What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Rom. 6:1)
In other words: If God is so forgiving, why change? Why not continue in sin if His grace is indeed greater than the deepest stain of sin? (Rom. 5:20)
Never one to hold back his beliefs, Paul retorts to this distorted line of reasoning: “By no means!” He continues describing the Christian’s death to sin by using the picture of baptism.
“In the church of Paul’s day, immersion was the usual form of baptism—that is, new Christians were completely “buried” in water. They understood this type of baptism to symbolize the death and burial of the old way of life. Coming up out of the water symbolized resurrection to new life with Christ” (NIV Study Bible).
Baptism is a witness to the world that one identifies with Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
God’s amazing grace covers all our sins, but His forgiveness doesn’t make sin less serious. Although His mercy and pardon are free, it cost Jesus His very life to pay our ransom from sin. God never intended His unlimited reservoir of grace to be wasted, or become an excuse for immorality.
As long as we are here on earth we will feel the pull of sin and temptation, but through the indwelling Holy Spirit, God frees us from sins’ captivity. If we think of our old, sinful life as dead and buried, we have a strong motive to resist sin and enjoy this new life with Christ. This is the believer’s daily choice and responsibility. (For more on this concept see: Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:12 and 3:1-4.)