The Logical Way

August 29 — Romans 6:1–14

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?(Romans 6:1–2)

Many of us have heard or perhaps even said these parental words when a child has disobeyed and the “board of education” was about to be applied to the “seat of learning”: “This is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.” How seemingly logical for the child to turn to the parent and say, “Well, then, let’s not do this. I really don’t want to hurt you that bad!”

Sometimes what seems logical to one isn’t logical at all to another. In the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul must deal with some faulty logic. In Romans 5:20, Paul had written, “Moreover the law entered that the offense may abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Now, Paul was addressing the people who would say, “If God’s grace abounds when we sin, then let’s continue sinning so we might experience more grace!” There is definitely a problem with this logic.

Such logic has continued at various times in history. When the Romanov family was in power in Russia, the evil genius behind the throne was a Russian monk named Gregory Rasputin. Rasputin taught that those who sin the most require the most forgiveness. Therefore, those who openly and willfully sin will enjoy — each time they “repent” — more of God’s grace than the “ordinary” sinner! For that reason, Rasputin suggested, it was good to sin frequently.

“No!” Paul declared in Romans 6. That is not how we are to live. In verses 3–4, Paul points out that when we surrender to Christ, we died to self and are made alive through Him. In fact, our baptism symbolizes how we died to ourselves and are now completely dependent on Christ for newness of life!

Dr. Debaky, a pioneer in heart transplants, never ceased to be amazed by the miracle of one person, completely helpless and in a practical sense “dead” due to their heart’s condition, being given a new chance at life when someone else’s heart was put into their body. The transplant recipient was completely dependent on that heart for their very life. In a very real way, that is how our new lives in Christ are. Left to our own frailties, we would die eternally. But, by dying “with” Christ we can also live “in” Christ as He is risen from the dead. We become “new creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Our identities change as we are now identified in and with Christ.

With our new identity comes new motivation and power to live. We want to please our Lord by not sinning and, because He is now living in us, we are given the power to resist temptation. Yes, the reality is that we all still fall short and must come back to Jesus asking for forgiveness, but we certainly don’t treat sin as a good thing that we pursue so Jesus has more opportunities to forgive us!

Do you see the logic in seeking to live a life that is pleasing to God? Seek to obey Him and by doing so, please Him. If you do fall short, go to Jesus immediately and confess it. Ask Him to help you get back on track. This is the logical way to live for God.