“What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? … We were therefore buried with him…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6:1-4
Reading this passage as a new Christian, it astounded me. Jesus burying our sin and us having this new life in him is one that to this day is so beautiful. But then, I re-read it. I have sinned even after my old life has been “buried”. So often and in such blatant turning away from God.
How can my life be new when I had sinned all over again? In those times of sin, I hadn’t lost my faith, I still recognised him as my Lord and Salvation…
So how do we deal with sin after our salvation? How do we cope when the Bible talks about that beautiful newness of life that comes from loving Jesus YET we gave our lives to him many years ago and have sinned so much in that time??
In Romans, Paul doesn’t deny that we do still sin/ that it is still possible to sin! Often, Christians deny that we can even sin! “Shall we go on sinning?” There is an intentional element to the sin he is discussing here. Clarifying the concept (once and for all) that intentionally doing things we shouldn’t, just to receive God’s forgiveness through love, is not a good idea.
However, I realise, definitely personally, that sin happens. I started struggling with whether I could truly love Jesus if I sinned like that. Perhaps in that moment, I didn’t, because I wasn’t thinking about his absolute all consuming sacrifice on the cross for me.
A verse that really helped me was:
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all righteousness. If we claim we haven’t sinned we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” – 1John 1:8-10
Why is there such a denial of sin amongst Christians? We are made perfect in God’s eyes because of Jesus dying on the cross. Not because after we declared him as our saviour, we suddenly acted perfectly from then on.
Instead, fall on your knees again. He is so faithful. He is so purifying. And he will do it, over and over again. You are so perfect, so loved by him. Romans says, “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
Jesus has come so that we may have life to all its fullness.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” – 1John 2:1
Hear, his compassion in that sentence “my dear children”, showing to us even a little bit of the compassion Jesus has for us, the children he has called his own. Also, the realism: “if anybody does sin”. We are not perfect: neither before we were saved and after. Jesus just wants to be in relationship with you. If your past sin is eating you up with guilt, and preventing you being in full and loving relationship with him, that is probably the devil using your sin to keep you away from him.
Stop dwelling on the sin, committed even after your salvation. We are SO weak. Thus, marvel, rejoice, celebrate, worship about the fact that Jesus LOVES and DIED FOR US despite all that.
Thank you Jesus.