GRACE IS NOT A LICENSE TO SIN [Maintaining Salvation’s Joy] (1) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (2) By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? [ROMANS 6:1-2] (11) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (13) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (14) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. [ROMANS 6: 11-14] Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit calls for the Believer to count himself dead to sin, but alive to God; (11) to cut off all ties with his previous lifestyle, (12) and consecrate himself to God. Offering the parts of his body [ie. hands, month, eyes, feet, mind, ect.] to God as instruments of righteousness. (13) The bottom line is this. The Christian is to become in experience what he already is in position: Dead to sin, alive to God. The word count in the context of verse 11 means to reckon, consider, understand, keep in mind, know who you are in Christ Jesus [being what God has declared you to be in Christ]. It calls for a spiritual exercise in faith. Paul is not playing word games, nor is he teaching positive thinking, but calling for the conforming and renewing of one’s mind [Romans 12] to the truth from God’s perspective. It is a matter of believing and coming to understand experientially that when God speaks truth, because His words are alive they bear fruit and produce results. God’s word changes things. So when God says that the Believer in Christ is dead to sin as a result of identification with the death and resurrection of Christ, that person has in fact been changed from one being alive to sin to one being dead to sin. This truth must become the abiding conviction of the Believer’s heart and mind, the take off point for all of his thinking, speaking and doing. The best commentary on this is found in Colossians 3:1-4. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory [Colossians 3:1-4] In verses 12-14 Paul calls for Believers to cut all ties to sin and be at God’s disposal for the purposes of righteousness. This is accomplished through an act of the Believer’s free will in the power of the Spirit. Grace teaches the Believer to say no to unrighteousness and worldly passions and to live a Spirit controlled up-right, godly life. Notice, the Believer is called to consecrate his life to God, because he is not under law but under grace and sin is no longer his master. To be under law is to be damned and under the power of sin. To be under grace is to have God’s unmerited favor and be free from the power of sin. Question: Why would any child of God who has died to sin in Christ, submit him or herself to a master they had died to and who would only lead them to destruction and death? May I say salvation in sin is as much a contradiction as happiness would be in misery. Those who receive Christ are freed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, that they might walk in the fullness of the Spirit in obedient faith. This is the normal Christian lifestyle. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. [Ephesians 2:1-7] For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! [Galatians 2:19-21] Child of God, our only hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone. As Believers we dare not submit ourselves to a master who is a corpse. Our commitment is to the only true and living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly we are dead to sin and alive unto God. His word says so. In His grip and grace, Mel.