1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? – Romans 6:1-2
This is one of the main criticism religious people have of the gospel of grace. If you tell people that are eternally forgiven then they will just go off and sin as much as that want to.
Grace is so much more that a “get out of jail free” card. God will always overcome greater sin with greater grace (Guzik). However it is not a licence to sin.
The Greek tense of “continue in sin” is present active which implies the habitual act of sin. Believers are not free to sin as much as they want because there are always consequences for our sin, in the short term and in the long term. If a Christian man habitually looks at porn, his relationship with his wife will suffer which in turn may lead to the marriage breaking up and all the negative effects caused to the children, the family, friends, neighbours and the church. The ripple effect.
Sin always has a negative effect leading to death. Death in essence is the absence of life and all life comes from God. You can be alive on this earth but “dead” because you are not in a relationship with God. Eternal death is existing without God – eternally. Sin always separates you from God. So, if we continue in sin it will always cause separation from God whether you are a believer or not.
The point is, the grace that God gives us means you can change your mind, repent and ask forgiveness for your sin and God will, by His grace, forgive you.
Paul goes on to say we are dead to sin. He will explain more about this idea as this chapter progresses. But, if death separates us then we who believe and have received God’s forgiveness should be dead to sin. We should be separate from sin. That, in effect is what God has done for us and what we can experience if we walk by faith, believing in the promises of God. We no longer have to be slaves to sin. We have been made free to chose not to follow our sinful desires.
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. – John 8:34
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:17