from a Ligonier conference- LigonierMinistries
Alistair Begg responds:
The believer does not understand the notion of Union with Christ.
If we don’t preach the Gospel to ourselves all day, every day, then we will fail in some arena. And one of the areas of failure is a fast lane into antinomianism. So peopele then, under the disguise of a superabundance of the grace of God answer the question with which Romans 6 begins, and answer it wrongly. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” They answer, “Yes.” And off they go. You know- “Shall I take my body and join it to a prostitute?” What kind of question is that? That’s a question for a Christian. Because the Christian has ben united with Christ. The Christian is in union with Christ and we don’t understand what it means to be united with Christ, then all we’ll be left with is either legalism on the one hand, or lawlessness on the other hand.
It is since then, you have been raised with Christ to seek those things that are above. It is about who you are in Christ, because your nature and your status have been changed, because you’ve been raised to the heavenly places that these things are not impossible, but are now incongruent. And, I think part of the problem is that people do not know who they are in Christ.
R.C. Sproul responds:
I think, also, there’s a hidden premise in the question that can be very distorting. The real question is: Why don’t Christians care about their continuing sin? It is absolutely impossible for a person to be regenerate of the Holy Spirit and not care at all about sin. In that sense, there’s no such thing as “the carnal Christian”, who can receive Christ and be regenerate, and have no repentance. That is impossible. That is as unbiblical as it gets.
But, why don’t we care to the degree we ought to care? We care, but we don’t care enough. And it’s because our hearts are still lust til fully sanctified. And, God the Holy Spirit, in His convicting power has not fully revealed to us the sinfulness of our sin. Exhibit A is David. After his ghastly act of adultery and proxy murder of Uriah was trying to cover it up. Was He was a believing man and he’s down in the dregs of evil, and yet he doesn’t really show a whole lot of concern until God sends that prophet to him and tells him the story. And when the light dawns, when Nathan says, “Thou art the man,” David sees the evil of his sin and writes Psalm 51. Psalm 51 could never have been written by a human being who didn’t care about his sin.
But, here’s the blessing, if God revealed to me right now, the full measure of the continuing sin in my life, it would destroy me. God is gracious and gentle in correcting us gradually. That is one of the things that is nice about progressive sanctification. Because if He gave it all at one time, we’d be dead.