Go On Sinning
Rom. 6:1 What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?
For Paul the idea of sinning and living in Christ were two incompatible concepts. Once someone is baptized and united with Christ they are living in the newness and grace of that life. It automatically raises the question of sin. Origen tell us, “it is clear that someone who has died to sin cannot remain a sinner.” That’s because the kingdom loyalties have shifted.
“To sin is to live to sin, and not to sin is to live to God. Therefore, when the grace of God through Christ and through faith came upon us, we began by the spiritual rebirth of baptism to live to God, and we died to sin, which is the devil. This is what dying to sin means: to be set free from sin and to become a servant of God. Therefore, having died to sin, let us not go back to our earlier evils, lest by living once again to sin and dying to God we should incur the penalty from which we have escaped.” (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul’s Epistles)
To argue that a baptized individual would go on sinning is ludicrous in the mind of Paul. The life of sin has been left behind and the believer has entered into a new life, united with Christ. The direction of life is completely changed and there should be no going back. This is a real change that is transformational.
It seems that there are more arguments these days about why we humans fall short of God’s desire for us and why we continue to sin, than there are about why we don’t have to go on sinning. It’s become a crutch to argue that we can’t live without sin and for those who would argue that they can — that they are simply fooling themselves. We argue that we’re simply being “realistic.” Or, could it be that we are providing excuses for our own behavior and justifying the fact that we are not wholeheartedly united with Christ — we are not totally sold out to living for him — and therefore we will continue to dabble in sin.
There is no place in-between for the Christian. Paul talks about dying to sin and living in Christ. When someone dies, they really die!
Yesterday we celebrated the life of Dr. Rob Staples. He was an incredible man who made a difference in the lives of many people throughout the years. Dr. Rob Staples has died to this life. There is no coming back in the way in which he lived this life previously for he has moved on and would not want to come back! He is enjoying the very presence of Jesus Christ. To desire to return to the physical body with all of its struggles and weaknesses would be foolishness.
When we die to sin we leave the old life behind. It’s over. It’s finished. We are united together with Christ and transformed when we put on the new life. We are now new and different people. Why would we want to go back to the life of sin? Why would we want to “dabble” in sin anymore for it is no longer compatible with the new life that we have been given in Christ, which is just a little foretaste of heaven!
The arguments about sinning now make sense in light of the new life in Christ. The old is gone! It is dead! You and I — we are invited to live in the newness of our life in Christ. Embrace it. Live it boldly. Live in deep intimacy with the Savior and there will be no desire to sin.
Lord, may I live into the intimacy of my relationship with you. Amen.