1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.Today is no different than the time Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans. There are those who believe that because of grace, it does not matter if we continue in sin. Paul's answer to this is no different today either. He portrays the Christian as one who is dead and buried concerning sin.
To be baptized into Christ is to be baptized into His death. It is an outward sign of being dead and buried, just as Christ died and was buried. What does this signify? It is the outward sign of the inner reality that we are dead to sin, that sin no longer has dominion or control over our lives. And just as Christ arose from the grave, we also are raised up to walk in newness of life. (See Col 3:1-3).
It a crucified life. The old man with all of his sinful passions and lusts has been crucified with Christ, thus breaking the power of sin in the believers life (Gal 5:24). Paul also wrote, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who lived me, and gave himself for me." ( Gal 2:20 KJV)
There is power in the gospel of Christ. Through the new birth we can be cleansed and set free from the power of sin in our daily lives. We read in Romans 7 of the dominion of sin in one's life. It is a cycle of defeat, desiring the good, but giving in to the evil. Apart from the deliverance of the cross of Christ, we find that we are quite controlled by our sinful desires. Through Christ we find victory, but we must walk in it by faith, submitting ourselves to the will of God.
8. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10. For in that he died, he died into sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive into God through Jesus Christ our Lord.We must consider ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to serve God. It is a line drawn in the sand that we have determined not to cross. It is a reality for us, but does us no good if we remain passive in our faith, and fail to walk it out in our lives. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is working out His will in our lives (Phil 2:12-13).
12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness into sin: but yield yourselves into God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.It is up to us to decide. Do we choose to live a life filled with sinful choices, or to yield ourselves up to God? God, in His grace, has made it possible to do what the law could not. By His grace, we can do what is right, serving Him in righteousness. The law shows us the just requirements of God, but cannot enable us to live them out. This is what grace does for us. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12 KJV)
15. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.There are many who believe that somehow God's grace has set aside the law, and as a result we are no longer required to obey it. This cannot be farther from the truth. Jesus taught that he did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17-18). His fulfillment of the law was to show us through His teaching, and by His example how to live to please God. Throughout the new testament you read that God does have requirements for His people, and they can be found in the law. Ultimately the law is summed up in two commands, supreme love towards God, and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matt 22:37-40).
It is ludicrous to think that somehow because we are covered by grace that it is okay to sin, that God does not expect us to be honest, to be faithful in our marriages, that it does not bother Him if we steal, or kill. Yet those who hold that the moral commandments found in the law are no longer binding upon the believer, are in effect saying this. The truth is that under the new covenant the law is now written upon our hearts, and yes, we will obey it if we truly love Jesus (Heb 10:16, John 14:15).
We are the servants of what we yield to, either sin, or righteousness. We cannot claim grace, while living in sin. Jesus stated that the one who commits sin is the slave of sin, but He came to set the slave free (John 8:34-36).
19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Who are you going to serve? To live for one's self leads to spiritual death. It does not matter if you consider yourself a Christian, if you are not living in obedient submission to Jesus Christ, you are in a path headed to death. God's gift of eternal life is for those who will yield to Him. We not only need the grace of God to cover our past, but we also need His grace to live day by day in service to Him.
Scripture quoted from the King James Version.