God has been very gracious to you. You were condemned for your sins and you were heading towards “the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5). Your sin “increased” and “abounded” (5:20). You had nothing to bring to God, but because of the cross, guilty sinners can be right with God. You certainly have nothing to boast in, then. Salvation by faith alone excludes boasting. Remember, it is “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8, ESV). And now you are justified as a “free gift” – you have received an “abundance of grace” (5:17). So what are you going to do with God’s grace?
You are forgiven, right? Past, present, and future sins are GONE! It doesn’t matter what you do … right? WRONG. Some people think that if our past sin highlights God’s grace, then we can keep sinning and keep seeing how awesome grace is. The Bible says that doesn’t make sense; it is a total misunderstanding of salvation and an abuse of grace, because at conversion we “died to sin” (6:1-2). We received a new life in Christ – don’t keep living like you are still in your old life! In fact, this is exactly what you showed when you were baptized – you died to sin and were made alive unto God through Christ. You can even put it this way – you died with Christ – because the Bible says just that (6:8).
Christ not only died for our sins, but He died to sin. He has totally dealt with the issue of sin. So for the one who is identified with Christ, sin is no longer the master it once was. Now, to say you died to sin does not mean you are like a dead corpse when confronted with a temptation to sin. This simply isn’t true for any believer. To say you died to sin, though, is to say that you have been set free from the dominion of sin.
So don’t let sin pretend it has a right to reign on the throne in your life – it does not! You need to pause and consider that you have already died to sin (6:11-12). Now, I didn’t ask you if you felt dead to sin. I told you God says you died to sin. Remember, “the just shall live by faith” (1:17).
As a believer, you have been brought into great blessing and are now given great opportunity, freedom, and responsibility. Not only has Christ died for us, but we have died with Christ, and are now alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Don’t present yourself to an old master for his service! “Present yourselves to God … and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom 6:13). You have important choices to make now. What will you do with God’s grace? Living in sin isn’t really living. Make wise choices in obedience. By the grace of God, you can live a holy life through the power of God’s Spirit.