Summary: A serious issue in a culture inundated by sinfulness.
If I am Saved by Grace, Can I Live in Sin?
Last week, I addressed a foundational issue in regard to the Christian faith: “Can I Know I am Saved?”
I made the point that all believers can and should enjoy the assurance of salvation.
And that the assurance of salvation comes not from within ourselves, but from a proper understanding of the fact that salvation comes from God.
We are not the cause of our own salvation; we are the recipients of God’s unmerited favor; His amazing grace.
And when we realize that salvation is all of God, and that it rests completely in the work of Jesus Christ, then we will be able to rest in the blessed assurance of salvation.
However, there is a great concern which many people have with this doctrine – the doctrine of Justification by Faith.
There are those who believe that if you teach people that salvation is of God, and that we contribute nothing to our salvation, that believers will become complacent.
Or worse, that they will use God’s grace as a license to live in sin.
Well, as a follow up to last week’s message I want to address this question directly; and I will do so knowing I am following the pattern as the Apostle Paul, who does the same in the book of Romans.
In Romans, Paul expounds the grace of God in the first five chapters, explaining man’s sinful condition and God’s plan of redemption through grace.
Then, in Romans 6, he makes sure to address a very important question: If salvation is all of grace, can I live in sin?
We will expound his answer in today’s message.
READ: ROMANS 6:1-2
Probably one of the most perplexing subjects in the Bible is sin.
There are many questions about its nature, how it affects us mentally, what it does to our bodies, and on and on that cause no end of theological debate.
Even more perplexing is the apparent tension that the Bible seems to have on the subject of sin.
On one hand, the Bible does declare that all sin is an equally heinous breech of God’s law - to break one law of God is to break them all.
James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
On the other hand, the Bible also teaches that some have incurred a higher degree of sin and guilt than have others.
John 19:11 Jesus answered him [Pilate], "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."
A similar tension exists when we discuss sin in the life of the believer.
On one hand, the Bible seems to declare that the believer does not or will not sin.
1 John 5:18 (NASB) We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
Yet, in that very same book we read that sin is actually a possibility in the life of a believer:
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
In fact, it is not only a possibility - it is an absolute:
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Even Jesus, in his model prayer, taught his disciples to pray daily: “Forgive us our sins…”
As I said, when looked at as a whole, it seems like there is a great deal of tension in Scripture regarding the subject of sin.
Q. But is the Bible sending us a “mixed signal” concerning sin?
Is it presenting to us with an unreconcilable contradiction, like that of the ‘Married Bachelor’
Is it presenting two things that cannot exist together?
Of course, the answer is no.
The Bible is not attempting to speak in any form of ‘double-talk’ on the subject of sin, nor is it in contradiction with itself on the subject of sin.
It does, however, present us with a multifaceted view of the subject of sin.
We need to study all aspects of this issue if we are to understand the various passages regarding sin.
This is especially true of Romans chapter 6, which deals with sin in the life of a believer.
An important concept which all believer should understand is SANCTIFICATION.
Sanctification (Gr. Hagiosmos) Consecration, purification.
Sometimes translated as holiness.
It is the process of God’s grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God’s righteousness.