Editor’s Note: Jonathan Yeong is a Facebook friend of mine and an awesome Brother in Christ. He is based in the UK
If the grace you listen to makes you go off and sin and behave like the devil, you have not heard the grace that comes from God. It is not an over-emphasis on God’s grace that makes people go and sin, it is an emphasis on a psuedo-grace, or anti-grace. Over emphasis on God’s grace causes less and less sinning. In fact, if you are going to live a life of victory over sin, then knowing the grace of God and experiencing it is vital.
To prove my point, let’s have a look at Titus 2:11-12
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say No to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
This portion of scripture clearly shows that grace does not set people to sin but rather sets people FROM their sins. The grace working in us transforms us NOT our self effort. It is Godâ€™s grace that makes us holy and drives us to be holy in conduct. God’s grace make us holy and therefore drives us to do holy!
Romans 5:20-21 –Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The purpose of the Law was not to strengthen us in our battle against sin but to strengthen sin in its battle against us. Sin had already beaten us; we didn’t know it. The Law brought that realization to us so that we would quit trusting in ourselves and call out to God for salvation. The end of self is the beggining of God!
So the Law made sin and all its devastating effects abound (1 Cor. 15:56), but God’s grace abounded even more. The Law gave sin so much dominion against us that the grace of God is the only way out.
Chapter 6:1 of Romans then answers the issue in Romans 5:20-21 saying:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Paul had stated God’s grace in such a way that it was inevitable that someone would ask, “Can we just keep on sinning, since we are saved by grace?” Of course, that is not what Paul was saying at all. He had already answered this issue before (Ro 3:8), and he did it again in Ro 6:15, making a total of three times in this epistle he had to overcome misunderstandings about his grace teaching encouraging sin.
Paul spoke this revelation of God’s grace under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost with perfect balance, yet he was still misunderstood. Therefore, those who are teaching grace but do not encounter the same arguments causing them to explain that they are not advocating a life of sin have not preached grace the way that Paul did. If, in their efforts to prevent misuse, they present grace in such a way that no one ever accuses them of giving people a license to sin, then they haven’t presented grace correctly.
Romans 6:2 – God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
This verse shows us the reason for not sinning is that we are already DEAD TO SIN!! A dead man doesn’t react! A dead man doesn’t sin! When Christ died, we died with Him so that we may walk in the newness of life! (Romans 6:4).
Don’t misunderstand me. By this verse I am not saying that Christians don’t and can’t ever sin. When the verse means “dead to sin”, it is speaking of our former corrupt old self ALREADY CRUCIFIED AND DEAD. Our “old selves” were the driving force behind our acts of sin. Paul was saying that since our old selves that loved to sin are dead, it is not the nature of us Christians to commit acts of sin as it was before we were born again. That’s the number one reason that we don’t sin. We don’t want to sin. Our born again spirit has God’s kind of nature and has a desire to live for God.
Romans 6:11 – Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As discussed, your “old man” is dead and gone. However, because a lust to sin is still present even after the new birth, many teach that the “old man” is constantly being resurrected. That’s not so. It is actually our minds that need to change. This is why the Bible tells us to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
This verse makes it very clear that we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin in the same manner as Christ is dead to sin. Therefore, we are dead to sin in the same way that Christ is dead to sin.
Of course, Jesus only died to sin once, so therefore we only die to sin once (Ro 6:9-10). After that, we simply reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive unto God.
Many people focus on the death to sin that is mentioned in this verse and omit, or at least put secondarily, the part about being alive unto God. It is assumed that if people will just die to sin, then life with Christ comes automatically. That’s no more so than physical death automatically producing physical resurrection. God doesn’t need dead people; He needs people who have risen from the dead spiritually.
People who are preoccupied with dying to themselves will not experience their new lives with Christ. This verse emphatically states that they are to believe unquestionably, without a doubt, that they are, in reality, already dead to sin in the same way that Christ is already dead to sin.
It is wrong to teach that dying to sin is something that we still have to accomplish by acknowledging all our sinfulness and forsaking it. This actually causes us to focus on self (sinful self) more than ever before and, therefore, actually strengthens the hold of what’s left of the “old man” in our lives. The way to get rid of the residual effect of the “old man” in our lives is not to focus on our sinsÂ but to focus on our resurrected union with Christ. We need to start seeing ourselves as ONE with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17) and already been seperated from sin and united wit God.
Romans 6:12 – Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts
It is clearly evident from verse 12 that Paul was denouncing sin and its effects. The point he was making was that because you are already dead to sin (verse 6-11) and we reckon to be so, we should not let sin reign in our mortal body. We have been given the choice and the empowerment to choose not to sin.
Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Paul made a very clear statement that the reason sin shall not have hold over us is because we arenot under Law but under Grace. However, most Christians today are still operating under the Law, so it’s no surprise that sin still has dominion over them (1 Cor. 15:56 says the strength of sin is the law). Understanding our freedom from the Old Testament Law is a prerequisite to breaking the dominion of sin in our lives.
The Law was holy and perfect but showed manâ€™s weakness. But grace came and made man holy and perfect (Hebrews 10:10-14). The Law demanded holiness but Grace supplies holiness!
Romans 6:16 -Â 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?
This second reason Paul gave for holiness in our lives as believers is that when we obey sin, we yield ourselves to Satan, the author of that sin. Notice the use of the personal pronoun “whom” in this verse. Yielding to sin is yielding to a person–Satan. God doesn’t impute the sin to us, but the devil does. Our actions release in us either the power of Satan or the power of God.
Romans 6:18 -Â Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Christians still sin now and then (1 John 1:7), but then they are no longer slaves to sin and are made servants of righteousness. We have been made righteous not by our obedience but Christâ€™s obedience (2 Cor. 5:17-21). This should give us all the more reason to present our bodies as living sacrifices for God.
What if we do sin?
Friend, we all stumble in many ways and as far as the natural realm is concerned, no one is perfect even though our born again spirits are perfect and righteous (Eph 4:24). We do fall short now and then, but rest assured, because of His Grace and Mercy, we are still saved and are justified.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
These are the very promises of God we have today and even when we sin, we pick ourselves up again without condemnation and keep moving forward in our walk with Him.
1.) ALL sins are forgiven and are paid for (1 John 2:2), itâ€™s the rejection of that payment that leads people to hell
2.) I have a God-kind of nature within me and drives me to be holy
3.) If I donâ€™t live holy, I am opening doors to deception and problems
4.) Living holy or not doing so, does NOT change Godâ€™s opinion of me
5.) It is because that I have been made righteous and holy, I get to live a godly life
6.) Grace sets me FREE FROM SIN and Grace covers ALL my sin