“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 6:1-2
God’s saving grace came at a significant cost—the life of His Son. So, it stands to reason that choosing to be a conduit of God’s grace also has a cost. So, what’s the cost of being gracious? And are we willing to pay the price? Well, Romans 6 helps us know the facts, so we can act in faith and make a choice.
Fact #1: Believers are dead to sin (vv1-2). That doesn’t mean we’re perfect but that we choose who controls our thoughts, words, and actions. Just as a dead body is unresponsive, believers can choose to be unresponsive to sin. So, to willfully sin takes advantage of God’s grace.
Fact #2: Believers identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (vv3-5). Baptism is symbolic of leaving our old self dead and buried. Just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we are raised to new life in Him (Galatians 2:20). Following Him daily means dying to self-interests; giving up our right to self (Luke 9:23). So, we can respond to others graciously.
Fact #3: We are freed from sin! (vv6-10). We are no longer slaves to sin; controlled by our old nature. You see, Jesus not only died for sin, He also died to sin—breaking its power. So, the only power sin has over us is the power we give to it. Choosing to act and speak in an ungracious manner is the spiritual equivalent of digging up a dead body!
The key to facing temptation successfully and responding graciously is to act in faith on the facts of Scripture. At the point of salvation, we claim Jesus’ death for our sin by faith. And through faith we daily claim our death to sin by choosing to be, “alive to God in Jesus Christ” (v11).
The cost of being gracious is dying to our own desires and choosing to live for God’s desires. Are you willing to pay the cost? Will you leave your old self where it belongs…in the grave? His grace compels us to offer ourselves completely and willingly (vv14-20). After all, that’s what dying to self is—yielding our thoughts, attitudes, and actions to Him. God will not force you to yield. The choice is yours.