Romans 6:1 says
“what shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
Several years ago, I won a scripture-memorization competition organized in the youth section of our church. We were tasked to memorize Romans 6. Though it was a long time ago, I haven’t forgotten Romans chapter 6.
The first verse of this chapter is so striking. The author asks his readers and audience a very salient question: we know that God is love, we know that God’s grace is inexhaustible to forgive sin, should we then continue sinning so that this grace continues abounding? Its like asking ourselves: should we continue sinning so that God continues forgiving us?
Luke 15: 11-24 tells us the story of the prodigal son, the epitome of backsliders today. He left home for a worldly sojourn just once but after he returned and was reconciled with his father and brother, we have no record in the Bible that he ever left home again. Samson fell from grace and his prayer to God is quite short, unique and instructive: in Judges 16:28, he prayed to God for his strength to be restored just one more time.
Christian gatherings around the world teach that God will always forgive sinners and receive backsliders who repent, but shouldn’t this exclude those who have become professional backsliders and who take the grace and love of God for granted? When God forgives us of his sin, he doesn’t expect us to take trips down sin-street again, soon running back to Him for forgiveness afresh each time.
Churches / Christian gatherings are full every January 1st of every year because people have come to thank God for a safe journey through the past year and get restored for the new year. So soon they get restored and head back into the sin they repented of. For others, its Christian holiday periods like Easter or Christmas that gingers them back into spirituality.
For others still, repentance and faith in God has become a Sunday Sunday medicine. With no inner willingness to remain in Christ and in His grace, many are indeed continuing in sin, hoping that God’s grace will continue to abound. These people forget that Gods trumpet blowing Grace and forgiveness has an end, unfortunately nobody knows the time it will stop.
The Bible even says:
Ezekiel_33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound……
Mark_13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Sometimes I wonder how come positive immediate changes are not noticed in a society where hundreds or several thousands of people are reported to have either given their lives to Jesus Christ in Salvation for the first time or been restored into Gods grace, during an outreach program.
If God has added to the Church such as should be saved (Acts 2:47), the Church should be spiritually stronger to achieve greater things for God; the Church should have more hands and feet to carry the gospel to more distant places; the Church members should make more positive impact in their immediate environments and society at large as a result of their increased number – and while all these goes on, God still adds daily to the Church such as should be saved.
With Gods grace so awesome and freely available, shouldn’t we be very careful let we take it in vain? God’s grace is not a holiday spot, giving you the opportunity to go show off to the world that you have been forgiven, but coming back more stained with sin than before. Yes, God is in the business of forgiving sin but “what shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
Extending Romans 6:1 a little bit, we really don’t need God to help us answer any of the following questions:
- Shall we continue in sickness so that God would continue healing us?
- Shall we continue in poverty so that God would continue providing for us?
- Shall we continue in physical / spiritual bondage so that God would continue delivering us?
I bet you said a capital NO to all the above.
Rom 6:2 then says “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
The above gives us the answer we need: death to sin. – sin should have a stop date and time. Sin should have a date of death in every genuine child of God. If believers are dead to sin, it cannot and will not interest, control or have any more dominion over them any longer.
Nothing entices a dead man or woman. Be it any kind of food with the strongest aroma, the dead-man’s favorite drink, a perfume with a strong scent, every form of distraction or enticement, water, fire, money, extreme cold or even the warmth / heat of the sun, a dead man remains dead.
Rom 6:7 says “he that is dead is freed from sin”, and Romans 6:2 says if we are dead to sin, we should not live in sin any longer.
Your prayer and mine should be:
Dear God, please kill and help me to kill the sin in me.
Help me to die and remain to sin.