By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (ESV)
I live daily in awe of God's amazing grace. I love the doctrine of grace. It blows my mind that the Creator of the universe has declared me to be righteous in his sight in my very unrighteous condition. All of this is possible because of my faith in what Christ has accomplished for me at the cross. My righteousness is a gift of God's grace, received by faith.
So, why wouldn't everybody love the doctrine of grace? One of the main criticisms of grace is that people think it leads to a life of sinful excess. The Apostle Paul, who could easily be called the Apostle of Grace, preached about grace all the time. He knew he had critics. He also knew his critics did not like the doctrine of grace that he taught.
In the previous verse Paul sought to raise the question he knew his critics would be asking. He said, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?" That is the very question that critics of God's grace continue to say. The answer is found in today's verse. It is a resounding NO! Paul also gives the reason: "How can we who died to sin still live in it?
The fundamental error in criticizing grace is in misunderstanding salvation. When God saves a person he radically changes them. We die to sin. We are not the same person anymore. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul reminds us that if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The new believer is now empowered by the Holy Spirit to battle against sin. Sin is a struggle for us, but we seek to defeat it, not live in it.
Don't be afraid to fully embrace the doctrine of God's grace. The freedom of knowing you are secure in Him will enable you to fight against that sinful nature with the power of the Holy Spirit.