Sin versus Grace

by Doy Moyer

Sin is much more than just the commission of a bad act here or there. It is a condition in which we reside. Sin is something in which people walk and live (Colossians 3:7). We were dead in sin and were by nature “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Sin holds us captive as slaves (Romans 6). This is one reason why we cannot simply decide to beat sin and save ourselves. We cannot do it. Thinking we can take care of it ourselves is like thinking a drowning man can save himself simply by treading water longer with no one else in sight. It may work for a few minutes, but that can hardly be thought of as being saved, and the man will still fail to stay above water.

The solution to sin, then, must come from One who is entirely holy. And this solution is as immersive as the disease it is intended to cure. This is the grace of God, which is not just something applied here or there (as though sin were only committed here or there). Grace is something in which we stand (Romans 5:2). Though sin reigned in death, grace reigns through righteousness, and grace is far greater than sin (Romans 5-6). This does not mean we continue in sin as if we remain enslaved to it. May it never be! Rather we are told to “present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:13-14).

As enveloping as sin is, grace is greater and more immersive. We need to see sin for what it is, but we also need to see God’s grace and the transforming power of the Spirit. If we cannot do this, then sin will keep us entangled in its grasp and bury us in its eternal consequences. Far greater, though, is the destiny of God’s people to whom belong the promise of eternal life.

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