The big conclusion that’s made in Romans chapter 5 is that ‘where sin increased, grace increased all the more’. So, no matter how badly you’ve sinned, you can be forgiven by Jesus. There is nothing you could do that is too bad for you to be forgiven. But once Paul makes that conclusion, then the next question he asks, (because he’s assuming that people will ask this question), is the question that you’ve asked—you know you’ll be forgiven, so does it matter if you do bad stuff? The way Paul puts it is like this: “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound?”
Now, what I’d like to begin by saying is that if you are asking that question, “God forgives all my sins, so surely I should keep on sinning, the more I sin, the more I get forgiven, so I should sin more, right?” If you are asking that question, that’s good, because it means you understand the good news of Jesus. If you have never asked that question, then you need to think, because you need to see this… a Christian is someone who’s had every single one of their sins forgiven, that you cannot sin too badly so that God can’t forgive you. You can’t mess up your relationship with God by sinning.
However, you also need to see that there may be a side of the good news that you have not yet understood.
Imagine there was someone who owed me £1000 and I said to them, ‘I’m writing off, you don’t need to pay me that £1000. I forgive you the debt of that £1000. I’m never gonna bring it up again. In fact, I’m going to give you another £1000, just to make sure you know that I love you’ and I give it to you. You don’t owe me anything, and I want to give you this as a gift. I love you.
If you responded to that by giving me a slap in the face, it would be kind of weird because if I’ve given you a gift. In the same way, why would I sin, if I’d been forgiven of that sin?
The way the Bible talks about it elsewhere, is like dog-puke. Some of you have dogs. Hav you ever seen a dog puke? It’s disgusting, isn’t it? But sometimes what the dog does is this… they puke and then they walk off and they smell something that smells nice. ‘Oh, look, there’s a little pool of something there on the floor,’ which is their vomit. They go back to it and eat it again, even though they just puked it up.
That is what sinning after you’ve been forgiven is like. It doesn’t make sense.
If Jesus has been pierced for your sins, then why would you want to pierce him again?
And yet, when we do sin, then God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness. That’s 1 John chapter 1, verse 9.
So, you know what you’re doing is bad. That’s good. But also, you’re forgiven. That’s true as well. But you should hate sin. You should hate sin. Put it to death. Confess it before God. And then when you sin again, confess it again. That’s the Christian life.