Summary: The doctrine of grace is not to abused by living a life of sin
Our study of Romans takes us to the opening of the sixth chapter. From Romans 3:21 through the end of chapter five, we have been studying the doctrine of justification by faith. Now Paul moves to inform the Roman believers, and all other believers of the next step in the Christian life. It is the process of daily growth called daily holiness, or sanctification. An just like the doctrine of justification, our sanctification is also through God’s grace.
Before describing this doctrine, Paul begins by warning us that grace is not to be abused. Those who have been cleansed of their sin ought not take advantage of God’s grace by imagining that it means license to rebel against the moral laws of God.
The doctrine of GRACE is easily misunderstood. One reason is because the most NATURAL thing to do with GRACE is to ABUSE IT!
The second most natural thing to do is to MAKE LAWS that prevent us from ABUSING GRACE.
Mr. Wayne Baker recently told me this story which applies to our understanding of grace. A Preacher who wanted to get his point across to the elementary school chapel. He brought up 4 clear glasses and 4 worms. He carefully put a worm in each glass and proceeded to add an ingredient to the glass. One glass he filled with whiskey, one with cigarette smoke (he covered the class to keep the smoke in), in one glass he poured chocolate syrup and in the last glass he put a mixture of moist fertile soil. The preacher went on to speak about being rooted and grounded in the CHRISTIAN Life. At the END of the sermon he went back to the glasses to evaluate the condition of the worms. As expected, the worm that was in the glass full of whiskey was dead, as was the worm that was in the glass filled with cigarette smoke, and the worm that was in the glass filled with chocolate syrup. However, the worm that was in the glass filled with FERTILE SOIL was THRIVING and happy! (as happy as a worm can be). For his grand conclusion, the preacher asked, “Boys and girls, what lesson do we learn from these four glasses?
From the last row a third grade boy shouted out, “If you drink whiskey, and smoke cigarettes, and eat chocolate, you WON’T GET WORMS!
Well I hope that you don’t drink whiskey, smoke cigarettes or consume large quantities of chocolate, but I do know that each and every one of us face temptations of various kinds. These verses establish the foundation upon which we will be enabled, by God’s grace, to serve him with obedience.
First, notice with me from Romans 6:1 that God Did Not Save You to Continue in Sin.
Romans 6:1 "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?"
This is a rhetorical question. The obvious answer is, “no, the Lord did not save you to continue in sin.”
Paul makes this point with a present tense verb, literally translated, “Go on sinning.”
A Christian should not consider the possibility of sinning “So that GRACE may increase.”
The word increased is used in Rom 5:20. “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
Such a sinful attitude would be absurd! Other scriptures bear this out. (1 Thessalonians 4:7) "For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." (1 Peter 1:14-16) "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”"
We would all agree, “Christians Should not sin!!!” But there is a SIN that EASILY ENTANGLES. Hebrews 12:1-2
One preacher made this point by pointing a finger at his audience and exclaiming, “I know the sin that EASILY ENTAGLES YOU. . .! He allowed this to linger in the air for a minute, long enough for a few congregants to wonder if he had been given special revelation from God. He then finished the line by saying, It’s the sin that you’re thinking about right now!
A believing daughter struggling with bitterness toward her parents
A Christian young man defeated by the lustful thoughts that dominate his life and his private moments
A married man hiding his addiction to pornography
A brother or sister living in fear and discouragement
A marriage partner convinced that the only way to be happy is to divorce and violate the sacred vows of marriage
Someone is struggling with anger or an uncontrolled tongue
How can a Christian have VICTORY over SIN?
There are Two Approaches:
The COOKIE CUTTER approach by which we conform to the mold that someone else decides is how “good Christians” are supposed to behave. The second (and the biblical approach is Living by Grace.