be answered about our new position in Christ and how we should live. Both of these questions are pretty similar and have similar answers. The first question is in verse 1 and the second question is in verse 15.
“What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?”
Romans 6:1 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.6.1.hcsb )
In 5:20, Paul says, “…But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more.” Paul feared that some believers might think that since grace multiplied more than sin, we should increase our sin so that grace will increase all the more in our lives. Paul answers No, we have died to sin and have been baptized into Jesus’ death. In the following thirteen verses, Paul explains that when we place our faith in Jesus Christ, it is as if our flesh was crucified on the cross with Jesus. Your flesh has died, and since your flesh is dead, sin no longer has power over you. Paul says that since we have died with Christ, we will also live to God in Christ.
An important concept that Christians need to understand is that sin has no power over the life of a Christian. We no longer have to live a life of sin. Many times in life when we fall into sin we like to jokingly say, “The devil made me do it.” According to Paul, the devil has no power over you. He can not make you sin. He might be able to entice you to sin, but the decision to sin is yours. This is the reason why we have to have self-control in our lives. Paul says:
“And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.”
Romans 6:13-14 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.6.13-14.hcsb )
Three things in these verses stand out for those that are alive from the dead.
1. We have to offer ourselves completely to God.
2. We are to be weapons for righteousness.
3. We can do this because we are under grace.
All of this means that we are to be living sacrifices to God. Living lives that reflect the righteousness of God in a dead and dying world. People should be able to look at a Christian and see a life that overall reflects God’s righteousness. Of course, we will not do this perfectly in this life because sometimes, unfortunately, we can stumble into sin. This is the reason why Paul points out that we are under grace and not the law. It is because of God’s grace that even though we are not perfect or sinless. We can still be God’s weapons of righteousness.
“What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!”
Romans 6:15 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.6.15.hcsb )
To ask this another way, Is grace a license to sin? There is a debate among Christians about the possibility of one losing their salvation because of habitual sin or sin in general. Many hold this view out of fear that if you believe that you can’t lose your salvation, it will produce a belief that you can do whatever you want. We have probably all known people that called themselves Christians and believed that they can just live how they want. They may not come out and say it, but you can tell by the way they live their lives that they believe this.
For various reasons, it is my personal belief that once you have genuine faith, you will not lose your salvation; but the true mark of genuine faith is perseverance (1 John 2:10; Rev. 14:12), spiritual fruit (John 15:8), and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). If you have a life that is void of one of these three then, as John says, “were never of us.” Even so, nobody is perfect and this is why we still need grace.
From verses 16-23, Paul is saying that you are no longer a slave to sin, but are now a slave of God. Therefore, we must live as a slave of God. A slave has no rights, no power, and can only do what the slave master commands. When we were dead in our sins, we were all slaves of sin. Everything that we did was sin and we had no power to not sin. Paul uses this analogy to show us, that our lives are not our own. We are a slave of God and therefore should do what is righteous. Many may object to the use of a picture of a slave, but in reality, it fits the situation perfectly. As a sinner, we could do nothing but sin. As Christians, we should do nothing but righteousness.
“But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:22-23 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.6.22-23.hcsb )
Praise God, that He has rescued us from being slaves of sin and our ensuing deaths. God has given us a newness of life so that we can be sanctified. When we received salvation by faith in Jesus we were declared righteous; which is called justification. Meaning that those who have faith in Jesus can stand as being righteous before God. Sanctification is the process, by which a Christian dies to sin more and more as they mature in the Christian faith. Justification is a completed act, while sanctification is ongoing and will be completed when we enter into eternity.
The whole message of Romans six is that you have no right to sin. Just because you are now a child of God does not give you the freedom to do what God declares as evil. You can not be a Christian and live like the devil. You have all the power you need over sin because your flesh was crucified with Christ and now you have been raised to a new life. Therefore, we should live lives that glorify God. Praise God and thank Him for the free gift of eternal life in Christ and ask God to help you along in the process of sanctification.