Summary of passage: Paul pauses to answer any questions and to clarify: No! We don’t go on sinning just because grace is bigger than sin! When we’re baptized, we’re baptized into Christ and his life and death.
3) Paul had just explained that God’s grace is bigger than our sins and no matter how great our sins, God’s grace and Jesus’s death and resurrection are greater to justify us all. He wants to clarify to all that continuing to choose sin because you know God will forgive you is a sin!
4) God is not happy.
5) Personal Question. My answer: Honestly, this thought has never occurred to me. I’ve never read Romans before nor have I heard a lecture on this topic. Hence, I’ve never sinned with that thought ever. Again, honestly, they don’t really strengthen me (this idea). I know sin is evil and against God so I in my human fallacy choose God instead.
Conclusions: Questions were great up until question number 5 where it got personal and didn’t apply to me (and I’m sure to many of you). Who purposely sins? As Paul explains, then they are not right with God when they do.
End Notes: In verses 3:21-5:21 Paul explains how God has provided for our redemption and justification. He next explains the doctrine of sanctification–the process by which believers grow to maturity in Christ and are made holy. He treats the subject in 3 parts: 1) freedom from sin’s tyranny (ch 6) 2) freedom from the law’s condemnation (ch 7) 3) life in the power of the Holy Spirit (ch 8) This will be Chapters 6:1-8:39
Throughout history, you’d be surprised who twisted these verses (and Paul’s words) to justify their wrong-doings (this is why Paul is harping on this topic). The Russian, self-proclaimed monk Rasputin for one said “I’ll sin more to earn more forgiveness.” If you don’t know much about Rasputin, he’s a fascinating character (albeit evil one) in history who led a bizarre life of immorality, but heavily influenced the last Imperial family of Russia. In essence, he was a very good con man, which was unfortunate for the Royals and some scholars even say he contributed to their downfall.
Paul often used this writing technique: He pauses in the middle of an argument to answer objections or questions that may be occurring to the reader.
Paul’s concern here is that people will misuse God’s grace and use God’s forgiveness of their sins as an excuse to continue sinning (like Rasputin did). It’s God’s job to forgive and our job to sin, right?
This explains the early church’s emphasis on an angry God, His wrath, and the law because man has no motivation to stay the straight and narrow path.
Paul points out that when we accepted Jesus our relationship to sin has changed; therefore, we have died to sin and a life of sinning is incompatible with life. Paul will explain this in detail but his point is clear: Before, we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1); now we are dead to sin.
In New Testament Times baptism so closely followed conversion that the two were considered part of one event. Baptism is closely associated with faith although not the means by which we enter into a faith relationship with Jesus.
The ancient Greek word for baptized means “to immerse or overwhelm something.” When a person is baptized in water, they are immersed or covered over with water. When they are baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:5), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with the Holy Spirit. When they are baptized with suffering (Mark 10:39), they are “immersed” or “covered over” with suffering. Here, Paul refers to being baptized – “immersed” or “covered over” – in Christ Jesus.
Being baptized with water is us identifying with Jesus’s death and resurrection. It’s not cleansing here as Paul uses the term. In essence, you can’t die and rise again without it changing you. It’s akin to almost dying. You’re changed when you have a near-death experience. We die spiritually and rise with Jesus!