Sunday – October 24, 2021
Word On Worship – Sunday – October 24, 2021
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
As we have seen in our study of Romans 5, God gave the Law, not to defeat sin, or even to reduce it, but to cause it to increase. The Law made sin more evident, and it increased the problem faced by mankind. But it also meant that the grace by which sin was to be dealt a death blow was also to increase. Since grace always surpasses and exceeds sin, the greater sin is, the greater grace must be. While we can be confident in the principal that grace always outruns and exceeds sin, we need to be aware there is a corollary to the principle and it is this: SIN ALWAYS SEEKS TO USE THAT WHICH IS GOOD TO PROMOTE EVIL.
The question Paul raises in verse 1 is an illustration of this. Paul’s answer makes it clear this is not something he would suggest or promote, but that some do. Paul asks the question, “Are we to continue in sin, that grace might increase?” If God caused sin to increase by the giving of the Law, with the result that grace abounded all the more, why should His children not do likewise? “May it never be!” is Paul’s response, and as always, it is an expression of shock, horror, and disappointment. It is an expression of dismay that someone could take a valid truth—grace always outruns sin—and make it an excuse for doing evil. For a Christian to continue in sin, because his sins are forgiven and because grace will abound, is an abominable thought to Paul—and it should be to us.
Justification was not intended as a license to sin, but as liberation from sin. It is God’s provision not only to be declared righteous but to live righteously. Sin blinded us as unbelievers, but it also distorts our vision and perspective as believers. Paul’s words in our text serve as a strong caution, reminding us of the effects of sin which remain in us. We must beware of the danger here. How easily doing what is wrong can be justified as serving the purposes of God. We must constantly be on the alert to this danger.
The gospel of Jesus Christ does not offer forgiveness for those who would continue in sin, but salvation for those who would be delivered from their sins. When you read through the Bible, you will discover that God never proclaimed the gospel as a means by which sinners could continue to sin, but the means to have the assurance of forgiveness and eternal life. The gospel begins with a condemnation of sin and sinners, by a righteous and holy God. It offers men the solution for sin in Jesus Christ, a solution which includes both forgiveness of sin and freedom from sin.