Last night we looked at how a believer relates to sin by examining Romans chapter six. Here are the notes:
Why is Paul asking this question (“Should we keep on sinning?” (6:1))?
Because he’s been saying that we’re not saved by keeping the OT Law of God, and that we’re saved by God’s good-will, which we did not earn.
Also see 5:20-21: all the law did was to increase sin and offense, but God’s favor is so big that it overpowers and swallows up all that sin.
And people very often respond with 6:1, or 6:15
Group Discussion. Imagine you try to speak to your friend about a sinful pattern of decisions, and how they should repent. Use Romans 6 to think through how you should respond if they say this back to you: “We’re all sinners. We all have sin. God’s really forgiving, and I just don’t think he’ll judge me for this. So you shouldn’t tell me I need to change my life or stop living this way, since you have sin too, and it’s all about God’s grace and forgiveness in the end.”
How should we think about this very common way of thinking?
What is the believer’s relationship to sin?
6:2 we’re dead to it. (so how could we live in it?)
6:4 it’s part of our old life – and we have newness of life
The Christian understands that when they trusted Christ such a change occurred that they have to draw direction for their life from new sources, not old patterns. Everything is now new.
6:6 our old person was crucified (body of sin done away with, we’re no longer slaved of sin)
6:7 we’re freed from sin
The Christian realizes that sin is slavery. And we’ve been given freedom. So the Christian doesn’t willingly and knowingly stay involved in something that makes us slaves again.
6:11 we need to reckon ourselves dead to sin
The Christian decides what’s true based on what God’s word tells them. Not how they feel, or their past, or even their recent failings. See also 6:14
6:12 our bodies are not for sin to use for its purposes, but for God to use see also 6:19
The Christian sees everything, even his body, in a new, very positive light. “What is this for? It’s for God to use!”
6:16 we are commanded not to obey sin. John 8—Jesus said committing sin is slavery to sin.
6:18 we’re now slaves to righteousness
Christians decide what they should do, and how they should live, by maturely reading and meditating on scripture, and then by exercising trust in what they read, and then by seeking to have their lives changed as much as possible to match what the Bible says is already true about them.
6:21 sin only brings shame and death
6:22 we servants of God now, and are heading towards everlasting life.
6:23 sin pays death as a wage.
So, to respond to the friend’s comment above, I would reply something like, “Yes, we all are sinners apart from God’s work in our lives. But if you’ve trusted in Christ, we’ve been forgiven of your sin and now ‘sinner’ is not our identity or a good label for us. God forgives us, but for the purpose of freeing us from the old things he forgave us for. He doesn’t forgive us to help us go sin more. God’s grace is not that he is just really tolerant of sin, it’s that he, out of the bigness of his own heart, provides a way for me to escape the slavery to sin which will kill me forever, and empowers me to live as a free, unentangled human being in full relationship with him. So, once you know that God defines something as sin, if you insist on doing it, you’re denying all of that and acting like none of it’s true. If you’re saved, you’re living a lie in ignorance and unbelief. Either way, you’ve got to repent!”
Challenge: Believe this! (6:12) Constantly view yourself in this light. Don’t let anything convince you otherwise. Take Jesus death, and your union with him seriously. Let the implications of that be your guidelines.