Most people, if they’ve heard the good news of Jesus properly, will question it by asking something along the lines of:
Wait one cotton pickin’ minute, does that mean I can keep on committing sin and God will still forgive me no matter what?
The answer given by most Christians would be something like:
Well yes that’s right, but if you’ve really understood God’s grace in forgiving you and giving you eternal life, then your actions should reflect your gratitude, so in practise you probably won’t keep on sinning.
It’s interesting, therefore, that the Bible answers this question a different way. Check it out:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)
Paul, who wrote this, chooses some interesting words. ‘By no means!’ On other occasions he asks himself a question and responds ‘Certainly not!’ but here he exclaims that it would be impossible for someone to continue in sin after having believed in God’s grace, and the following sentence explains it: Christians have died to sin.
That means that a Christian’s actions shouldn’t simply ‘reflect their gratitude’, but they should do good all the time as their immediate, instinctive and only actions. As Paul goes on to say, we used to be slaves to sin, but are now slaves to righteousness.
Here’s the challenge. It’s a biggy. If you were to give Paul’s answer in a conversation with a non-Christian, would they say ‘That sounds great!’ and immediately become a Christian, or ‘Well, your actions clearly show that isn’t true’?