Is Union with Christ a License for Sin?
Section overview: We have freedom from the bondage of Sin through Christ. (This theme flows from Romans 6:1 to 8:39). Because of what Christ did for us, we no longer need to fear His punishment and wrath. Our significance (self-image) in Life is through Christ our Lord and not in what others or the media say. Thus, we now live as free and saved people that requires us to think right about God, with a correct understanding what He did for me, so that, we can experience His best plan for His purpose. We do this through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. Thus, we live a life dedicated to His purpose and not ours, which will benefit us monumentally, even in suffering: Because life is not about us, it is about Him! Because our world is yet to come! To accomplish this, we are to make healthy choices with our obedience and perseverance, rather than follow the deceptions of our desires and this world. Because of this, our image of God will be the foundation how we see ourselves and treat each other; our image of Him will be the motivation for all that we do. If we are unhealthy with our relationship with Christ, then we will be unhealthy and miserable in life!
Romans Chapter VI: Overview: Christians who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior cannot, and must not continue in sin so that grace may abound. So that we can receive more forgiveness and attention from our Lord! We in our new life are "dead to sin," this is represented in the meaning of baptism, which symbolizes our conformity to Christ in His death, burial, resurrection. This turns into living unto/ for our God. Thus we are supposed to consider sin dead, and our life is based in who we are in Christ, "alive to God". Therefore we are no longer "under law, but under grace," we must not experience sin and rationalize it as normal or even beneficial. We are to yield to our Lord, as "instruments of righteousness," as solders ready to serve, because what He has done for us. Being "made free from sin, and become servants to righteousness," this means we are to serve virtue, morality, justice, decency, uprightness, and honesty completely. Not once in a while or when it is convenient, as the cross was not convenient to our Lord! The rite of sin is unfruitful, shameful, and destructive, so we should be able to see that clearly and conform to the "fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life," The free gift of God in Christ is removing sin; and when we refuse it we earn the is the wages of death.
Is Union with Christ a License for Sin?
General idea: If God is so gracias in His forgiveness, then I should sin more or lead a life of debauchery to receive more grace from Christ? Or perhaps hold off being a Christian and spend my time in partying, drinking and drugs so I can have a better testimony later on? But is this true? Paul lays out an argument that if we think grace is a license to sin, we are out to lunch! Paul says this is unthinkable! Being a Christian is leading a life being thankful for what Christ has done for us, there for we should be seeking His face not seeking loop holes for sin, or to rationalize our bad deeds. We have grace and not law, so we have been freed from the shackles of sin! Let us walk in His newness not in our thinking!
1. Certainly not! If we are no longer under the law should we keep on sinning, because Christ will forgive us anyway? This is an expression of being totally shocked that Paul uses often (Rom. 3:31; 6:15; 7:7; 11:1).
a. Paul says this is unthinkable. Being a Christian is a life or death matter; since under Christ we have grace and not law. To think that an increase of sin will get us more grace is foolish. Yes, grace is free, so should be our response, without conditions. This idea is a contradiction, since a Christian would not desire to do so, and would not be yielding to the Lord's authority.
b. "God forbid" means by no means or no way. As Christians we have control of our mind, body, and emotions, unless there is some kind of physical or mental problem, we have no excuse.
c. To desire more grace by sinning is not to desire grace at all; but to desire sin and its rationalizations. This is the way of the devil, not the way of Christ.
2. We who died, this means the old way of sin must be buried, and new life in Christ takes its place (Rom. 3:8; 31; 6:15; 7:7; 8: 1-5; 9:14; 11:1-11). Our life has been totally gone over with an "extreme makeover," we are no longer the same!
a. Since sin has it affects still in us, and the world, we will struggle with sin and desire and godliness (Gal 5). Thus, we must daily go before our Lord to repent and ask for strength to persevere. The choice is ours, to yield or continue in sin.
b. Destroyed or done away with means to put out of business!
c. Our being united with Christ has emasculated us completely, thus to keep sinning is a sign that a person has not been regenerated. We cannot serve sin and Christ together.
d. Baptism is a sign that we have committed and have changed. It is our label on the package of who we are. Baptism signifies faith and every element of our salvation from death to life.
i. The person has been cleaned inside and out (Matt: 28-19; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; 5:25-27; Col. 2:11-12; 1 John 5:11-12). Thus there must be an outward sign too.
ii. It is our identity in Christ and unity with others in Him.
e. Justification is a living relationship (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10)!
i. Christ's forgiveness has the purpose for us to be able to hate our sins.
ii. Sanctification is the result, which is the burial of our will and the birth of His: "this is the walk of new life".
iii. The cross is the door to a new life (Luke 24:26; John 17:2; Phil. 3:10; 1 Thess. 4:3; Heb. 2:10). So that our personal lives have been rearranged to eternal values.
f. Our lives have been given over to Him and He holds the keys to our soul as well as mind and body, every piece/peace of our beings must be His!
3. Old man, this is a word expression for sin. It alludes to our life before Christ and our Original sin in Adam (Rom. 5:12-21).
a. Body of sin, refers to a mass, cancer or sickening growth on the body. It is a word picture to say how heinous sin is, it is ugly and it kills.
b. You also is an illustration of Lazarus (John 11). As Jesus raised him from death, he too raises us. For Lazarus to get on with his life, he had to get rid of his dead smelly clothes and except his new life.
c. We too must get rid of our old self and embrace the new life that is available to us (Col. 3). We are to reject sin, period: And give ourselves totally to Him.
d. Might be done away with, is that we are no longer slaves to sin, we can overcome its influence in Him.
e. We cannot choose to serve sin and Christ. When we are in Christ we are both dead and risen with Him, therefore our response is to live for Him and embrace the new life with joy and perseverance, and pray for the grace to carry us through.
There is only the way of Christ and the way of sin. This does not mean we can totally overcome all of our sins, if we could then we have no need for His mercy. In our hearts and minds we either belong to Christ or to the bondage of continual sin. Being a Christian is freedom in the Bondage of Christ. Bondage means we do not have freedom to do whatever we desire, thus sin and break God's moral law. We must surrender, and yield ourselves to Him for true freedom. Sin must be dead (Gal. 2:20; 3:20). There is only one kind of people- sinners, and one kind of Holiness- Jesus! God places His Holiness in us. We are not to be copies, but real, as Christ exhibits in us, to be filled with His fullness (Eph. 3:19), and not ours. We may not be able to overcome all of our sins, but our desire is to go in the right direction. ("Instruments" in v. 13 refers to a weapon, as soldiers presenting arms to their Sergeant!)
Learning Outcomes: a. Know the desires that feed sin, be able to confront others in love to bring them back. b. Be committed to wisdom and seek discernment, do not rely on feelings, innuendos, and half-truths, go to more mature Christians and to Prayer. c. Be committed not to allow sin to reign in your life.
1. Have you ever been freed from something, such as debt, or jail, or completing High School or college so you are free from homework? How did it feel to be free?
2. What are some of your biggest fears?
3. How does/ has fear griped your life, and what does it keep you from?
4. We have freedom from the bondage of Sin through Christ. So, what does this mean to you?
5. Because of what Christ did for us, we no longer need to fear His punishment and wrath. By knowing this how can it affect you life, and those around you?
6. What are some things, beliefs, or behaviors that keep you from being your best for our Lord?
7. How do you base (What gives you self confidence, job, school, friends..) your self esteem?
8. What gives you the motivation to do what you do in life, from getting out of bed to going to school or work, to build relationships….?
9. How can you make healthy choices with obedience and perseverance?
10. How and why do some Christians continue in sin so that grace may abound?
11. What are some of the desires that you struggle with that feed sin (It is not necessary to share this publicly if you are uncomfortable; however, you should have a mentor to whom you can)?
12. How can you confront others in love to bring them back from sin?
13. Why and how do some people experience and rationalize sin it as normal or even beneficial?
14. What does "dead to sin," mean to you?
15. What does "alive to God" mean to you?
16. What can you do to be "instruments of righteousness" in you personal life?
17. What can you do to be "instruments of righteousness" in your church as a body of believers?
18. Immature Christians, those who refuse to learn, grow, read the Word and be discipled will complain that those things are inconvenient. What can you do to point them unto the path of Christ over the path of the selfish will?
19. How was the cross convenient to our Lord?
20. So why do we expect it to be convenient for us?
21. Have you ever experienced or observed Christians using their union with Christ as a License for Sin, thinking "I will just be forgiven anyway so why not!"?
22. To think that an increase of sin will get us more grace is foolish. What is Paul's response to this favored activity then and now?
23. What conditions do we put on the Lord with grace?
24. How is this still bondage when we place conditions upon our Lord?
25. How can we not desire to seek sin?
26. Since sin has it effects still in us, and the world, we will struggle with sin and desire and godliness, how do we reconcile our bondage to our will and the life that Christ gives us? Read Gal 5
27. If a Christian refuses to stop engaging in sin, what can we to do as the church?
28. What or who has cleaned us inside and out?
29. How can Justification be a living relationship in your life? Read Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10
30. Have you experienced hatred to your sin, if so what does that mean?
31. How do you give your life over to the Lord?
32. What does it mean to you, the word-Lord?
33. What in our life must be Christ's?
34. What can we do to make it so?
35. What can you do to embrace the new life with joy and perseverance?
36. Do you ever pray for the grace to carry you through difficult times?
37. What does Bondage mean to you? See John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21
38. Why does the world hate Bondage so much? (Keep in mind the difference between slavery in the US and the Gal. 2:20 definition.)
39. What do you do when you hear the call of sin from your former life?
40. What can you do when you here the call of sin from your former life?
41. What sin will you burry once and for all this week?
"So what is your direction and source of inspiration"? Most of us will look to our creeds and confessions for that answer and for good reason. But I want to go deeper in our personal responsibility. That is, how do I take my faith so seriously that it becomes more personal, so it becomes more real, so all my thoughts, ideas, directions, goals, and inspirations are in the direction of serving our Lord? To take your faith to a deeper level, so it is yours and personal and not just because this is what your family is and does, not just because you are part of a good church and school or work. That your faith is solely because of what Christ has done for you and nothing else. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! But we have a responsibility to respond and to grow and build on what we are given! It takes trust, faith and surrender of your will, surrender of your dreams, surrender of your ideas to the LORDSHIP of Christ. That you acknowledge He is Lord over you by His love for you and that His ways are better then ours: (Heb. 2:14-18; Titus 2:11-14). Christ is our King, so let us live our lives in response to what He did for us!
©1998, 2001, 2004 Richard Joseph Krejcir, Into Thy Word http://www.intothyword.com/