Why Not Continue in Sin?

23 January 2022 AM – Romans 6:1-7 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Romans 5, we learned that God’s grace is overflowing! No matter how bad our sin may be, God’s grace is greater. God offers us more divine help through Christ’s death and resurrection than we will ever need.
            Because God’s grace overflows, is it okay to keep lying, disobeying, getting angry, being bitter, lusting, being selfish or doing other sin? Won’t our sins give God opportunity to apply His grace? Paul anticipated these questions in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Transition: Paul then answers these questions for us today in Romans 6:2-7. However, before we look at his answers, the KJBC makes a helpful observation. “Paul addresses justification in Rom 5 and sanctification in Rom 6. Justification deals with the penalty for sin; sanctification deals with the power of sin. Justification is a declarative act of God. Sanctification is a progressive act of God. Both works of God deal with the sinner: justification with the unsaved sinner; sanctification with the saved sinner. The end result of justification is salvation; the end result of sanctification is obedience.” With that in mind, let’s see how Paul answers the questions in Romans 6:1.
  • The brief answer is, “Of course not!”
·            The KJV says, “God forbid” (v.2)
§   Literally translated, this is “Let it not be!” or Certainly not!
§   To continue to live in sin is not an option. But why not?
·            If we died to sin, we must NOT still live in sin.
§   Paul urges us to look at this logically.
§   When a person trusts Christ to save his soul, he dies to sin. He makes a conscious choice to turn from sin. God cannot save you until you admit that your sin damns you. We were all born sinners. We have all sinned wilfully. Sin separates us from God. God is holy and repels sin like rain on an umbrella. We deserve eternal damnation in hell. Jesus came to earth and died in our place to pay for our eternal damnation. He is the ONLY one who can save us from hell. No one can truly believe on Christ without first repenting of his wicked sins and admitting that Christ is his only hope. Belief without repentance is nothing but a head knowledge of Christ. We must die to sin. It is like a seed germinating, it must die before it can live.
§   Many professing Christians continue their life of selfishness, pride, rebellion, disobedience, anger, sinful habits, and even immorality with little or no conviction of sin. They have no new life that hungers for God’s word. They love godless music and godless friends. Very likely, they never truly died to their sins and trusted Christ to clean their sinful soul and change their lives.
§   Jesus described such people in (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
§   If you truly trusted Christ and died to sin, you cannot continue to live in sin, thinking God’s grace will cover it.
Ø If you think you can continue in sin, you are ignorant of your identification with Christ (v.3-5).
·            Paul illustrated this with baptism (v.3-4).
§   Water baptism is not the emphasis in these verses. These verses speak of being baptised spiritually into Jesus Christ and into His death. They speak of being raised to newness of life as Christ raised from the dead. They describe an identification of the repentant sinner with Christ. That takes place the moment a sinner truly repents and places his faith in Christ to save him from hell.
§   This cannot speak of water baptism because water baptism does not save anyone. Do not be led astray by verses that seem to teach that baptism saves.
ü  (Mark 16:16) “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Baptism is not repeated as a requirement.
ü  (1 Peter 3:20-21) “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” Did the water save Noah and his family or did the ark save them? The floodwater destroyed all life outside the ark, but those waters lifted the ark to safety. The floodwaters are a figure or antitype of baptism. As the ark, not the floodwaters, saved Noah, so Christ, the divine Ark, not baptismal waters, saves sinners. In both cases, the ark saves, not the water.
§   While water baptism after salvation testifies of the salvation described in Romans 6:3-5, spiritual baptism that takes place at salvation is the emphasis here.
§   When a repentant sinner trusts Christ, his sinful self (i.e., his old man) dies with Christ and is buried with Christ. He raises to a new life with Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
§   I picture it this way. Before trusting Christ, our sinful self was enslaved to our sin nature. We could never get true victory over sin. When we died with Christ, He redeemed us. That set us free from our sin nature, but it did not remove our sin nature.
·            If you have been buried in the likeness of Christ’s death, you shall be raised in the likeness of His resurrection (v.5).
§   The logical conclusion of being buried in the likeness of Christ’s death is that we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection. We will have new life.
§   This is not about mortal death and future resurrection from the grave to immortality, but about the death of our sinful life and a resurrection to a new life in Christ.
If you think you can continue in sin, you are ignorant of your identification with Christ (v.3-5).
Ø Neither do you know what it means to be crucified with Christ (v.6-7).
·            As we read these verses, we ought to ask, who is our “old man”, what is the “body of sin”, and what does the word “destroyed” mean? (Read v.6-7).
§   The old man here refers to our sinful self before salvation that was depraved, unregenerate, lacking spiritual life, enslaved to the sin nature. [e.g., working for a wicked boss, now for a new good boss] That old man was crucified with Christ on the cross. Christ redeemed us and set us free.
§   Our body of sin is our physical body that has always been dominated and controlled by our sinful old man.
§   When our old man was crucified, its control over our body was destroyed (i.e., rendered inactive, it lost its power).
§   Once saved, we are no longer enslaved to sin.
·            When our old man died, God set us free (v.7).
§   God declares that when a sinner dies with Christ, he is now free from sin (i.e., justified from sin).
§   This is a permanent declaration that will never change.
Conclusion: Paul’s arguments answer the question, Is it okay to keep lying, disobeying, getting angry, being bitter, lusting, being selfish or doing other sin to give God opportunity to apply His grace? God’s answer is clearly NO! No true Christian has the right to choose to continue in sin. At salvation, true Christians die to sin. They identify with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, giving them a new life. Their old man, died, delivering him from bondage to the sin nature and rendering the old man powerless. True Christians no longer must serve sin. They have been justified from sin! This is part of our sanctification.
            These are heavy, yet exciting facts. God does not want us to live in sin, and we CAN have victory over sin.
            If Christ has not changed your life, something is missing in your heart. Do not ignore this. Speak to me or to someone who can help you make sure you are truly a Christian.
Song: Are You Washed in the Blood – 208