Romans 6.1-2“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? “
Once we have trusted in Jesus and received forgiveness, how should we continue to respond to the unmerited pardon and grace that God has given us? In the Romans passage above, the apostle makes it clear that we should never use God’s grace as an excuse to sin.
Grace and obedience go hand-in-hand. We are not called to be obedient in order to receive God’s grace; rather, we are called to be obedient because we have received God’s grace.
Paul goes on to say, “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.” (Romans 6.3-4)
Grace is power, not just pardon. It is power to live new life in Christ. It is power to walk in obedience to the presence of Christ within us. Those who attempt to use grace as a license to sin have a distorted and perverted view of grace. This is precisely what the book of Jude tells us:
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3,4)
Grace is not just forgiveness of our sin, it is also divine power that comes to us through Jesus freely for the sake of obedience and ministry. As Paul writes in the opening verses in Romans, God gives us grace to bring about the obedience of faith.
“… Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1.4-5)
Again, grace and obedience go hand-in-hand. We are not called to be obedient in order to receive God’s grace; rather, we are called to be obedient because we have received God’s grace. Grace is power, not just pardon.
The Lord is calling.