“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)

Throughout His letter to the church at Rome, Saint Paul stressed the doctrine of salvation by grace in order to refute those in the church who claimed that Gentile Christians had to follow the Mosaic Law in order to be true believers in Christ. But grace never gives anyone license to sin. We are still responsible as believers to pursue godliness and turn from temptation. After all, in Baptism we have died to sin. It has no power over us, only that which we give it. Sin should no longer have any appeal for us. We will, with the help of the Holy Spirit, walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. We will resist sin and all its attempts to rule and enslave us and act in love and righteousness.

The people in the world around us who lack the indwelling Holy Spirit have no such resistance to sin and temptation. They do not feel the need or the desire to avoid it. In fact many of those in our society and culture have  redefined sin in order to excuse or commend their own (or others) personal lifestyle choices regarding sex, pleasure, or the pursuit of wealth and material goods. Paul warns us that we cannot have it both ways. Those who give in to sin become enslaved by it. Those so enslaved lose their ability to choose freely. They go along their merry way, thinking they are willingly pursuing their personal lifestyle preferences, that God wants to be happy, He wants them to fulfill their dreams. In fact are being led around by Satan.

Those who are in Christ are His servants. We no longer live for self but for Him. We live in His righteousness and walk in His will. Though mercy and forgiveness is always there for believers who sin, we should not deliberately place ourselves into situations or relationships where we will be tempted to sin. The Lord always provides a way to help us walk in righteousness and not fall.