Free FROM Sin, Not Free TO Sin

December 3, 2010 at 10:40 am | Posted in Romans | 17 Comments
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In Romans Chapter 6 the Holy Spirit is using the Apostle Paul to overcome objections. Christians are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. We are called to preach the Gospel. We are called to proclaim the Gospel. We are not salesmen, and the proclamation of the Gospel should not be a “sales pitch.” However, one of the valuable things I learned when I used to sell health club memberships is that it is good to be prepared to overcome objections when you are trying to convince someone to believe something. When we think about proclaiming the Gospel we need to be prepared to anticipate and overcome objections before they’re raised. When we do this, we’re not doing the work of the Holy Spirit, but we are preparing ourselves so we can be used by Him.

The Holy Spirit knew that some people would have an objection to the idea that grace does “much more abound,” and that many people would not really like that idea. This can be a little tricky. Why would anyone not want grace to abound? Grace is a free gift. Why wouldn’t someone want a free gift?

The answer is because those being addressed in Romans 6 had too much invested in the Law. Imagine if you spent 19 years of your life obtaining the education needed to be a criminal defense lawyer, and upon receiving your certificate to practice, all the criminal laws were repealed and all the criminals were reprieved! So these objectors said, “Well, if grace abounds much more than sin, then every time we sin, we get much more grace, so let’s get to sinning so that we can experience more grace.”

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:1-3

When we are saved we are “baptized into” Christ. So, like Jesus, we are dead “unto” sin, not just dead “because of” sins. Christ didn’t just die “for” sins – He died “unto” sin.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Romans 6:10

Sin as a “power” was defeated by the power of the Resurrection.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:8-9

That explains the doctrine and the truth of freedom from sin – “free from sin” (Romans 6:7), not “free to sin.” But what is the practical application in our lives? How do we practically “get the victory” over submitting to our old master?

We have been set free from a very cruel master: Satan. We don’t have to serve him any more. Therefore, we need to believe the facts. It doesn’t do a slave much good to be free if he doesn’t know he is free!

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:11

Reckon” in this verse does not mean “to guess.” It is used here in the sense that it is used in the term “dead reckoning,” which is a nautical term. Dead reckoning is a procedure of observing landmarks in relation to time of departure, or it can be done by dropping an object in the water alongside a ship and watching it float by. “Dead reckoning” is short for “deduced reckoning” or what we might call “deduced reasoning.” Sailors use it when they can’t depend, for some reason, on a compass or the stars. Spiritually, we left our lost condition and became adopted into the family of God when we believed the Gospel, trusted Christ, and received Christ. Therefore, it does not matter what the compass or the charts or the stars of popular philosophy say. We may not know exactly where we are, but we’re not “lost” any more. We know where we were before the trip started and we know when we left. Our experience of salvation is not a slowly absorbed, amorphous feeling. It happens at a time and at a place.

17 Comments »

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  1. Thanks for this. I liked your explanation of why Paul set about writing this passage. It is also useful to motivate me to keep from sinning – and to be ready to ‘defend’ the Gospel. God bless

  2. Biblebasis: Thanks for commenting and thanks for your encouragement. I agree. Knowing that the Bible says that the power of sin has been broken in the lives of Christians is a great motivation.

  3. […] was defeated by the power of the Resurrection. Therefore, Christians are free from (Romans 6:7) – not free to sin. Now, let’s look at the practical application of that in our lives. How […]

  4. […] the Christian’s relationship to the Law of God. On the opposite end of the spectrum from those who thought that grace created a free license to sin, were those who thought that grace created an obligation to follow the letter of the Law in such a […]

  5. […] The fallacy that the guarantee of eternal life is a license to […]

  6. […] By remembering that he is dead to sin in Jesus Christ. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God […]

  7. […] sins, we have become righteous in God’s eyes. However, that righteousness does not give us the license to do as we please. We must still seek to do God’s preceptive will, […]

  8. […] price to set someone free from slavery.” When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is set free from the slavery of […]

  9. […] He frees us from disobedience. He does not free us so we can engage in self-indulgence. This is real freedom, not the world’s idea of freedom. The world’s “freedom” is the worst type of […]

  10. […] a previous post, I addressed the truth that Christians are not free to sin. We are free from sin – from its […]

  11. […] 8. It’s Just Faith 9. Rehearsing Repetitive Romans Reigns Really Recognizes Right Reckoning 10. Free FROM Sin, Not Free TO Sin 11. The Reckoning 12. Failure To Yield 13. Marriage and War 14. Destined for Victory 15. Fitted by […]

  12. […] more freedom to enjoy them with more enjoyment. Do you see the tension? We think of “limits” as restricting freedom. But in God’s Gospel, His limitations actually “free” us up to be what He intended us to […]

  13. […] Don’t “presume” upon grace as an excuse to sin. Grace brings freedom from sin, not freedom to sin. The freedom to act like an like idiot and destroy myself, or to bring shame to the […]

  14. […] After the Holy Ghost had spent most of the first five chapters of Galatians driving home the point that Christians are saved, and set free from the law of sin and death and destructive fruitless rule-keeping, by God’s grace through faith in His Son, Jesus, He wanted there to be no confusion about the outworking of this great doctrine in our lives. Therefore, He plainly and passionately tells us in Chapter 6 that God’s grace is a motivation to work hard, not a license to lapse into sin. […]

  15. […] to rebel against Him. (Proverbs 10:16) It is true that unregenerate people are the servants of sin (Romans Chapter 6). But it is also true that sin serves them as they attempt to corrupt and influence Christians […]

  16. […] resolved from the Scriptures. Chapters 5-8 of the Book of Romans, as well as Chapter 14, stress the reality of Christ’s death […]

  17. […] accompanied by the motivation of remembering that Christ died and rose again to set you free from, not just the penalty for sin, but also the POWER of sin, and then to remember that all temptations faced by true Christians come to us pre-allowed by God […]


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