“Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1b)
There are some really pointless questions that can be asked, beloved reader. This is one of them. I could think of and write other pointless questions on a broad range of topics, but that won’t get us very far. And I would probably find myself inching up on to a soap box, and I really do not have the energy for that. So let’s just go to Paul’s answer.
“By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?” (Verse 2)
All apologies to Paul, but the question is the second part of that verse is also kind of pointless. Because the fact is that we do go on living in sin. May be not great devastating sin, and probably not the type of sin that is flagrant. But being human and prone to misjudgments and misunderstanding, we do sin. Paul said himself, of himself, he does what he should not and what he should not/does not want to do – he does. I assume he was referring to sin. He is right that we should not sin, considering what had been done to free humanity from sin. And if his question serves the purpose of preventing or dissuading ourselves from being drawn into sin, it is a good question to ask ourselves. He asks another good question.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” (Verses 3 – 10)
Paul’s echoes in one’s mind – should we sin just so the cycle of redemption and forgiveness can start up again? Well, no. But can we stop the cycle of sinning and needing forgiveness? That is a harder question, and one I am not sure we should try to answer lest we make promises we cannot keep – which is, sort of, a sin.
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Verse 11)
What we have to do though, which Paul does not address in this passage, is confess our sin and rely – once again – on the grace that abounds. It may not be easy, beloved reader, to have to concede that we cannot fulfill Paul’s expectation. But, within the grace that abounds from the Divine there is also mercy. Praise be to the Divine that it is so! Shalom & Selah!