Paul taught that Christ frees Christians from the power of sin (6:22). Sin means wrong and evil attitudes and behaviour. Paul meant that such things should no longer control the lives of Christians. Instead, they are free to serve God in the manner that pleases him.
However, some Christians misunderstood Paulís words. They wanted to be free to do anything that they desired. They argued that wrong and evil things could not hurt them. They insisted that, because of Christ, they had the right to do any of these things.
It was a very foolish and dangerous idea. This idea had become especially popular in Corinth, from where Paul wrote the Book of Romans. In Corinth, some Christians were carrying out wrong sex acts (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Other Christians were going into the houses of false gods to eat (1 Corinthians 8:9-10).
Paul could see that he must teach very carefully about this matter. God does not want Christians to do wrong and evil things, but to do good things. They must not desire to please themselves, but to please God.
Godís grace (kindness) was so great because our sin was so serious (5:20). Of course we must not continue to do those things that offend God so much. Instead, we must turn from our sin and we must invite Christ into our lives. If we do that, God forgives us because of Christís death for us (5:8). It is as if our former lives have ended. God gives a new life to us (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17), so that we can start to serve God properly (1 John 1:7-9). Even then, we will sometimes still do wrong things (1 John 2:1), but in the end God will free us from all sin (1 John 3:1; Revelation 22:14-15). Nobody in heaven does anything that is wrong or evil.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.