What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! (Romans 6:1)
I always find it interesting to come across people who give no indication of having any kind of saving relationship with Christ by the way they live, the way they talk or the lifestyle they carry on. Yet, when I begin to share the gospel with them, suddenly they remember they became a Christian years ago and were baptized. “So I’m good!”, they say. In Romans 6, Paul is dealing with a very important question. After having just made the argument in Romans 4-5 that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, he raises the obvious question—if salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, then why does it matter how we live? Can’t we just believe in Jesus and then live anyway we want? Notice Paul’s reaction to that idea: “By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Paul reminds them of their baptism and reminds them that when they were baptized, they made a public declaration that they had died to their old way of life, that they were no longer going to live life their way but would now begin to live life according to God’s word and for the glory of Christ. But it’s not just about baptism. Paul is essentially reminding them that if they are truly saved, if they have truly placed faith in Christ, then in fact they have died to their old way of life. Thus, not only is living in sin a contradiction to their baptism but should be a contradiction to their heart’s desires. Those who have truly died to their old way of life will no longer have a desire to live in sin, but will have a new found desire to live in a way that is pleasing to God and glorifying to him.
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