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Sin: Grace

Published: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

PART 1 – You are a lowly sinner saved only by the grace of God

What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?   Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  Romans 6:1-4

This is the first of a three-part discussion on two Biblical passages.  The first passage is the one above and will be discussed this week and the next week.  The third passage will be an attempt to pull all three discussions together in a way that you have probably never heard or thought of before.  I will do my best to rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit in bringing these passages together.

 

Part of the passage above is a commonly heard passage when there is a baptism in a church.  The person baptizing says, “We are buried with Him in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life.”  At the same time, I have to say that I do not think many Christians have made this Biblical passage a part of their life.  What I mean by this is that the words are said or read, but very few Christians apply the words to their life.  I want to do this in this brief discussion.  Some of you will get mad at me.  I pray that it will be the Holy Spirit convicting and not me being “preachy”, meddlesome, self-righteous, or condemning.  Everything said is just between you and God.  I don’t have to know anything.

There are many wonderfully descriptive words in this passage about a Christian.  The first keyword that must be understood and applied to a Christian’s life is “grace”.  It appears that there are two opposites in the passage above: “go on sinning” and “grace may increase”.  I want to emphasize Paul’s intent on this statement, because many Christians do not connect the two terms: sin and grace.  They are inseparable to understand them.  To fully understand grace, you must have a good understanding of sin.

To fully understand this passage, you must bring all of your “self” down to being a sinner.  I hope the following list includes you, because we are all sinners.  A sinner is an enemy of God.  A sinner is a rebellious person.  A sinner is oriented toward their own creature comforts in everything they do.  A sinner is not interested in the things of God.  A sinner is a person who is as far away from God as possible.  A sinner thinks very highly of their “self” and has a low opinion of others.  A sinner is a person who has no feelings if they must lie, cheat, or steal to manipulate other people.  A sinner thinks the worst of people by always looking at the negatives.  A sinner will align their “self” only with others that satisfy their ego or way of living.  A sinner will always want their way in doing things.  A sinner will rationalize anything they do wrong to others so that they will always “look good”.  A sinner is a hypocrite – they say one thing and act some other way.  A sinner cannot be trusted.  A sinner is the lowest individual that ever walked this planet.  If you can get your mind around all of the things above, then you will begin to understand God’s grace.  If you continue to rationalize yourself and your sins, you will never be able to fully appreciate God’s grace. 

Grace is the most wonderful word for a sinner to hear.  God’s grace took all of your sins and the judgment for those sins and made them disappear from your life.  God has forgiven and forgotten all of your sins.  It is His grace that allows this to happen.  Because you no longer have any sin in your life, you can stand in the presence of a Holy God.  Grace makes this possible.  You can truly say with all of your heart that you are as righteous as Christ.  All of your sins have been done away with through God’s grace.

In the passage above, Paul asks the question why would you continue in sin causing God’s grace to be greater and greater.  When you became a Christian, God wanted you – all of you.  One thing He knew that had to happen was that there had to be a renewal of who you are.  Therefore, God introduced the concept that you died to sin.  Think about this for a moment…don’t rush through this concept.  God killed the “self” in you.  He did this in an amazing way.  He had His own Son die on a cross so that the self in us would not have any control over us.  I will talk more about this concept next week.

 

In the mean time, consider how you are as a sinner.  There is no way of getting around it.  Now, dwell and ponder the grace of God.  The more you think about that grace, the more it will become real in your life.  You will begin to see other people who are exhibiting grace, and you will see the power that comes from that grace.  You will start to see where grace is not in certain areas of your life, and God is asking you to make life changes that include grace.  More next week.

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