Summary: This message takes a somewhat detailed look at Romans 6 and answers the question "Why do Christians sin?"
Many Christians believe they commit sin because they are still sinners. But the real truth is this: Jesus freed us from the power of sin. So why do Christians commit sin? That’s the focus of this month’s teaching letter. Let’s begin in Romans 5 with verses 12, and 19 through 23.
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
We are born into this world as sinners. It’s not our fault. Point the finger at Adam. The moment he ate of the forbidden tree he corrupted the human spirit and condemned us to an eternity without God. So, you see, committing sin is not what makes us sinners. We sin because we are born with a nature that wants to sin.
(19) For as by one man's disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.
With our first birth, we receive a sin nature, a corrupted human spirit. When we are born again, our second birth, we receive a spotless and sin-free human spirit. We no longer have sin living in us! Praise God! But we must say “yes” to Jesus. If we don’t: Not being born again = eternal death in the lake of fire.
(20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
(21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
More sin does not mean More grace.
There are Christians who believe that no matter how much they sin, God’s grace will be there to cover them. But if we read verse 21, and I mean really read it, we’ll see that the sin is not acts of sin but the sin nature. Do you see the words “reigned” and “reign”? They mean “to rule, or to govern, to act as king.”
We can read verse 21 this way and maintain scriptural integrity: “In the past, the sin nature was king in your life. It decided what you would and would not do. It also condemned you to an eternity in the lake of fire. But now you can receive God’s grace through a new sinless nature. And if you will allow that nature to lead and guide you in deciding what you will and will not do, then an eternity with Jesus Christ awaits you.”
With all of this in mind, let’s jump into Romans 6.
(1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Do you see what Paul is doing here? He’s asking us to think about what we just read in Romans 5:20-21. “So, you’re telling me that committing sin is not a big deal because you will still receive God’s grace?” I can hear Paul’s exasperation: “Really? Seriously!”
(2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
“If you believe this, you are nuts! If a person is dead to sin how can he commit sin? He can’t! He is dead to sin! Spell it with me: D-E-A-D!” How many of you know a person who has died? When did she last call you, send you an email or a friend request on Facebook? I like the way Knox renders this verse: “We have died, once for all, to sin; can we breathe its air again?” No sir. We cannot.
Until we submit to our new nature, our minds will think like the old dead nature.
When a person dies, he ceases to function. He no longer exists except in our minds. You see, the born again experience does not affect our minds! That’s why we have to change our thoughts on purpose to agree with our new nature, our new uncorrupted human spirit.
(3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
(4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Do you see the word “should”? You know that means we have a choice, right? We have to choose to walk in our new life. A person who is not born again cannot make such a choice – it is impossible.
(5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
(6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.