A. One of the best things about the grace of God is that, once we are under grace, it doesn't matter how much we sin! Since all our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, we can go ahead and commit as many as we want, and we will still be saved! If there's something we want to do, even if we know it is wrong, we can go ahead and do it, and it won't make any difference.
C. The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! This whole way of thinking is a terrible perversion of the grace of God. But unfortunately, this is exactly how some people want to interpret God's grace. The apostle Paul knew there would be such people, and so he wrote Romans 6 and 7.
Talked about part of it last week. Romans 6:1-2. First objection to the grace of God.
E. The second is started in vs. 15. We are not under law so forget about any laws. No law under grace. We are free in Christ to sin even more. But I say, 'How could we say such a thing? How could we even think of doing such a thing? After Jesus has died to provide for our forgiveness, HOW COULD We want to commit even one more sin? What's wrong with us? Don't we have the least idea what grace means?'"
It is true that we are forgiven by faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law" (Rom 3:28). Some translators put in this verse “Faith Only.” Only is not in the original.
we must realize: the faith that justifies us under God's grace is NEVER ALONE. James puts it like this: "We see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone" (Jas 2:24).
H. Some people have the idea that faith can exist in our hearts all by itself. But this is not true. Wherever there is true, saving faith, some other things will also always be present along with it. Faith is never alone. And all the things that exist alongside faith are the enemies of sin.
Thesis: What are the things that must accompany saving faith?
I. SURRENDER TO JESUS AS LORD
A. Faith in Jesus as Savior is first of all accompanied by surrender to Jesus as Lord. Scripture teaches that the Jesus who gives us grace through faith is "our Lord Jesus Christ."- Romans 5:1. Rom 6:23 identifies the source of grace as Jesus our Lord: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
B. We cannot believe in Jesus without confessing Him as our Lord. Rom 10:9-10, 13: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
C. Jesus is our Savior and Lord. These twin roles of Jesus cannot be separated in our relationship to Him.
D. What is the meaning of "Lord"? In its most basic sense it refers to the owner of something. When we confess Jesus is our Lord, we are thus acknowledging Him as our owner. This means we are confessing to be His slaves.
E. Romans 6:15- 23 is talking about this aspect of Jesus Christ. Paul says that transferring from law to grace is like being transferred from one slave owner to another! Under law we were slaves to sin, but now we are slaves to God, to righteousness, and to obedience (vv. 18, 19, 22).
The point is that we are still under absolute obligation to obey every commandment of our Lord; Why? Because we are his slaves.
We are like the slaves that are talked about under the OT. Deuteronomy 15:16-17: But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.
But what about those verses that say we have been set free through Jesus Christ. This is true, but when we are set free we are like the slave who stays with his new master who sets him free. He refuses to leave the one who has set him free. Jesus is now our Lord. We do have freedom but we take our freedom and lay it down for Jesus Christ, our new Master.
This is a free country and I am a free person so I can do what I want to do. I am my own boss and Master. No, that is not true. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to Jesus Christ. What vowel is in the middle of the word sin? I. Either serving sIn or Jesus Christ.
I. The point is that believing in Jesus as our Savior must always result in surrendering to Him as our LORD. This is why we cannot use grace as an excuse for sin.
II. LOVE FOR JESUS AS SAVIOR
A. Second, saving faith is always accompanied by love for Jesus as our Savior. We cannot believe in Jesus as the one who died for our sins without loving him for doing so. Faith will always be accompanied by love.
Faith and love go together. Galatians 5:6: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.What does this have to do with sin? Jesus said it this way: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
Romans 7:1-3 talks about the basic commands for marriage in the NT. Bride- “Will we have this man to be your husband; to live together in the holy covenant of marriage? Will we love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him so long as you both shall live?” If these commitments are broken, it is the sin of adultery. The only Biblical way to be released from the vows of marriage and not sin, is for one of the mates to die. We are released from that law when this happens.
Vs. 4 says we died. We died to sin. After our death, we are released from the law of being in a relationship with sin, our first lover, and now we belong to another lover, Jesus Christ.
Far more than death, far more than slavery, the analogy of marriage provides an answer to the question Paul started with: Why be good? Really, that is the wrong question. It should be: “Why love?” What do I mean by this?
Would a groom hold the following conversation with his bride before their wedding? “Honey, I love you so much, and I’m eager to spend my life with you. But I need to have one question answered. After I’m married to you, how far can I go with other women?” To such a question the only reasonable response is a slap in the face and a “God forbid!”- good reason to call off the ceremony. This groom does not understand the first thing about love.
Similarly, if we approach God with a “What can I get away with?” attitude, it proves we do not grasp what God has in mind for us. God wants something far beyond the relationship I might have with a slave master. God wants something more intimate than the closest relationship on earth, the lifetime bond between a man and a woman. What God wants is not a good performance, but my heart. I do “good works” for my wife not in order to earn credit but to express my love for her. Likewise, God wants me to serve “in the new way of the Spirit (Vs. 6)”: not out of compulsion but out of desire.
We say we are Christians. That means we must truly believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That means we must love Him for all He has done for us. Then we must ask, how could we even think about sinning against the one we love?
III. HATRED FOR THE SIN THAT CRUCIFIED OUR LORD AND SAVIOR
A. This leads to the last point that is not talked about directly by Paul here but it certainly applies. Saving faith is always accompanied by hatred for the sin that crucified Jesus. I'm talking about repentance. Repentance is a change of mind about sin. It's a change in the way we regard our sins. It's a change in our attitude toward our sins. Instead of loving sin, we hate it. The heart and core of repentance is hatred for sin.
B. Scripture teaches there is no salvation without repentance. God is "not wanting anyone to perish but for all to come to repentance," says 2 Pet 3:9. It is clear that no one can escape hell without repenting. But this is only natural. How can we believe in Jesus and love him for going to the cross for us, without hating the sin that caused Him to go there?
Some people hate the punishment that comes from sin, but not the sin itself. This is why they can use grace as an excuse for sin, and go right on sinning, because they don't really hate the sin itself. If they hated the sin itself, they would do everything in their power to avoid it. But they don't hate the sin; they only hate the punishment. "And," they say, "Jesus has already paid my debt of punishment; so I'm free to commit sin!" I'm sorry; this is NOT repentance.
D. We can describe sin in many ways: missing the mark, breaking the law, disobeying the commandments. Maybe the most important way to think about sin is this: SIN IS A WOUND IN THE HEART OF GOD. Every time we sin, we are attacking God Himself. Every sin is like another nail in the hands or feet of our Savior. This is why we must hate sin with all our hearts: It causes PAIN in the heart of the one who loves us and the one whom we love.
Who nailed Jesus to the cross? Some say the Jews, some say the Romans, but the best answer is we all did. Ray Boltz- The Hammer- And I cried Who nailed Him there This Child of peace and mercy Who nailed Him there Come and face me like a man Who nailed Him there And the crowd began to mock me I cried Oh my God I just don’t understand Then I turned and saw the hammer In my hand!
Picture Mary at the scene of the crucifixion (John 19:25). What do we think she felt as she watched the soldiers nail HER SON to the cross? Do we think for a moment she would have gone over there and said to the soldiers, "Give me the hammer. Let me drive some nails into his hands." No, Her heart was breaking with every pounding of the hammer!
Every time we sin today, this is like driving another nail into the body of our Savior! Every time we decide to do something we know is wrong, we are saying, "Give me the hammer!" We are piercing Him to the very depths of His heart.