“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” Romans 6:1
The Radical Nature of Free Grace
What did you do when you first heard the gospel of grace? Where were you when your eyes were opened to the radical and free grace of God in the good news that Christ has come to save and redeem that which was lost?
When I was a sophomore in high school, I was a hopelessly lost drama student who was in desperate need of God’s grace. I was angry, bitter, getting in fights, and hating who I was, and at times I could even be violent. Then I went to a Young Life event, I heard the gospel, and God saved me.
God’s grace is given to us to make us holy, not to 'free' us to become more wretched and sinful.
It was all grace, totally free and I was radically changed from a lost angry, angst-filled teenager into a joy-filled, humble servant of Christ. I did nothing but respond to Christ’s grace as it was presented to me. I realized in that moment every sin I ever committed and will commit was forgiven. All I did to deserve Christ’s grace was sin, now I was in Christ and I wanted to do was get rid of my sin. But, at times when I doubted God’s grace a thought came to my mind, If his grace is so free, why shouldn’t I go on sinning as I used to? The answer was clear to me: that old man and old life was so bankrupt and wretched I wanted nothing to do with it. I had tasted and seen the goodness of God and there was no going back.
Sin That Grace May Abound?
In the verse above, the Apostle Paul is writing to the Romans about what the gospel is and how they should live in light of the gospel. In the previous five chapters, Paul has detailed out that God’s grace is totally free, given to us through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here, Paul is highlighting one of the sinful and foolish responses we can have to God’s free grace: since all of my sins are forgiven, I should go sin more so that I can be forgiven again. Being a pastor at Mars Hill I hear this all the time from new visitors coming in and hearing the gospel for the first time. In verse 2 Paul gives us the answer by saying, “By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” His point is to shock us into the reality that God’s grace is given to us to make us holy, not to “free” us to become more wretched and sinful.
Have You Heard the Gospel?
It’s a simple question, but have you? Let me tell you the good news. God, the Creator and sustainer of the universe made you in his image to reflect his glory. Mankind (you, me, and everyone else who has ever lived) has chosen to sin against God and worship created things rather than the Creator God, and is sinful both by nature and choice. We are separated from God, the one whom we were made for. We are lost, and without hope of ever ridding ourselves of our sin, we are damned to hell.
But God who is rich in mercy has come down and become a man, the man Christ Jesus, fully God and fully man, the second member of the trinity. Jesus Christ lived the perfect and sinless life we could not live, he then died on a cross, in our place for our sins, and rose again three days later defeating Satan, sin, and death.
Don’t approach Christ for a clean slate to continue in your sin—come to Christ as a way to be freed from your sin.
If you trust and put your faith in what Christ did for you, his sinless life will be given to you and he will take your sin and fill you with the Holy Spirit. You will then be seen by God has having Christ’s righteousness and be restored to a right relationship with your creator. Nothing can separate you from Christ’s love once it has a hold of you. Your only act is to give Christ all of your sins and he will give you his righteousness and make you new again.
You have done nothing to deserve Christ’s grace and sacrifice but sin, yet he loves you and has died to rid you of it. I plead with you not to scoff as this message but to come to Christ. Don’t approach Christ for a clean slate to continue in your sin—come to Christ as a way to be freed from your sin.