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?
We have been justified through faith in Jesus Christ and now stand under the shadow of His grace. We are able to rejoice in our circumstances because we know that grace enables and empowers us to live a victorious life. Paul clarifies that grace must not be misunderstood or misused. I have often heard it said that it is easier to ask for grace than permission. In other words, do what you want to do, and then seek forgiveness and grace. Paul is concerned that people might take liberties and misuse the gift of grace.
He reminds the early Christians that they have been baptized into Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection, and as a result they were empowered to live a new life, a life free of the bondage to sin. Paul points out in Romans 3:20 that the law made them conscious of sin. The law raised God’s standard of righteous living, but the people were unable to follow the law. Jesus proclaims in Matthew 5:17 that He has come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. When we identify with Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have the power through grace to live in obedience to God’s will. We are no longer under law, but under grace. Paul writes that we are united with Jesus in His resurrection, enabling us to not be slaves to sin but to count ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ. I, for one, want to shout out this good news to a world that seems to be heading for self-destruction, with people offering their lives to sin rather than to righteousness. We have been given freedom from the bondage of sin, and Paul points out the way for us to live our lives in the power of grace.
What about you? Have you recognized and received the gift of God’s grace – undeserved yet freely given? Today, acknowledge and receive the gift.
Whenever you fail or fall into sin, quickly turn back and stand under the shadow of His grace.
Help me to recognize the precious gift of grace, allowing this undeserved gift to shape my life of obedience in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen