‘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?’ (Rom 6:1-2).
What would you be willing to do if you knew there would be no consequences? If you knew you’d never get caught and no one would ever know?
That’s the question Paul rhetorically asks in this verse. It isn’t asked because no one would ever know, but because the hypothetical questioner thinks sin is no longer important. God no longer cares about our sin, so we can do what we like.
That sounds appealing! The logic goes: ‘Because Jesus has paid the price for all my sin, it doesn’t matter whether I keep sinning. I’m saved by grace, not by works. I don’t earn my heaven to heaven, so there is no reason to do good, or to stop doing evil.’
And yet, Paul still thinks what we do is important. He still expects the people of God to reject sin. Why?
Because if Jesus has saved us, he has also changed us. As the passage continues, it says that we have been united to Christ. Once we were once enslaved by our sin. We loved our sin. We enjoyed the pleasure, the self-satisfaction, the self-focus of sin. But no longer.
Now, the saved are united to Jesus. Our sinful self died on the cross with Christ, and we now live a new life. A life that loves righteousness, goodness and truth. A life which abhors the evil which sent our Saviour to the cross.
If we still love our sin, if we never think about our sin, if we belittle our sin, there is something wrong. Instead, let us ‘walk in newness of life’ (v4), striving for holiness.