When I was a teenager, I had a friend from another church say to me, “It’s okay if I party and get drunk, because I am always forgiven.” and added, “I can do what I want because once saved, always saved.” Mm. Yeah, I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. Listen to Paul help us out on this issue of what we do with the grace we have been given…it’s all about our what is in our heart and our attitude which spawns our behavior.
Romans 6, The Message
1-3 So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.
Is church full of perfect, sinless people? NO. We come together to help each other “sin no more” as Jesus told the woman who was dragged out into the street for being a harlot. “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” This is what Jesus offers..GRACE to get up and move on to greater things with Him!
George Barna, a Christian researcher and statistician, states, “most born-again Christians live indistinctly from non-believers because they do not think any differently—which is a result of not understanding the basic truths of the Christian faith.” After surveys the results are this, “The church no longer affects society, society has infected the church.” Sad, but true.
What do we learn?
–We accept GRACE as a way out of our sin, not as a way in to keep on doing what got us into trouble in the first place.
–Jesus knows our hearts. He knows who is sincere, honest and humble.
Dear Heavenly Father, Don’t let us use Your Holy Gift of Grace to be an excuse to keep feeding our selfish desires. Speak to our hearts. We need You every hour to help us see the difference between what the world says and what You want for our lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen