This is most often the first response after hearing about what God has provided for us simply by His grace – eternal life and righteousness in Christ. Ironically, it is the first question Paul answers after he explains the grace of God in the book of Romans.
While Paul was teaching about the grace of God, and salvation not of works, many accused him of justifying sin. They thought he was teaching others that it was all right to sin now that Christ paid the penalty for them. This could not be further from the truth.
Paul said early in the book that, ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness’ (Rom 1:18).
God does not provide a license or permission to sin under grace, instead he points to his longsuffering as an opportunity for all men to avoid the wrath to come and be saved: for there is no difference (Romans 3:10).
Every man is guilty of falling short of God’s righteous standard. There are many who would despise ‘the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering’ only to ‘treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God’ (Romans 2:4-5).
For there will be a day of judgment that will bring to light all of the deeds of man, and for which men will have nothing to answer (Romans 2:6, 14:10-11).
In order to understand the Biblical response to this question we must be sure of our guilt before a just God on the Day of Judgment. This godly sorrow helps us see our need for a savior. Once our salvation is supplied freely by the grace of God then the question naturally follows in Romans chapter 6:
‘What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?’ (Romans 6:15)
Paul answers in the negative while reminding the reader why he needed saved in the first place. There is no fruit unto life in the evil deeds of the flesh.
‘Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?’ (Romans 6:16)
‘What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.’ (Romans 6:21)
We are reminded that we are no longer servants to sin, but to righteousness. We have been crucified in our flesh and are to ‘reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 6:11).
When we continue to live in sin, once Christ has crucified our sinful flesh, we are ignoring the essence of what God did at the cross, which was to pour out His wrath on His Son in our place. To be saved from God’s wrath makes you free from sin. To justify sin now that it has been taken away is to mock the price for which Christ paid on the cross for you.
Paul teaches, ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s’ (1 Cor 6:20).
We have been bought with a tremendous price, and have been redeemed by the blood of God. The proper reaction to death and sin is to repulse it from our lives. Our service to God should consist of thanksgiving to God for His sacrifice, glorying in the cross (Gal 6:14).
Sin will always bear fruit unto death. The purpose that you are saved by grace is because you could not save yourself from the wages of your sin. Building again that which was destroyed at the cross only makes us a transgressor against God. Sin is always deserving of God’s wrath, and we would do well to heed the wise proverb,
‘The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.’ (Proverbs 8:13)