There were some people in Paul’s day that believed they were giving God honor by living in continuous sin. They felt they were giving God the opportunity to display His grace over sin by living their live in a sinful manner. Paul, of course, opposed this idea. For people whose lives used to be controlled by sin to continue under sins control is complete foolishness. Jesus preached repentance, turning away from sinful behavior and turning towards righteous living. (Matthew 4:17) Therefore, by confession and repentance, placing our faith in Jesus our savior, the Christian has turned away from sinful living. Christians still fall into sinful behavior but they do not allow that behavior to control their lives, neither should they pursue it as a way of life.
Paul reminds the Romans of the purpose of their baptism. By their repentance and turning away from sin baptism then followed. (Acts 2:38) In doing this they had begun a new relationship in Christ. By their baptism they had taken part in the death of Jesus and His resurrection. By taking part in His death the old sinful life had ended and they have risen to a new life of serving Christ.
Gnostics thought that the physical body itself was wicked but this is not true. Having a sinful body means that sin is in control of the natural desires. Sin in control of the heart brings on a natural desire to live in sinful behavior. An example would be that our bodies naturally need food. If our heart becomes sinfully gluttonous, then the body will crave more food than it needs. This sinful behavior could even lead to stealing in order to satisfy our greed for food. Other people may suffer because we have taken the available food away.
As the Christian grows in his relationship with Jesus he takes on the nature of Christ. By our faith in Jesus the old nature has ended. It is that the old nature has died on the cross with Jesus. (Galatians 2:20) Sin no longer has power over the Christian. Sin once was the master and we were the slave. Christ has freed us from the power of sin and we now obey His word.
The Christian has a part in the new life through Christ, a new way of life in the present day. The Christian also has a part in the resurrection with Christ. The resurrection of Christ was not like that of Lazarus who Jesus brought back to life. (John 11:1-44) Lazarus was resuscitated and would die again. Jesus was resurrected from the dead and would never die again. Jesus lives now and for always for the purpose of praising the Father. The resurrection of the Christian will be like that of Christ and the Christian will not die again. The Christian, like Christ, shall live always in order to give honor to the Father.
A Christian must always remember the meaning of his baptism. He died with Christ and has risen with Christ. This should change the perspective and attitude that a Christian lives their life. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We are not in our resurrected bodies now but we are living the resurrected life. (1 John 3:2) Our whole attitude towards sin must change. God hates sin and sin cannot be in His presence. The closer we grow towards Him the more repulsive sin will be to us. Every part of our body is capable of sin. Our eyes can dwell on wrong things, our ears can listen to wrong things, our tongues can say hurtful things, our hands can work in bad ways, and our feet can take us places we should not go. Christians should not use their bodies as tools to serve sin but as tools to serve God. It is what God has planned for our lives that we should do, we should stay where God wants us to stay and go where God wants us to go. Sin should not any longer be our master but our Master the Lord empowers us to obey Him.
A person who chooses to obey someone else becomes that person’s slave. A slave must do that which his master requires. A person who chooses to sin becomes a slave to their sin. (John 8:34) The result of a sinful life is spiritual death. By the Christians confession, repentance and walk of faith with Jesus God considers them to be righteous. A Christian cannot serve sin and serve God at the same time. Jesus said no one can serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)
Paul gives praise to God for the Christians in Rome. The Christians in the Church of Rome had accepted the promises of God and they have obeyed His Word. Like other new Christians they had learned how to please God. Since the very beginning of the early Church the Apostles had taught this very lesson to learn how to please God. (Acts 2:42) It is the same as Paul had taught the Thessalonians. “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1) There should be no question that Christians should not sin.
Once they were slaves to sin but now God has freed them to the right manner of life. People do not like beging called slaves but the truth is we all are slaves. We are either slaves to sin or we are slaves to righteous living. Once we were out of control and slaves to sinful living but now we have chosen to become slaves to righteous living. We must strive to be trusting of God and obedient to His Word. It is not a one-time conversion but a daily walk of faith in Jesus. We have to learn how to obey our Master. If we allow a little sin it becomes as a weed in the garden and will soon flourish and bring on more wickedness in our life. One little sin is easy for us to overlook but one sin follows another. If the Christian starts each day afresh and walk by faith and not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7) in time we will lean to live a holy life that is pleasing to God.
Sin is of no benefit to anyone. Sin controls the lives of people and it ruins the life of everyone it touches. Sin ultimately leads to the second death. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) This is the permanent punishment of sin. It is also unnecessary because Christ died so that people can be free from the power of sin. This freedom from the second death can be obtained immediately by accepting Jesus into our lives. Because Christ has freed us from the power of sin we can live holy lives here on earth and afterwards live our eternal life with God the Father in heaven.
Paul explains that Christians used to be salves to sin, sin was their master and controlled their lives. For this slavery they received no wages and no benefits in exchange and death was the only result for their efforts.
The grace of God is so wonderful and beyond man’s understanding and by His grace God gives a free gift that no one deserves. The free gift of eternal life is received in faith on what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary. No one could earn their own salvation as the price is too high for man to obtain. Only Jesus could pay the price for our sin as He was the Lamb of God. (John 1:29) Jesus Christ the Lamb of God sacrificed His righteous life upon the cross to pay the sin debt of the world.