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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Romans 6:1-2a, 15

 
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! … Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
Romans 6:1-2a, 15

One of Paul's most effective teaching methods is the use of rhetorical questions. In building his argument that justification is by faith alone, apart from works, he is arguing against taking his teachings about the grace of God to an absurd extreme. In Romans 5:20, Paul declared "where sin abounded, grace abounded more." His rhetorical question in 6:1 is to cut off the absurd conclusion that the grace of God is so bountiful that it doesn't matter if we continue in known sin.

In 6:14, Paul pronounced, "You are not under law but under grace." But lest anyone misunderstand this wonderful truth, he is quick to ask, "Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?" He answers both questions with a resounding, "Certainly not!" This can be also be translated, "May it never be!"

Many of us might look at these two questions of Paul with a quick, "Well, of course, I would never do that." But with a moment's reflection, the Spirit of God moves upon our conscience reminding us of how many times we have fallen to a temptation while thinking in the back of our minds, "God will forgive me" or even remembering 1 John 1:9, and saying, "I will confess this later."

Let us not be deceived like this. Paul's summary in verse 12 is: "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body." As children of the King, we should not let sin reign in our lives. We should instead submit ourselves to our good, good Father, hallowing His holy name in our hearts.

Tom Day

 

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