That’s a question that has a much deeper response than just the obvious of “certainly not!” The former part of the question might be, “Does Salvation allow a license to sin?” which brings to the forefront the debate of once saved always saved. Is this statement biblical? Does it always hold true? What if the murderer of the late-term abortion doctor had accepted Christ as Savior (I don’t know if this is true, just posing the question), would he still go to heaven after committing such an act? It’s an interesting discussion, one that deserves reverence and a detailed look at scripture, along with an examination of 2 somewhat contrasting doctrines of theology.
The Apostle Paul asked in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” This is the same question I asked at the beginning; Paul’s answer to his own question is a resounding, “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:2 The answer seems clear, but in order to fully understand it, we have to look at both this question and answer in context. To do that, we need to look back at chapter 5. Beginning in verse 12, Paul is contrasting the death of man that followed the sin of Adam with the life through Christ that came through His death and resurrection. He states that the original sin brought judgment, but the gift that came by the grace of Jesus Christ brought justification. Paul states in Romans 5:20-21, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It’s to this statement of grace increasing with an increase in sin that Paul asked the question above of whether we should continue sinning so that grace might increase and resounded emphatically, “NO”. We know that none of us are perfect, we weren’t perfect before salvation through Christ’s saving grace and though we were justified and purified by the blood, we didn’t become perfect afterward because we still have our sinful flesh.
If we continue in Romans 6, we learn that Paul is teaching that those who have accepted Jesus as Savior are dead to sin, but alive in Christ. Romans 6:6-7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” As being no longer slaves to sin, we then become slaves to righteousness, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:18 But just as I alluded to earlier and as I have in previous posts, there is a duality taking place within us, an internal spiritual war that is constantly raging. Paul speaks to this in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul knows full well of this battle and inspired Paul to provide insight into his own personal battle in Romans 7. As we pick up in verse 21, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” Romans 7:21-23 Each of us have to understand just how critical this battle is and how important it is to never stop fighting, to “run with endurance”. Hebrews 12:1 What if we stop? What if we try to fight the war that rages ourselves and it overtakes us? That is when we fall back, slowly creeping into sin, or by taking a drastic step backward such as the murderer I alluded to earlier. Is one sin any greater than another? If as a Christian I lust in my mind is that any less than an outward sin of murder? The Bible states, “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one” Romans 3:10 It doesn’t state that those who do this sin and not that one are righteous, no, everyone, anyone, all, but Jesus, are unrighteous. To further emphasize this point, lets again look at Romans 5, “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.” Romans 5:14 Did you catch that? Death reigned over everyone, even those that did not break the commandments. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 We are all worthy of death. The murderer, the prideful, the greedy, the idolater, the luster, the drunkard, you and me, all of us. But thanks be to God, through His saving grace that each of us, regardless of our sins can be saved if we believe in Jesus, call on His name in repentance of our sins, and receive Him as LORD and SAVIOR of our lives. In closing, one final inspired passage by the Apostle Paul that gives us hope in our battle, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 Nothing can separate us from Jesus as our Savior, He died once for all. I Peter 3:18
It’s on this point that I’ll pick up the next post on the 2 doctrines of theology I mentioned earlier and how they relate to this discussion, as we go more in depth on “A License to Sin?”
Prayer: If you are not living the life you should be, trapped in the snares of sin, holding on to self, let go. Give full control to God, repent of your sins and turn back toward Jesus. We cannot fight the battle alone, we’ll lose. Just as Paul concluded his own personal battle, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24 Only Jesus can rescue, He is our Victor. Pray now and ask that He intercedes in your battle. Pray that you submit your will to His and offer Him full control.
Additional Study: Romans 7:7-25, Romans 6:1-23, Romans 5:12-20, Ephesians 6:10-20