At Redeemer this week we looked at the question Paul raises in Romans 6:1:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
The good news, as presented in Scripture, leads a reader to naturally conclude that the freedom given by Jesus means that I can just keep on sinning when I become a Christian. So, some guy’s cheating on his wife and becomes a Christian – great news! But he keeps on cheating on his wife. Is this contrary to the Bible’s good news? According to Paul, who wrote the book of Romans, probably not; it’s the natural conclusion.
Now wait one cotton pickin’ minute. Surely that can’t be right? The Bible’s always going on about how bad sin is and how great it is to do good – doesn’t this undermine everything? Well, Paul doesn’t let us hang on for too long; the immediate answer is ‘By no means!’ because in Christ we have died to sin, so why should we continue living in it?
As Christians we’re new creations, we’ve been born again, so we’re free to be good, where before we were slaves to sin. In fact, Romans 6 goes so far as to say that we’re slaves to righteousness – as Christians we need now to actively rebel if we’re to sin. And that’s pretty sobering.
But what this all comes down to is that the Christian message is one that is all of grace. If the good news we’re preaching doesn’t make people ask ‘you mean I can just keep on sinning and God loves me all the same?’ it’s not the good news preached in the Bible.