What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
For Paul, the gospel was about God and grace, accepted by faith, growing into freedom!
Some, though, accused him of teaching that “forgiveness” meant sin didn’t matter, that a person could continue living any wretched way they pleased.
But why would we want to go back and live in our old house, after fleeing from a land of plague and pestilence?!! We’ve left the country where sin reigns—we’re no longer citizens there!
Besides, sin isn’t a trivial thing: we can’t dabble in it without risk. Yes, Christ rescued us and gave us freedom. But it’s possible to play with freedom…not take it seriously…and in so doing, destroy the very possibility of liberty. “Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits” (Romans 6:17, MSG). We can obey and be free at the same time!
But some say “Don’t worry—we can always turn to God after we’re tired of playing.”
No, says Lady Wisdom. The time will come when sinners cry for help and I won’t answer. They’ll search for me, and can’t find me. Instead of God, they kept choosing their own way and ultimately they’ll have to eat its bitter fruit. They turned from life…to death. They destroyed themselves. [See Proverbs 1:28-32.]
Virginia Davidson, Artist—designing and building stained glass windows
Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington State, USA