The Benefits of Sinning

The Benefits of Sinning October 18, 2017


The Benefits of Sinning

Romans 6:15-23

In Romans 6, Paul describes the nature of sin. He outlines why sin is so dangerous to the Christian. He explains that if a person continues to sin, it will lead to death. I believe that even for the Christian, one can get encouragement from this text. The Bible lays out the benefits of sinning. As you are going to see, while you may think they are beneficial, in the end, sin is dangerous, damaging, and painful. Here are seven benefits to sinning that can damage you for eternity.


1. Sinning allows me to cheat God’s grace that gives me life (Romans 6:15)

What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:15, CSB)

God’s grace, His unmerited favor, provides God’s love for me. His grace freed me from the penalty of sin. His Holy Spirit gives me the power over sin. When I choose to sin, then I make a conscience decision to cheat God’s grace. 

When you take a test in school, you rely on your own knowledge and skills to pass the test. You are expected to pass based upon your own abilities. Cheating shows that you can’t accomplish what is expected of you. 

When I live this live submitted to Christ, I am living under God’s power. I am letting Him help me in life. When I sin, I cheat. Instead of getting that unmerited favor that helps me, I am choosing to use something else to get that same help and power. The problem is that when I choose to sin, that sin weakens me (as we will see later). I can’t do things in life alone. I need help. But when I sin, I cheat that help. 
As I continue to sin, I discover that the help I thought I was getting in my life by sinning, actually hurts me and prevents me from living the life I want to live. Sinning will cheat me out of the grace that God could give me to help me live life. Because in the end, cheating like this will kill me.

Why not continue in sin? I’m reminded of the entertainer who, although he was warned that lions could never be completely tamed, treated the lion he used in his act as a pet—until the night the lion jumped on him and killed him. So, too, our adversary goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). “Oh, but I’ve got this sin under control,” we say. “Nice lion, nice lion. It’s part of my act; I need it for my job.”

Watch out. Paul says, “Know this: the sin with which you’re playing around, the sin you think you’ve got under control, is going to come back and eat you alive.”

• “But I only shoplift occasionally.”

• “I only look at pornography sporadically.”

• “I lie rarely.”

Be careful. Paul doesn’t say, “No,” he says “know.” Your pet sin will get you. It will hurt you. It will kill you.1

2. Sinning keeps me enslaved (Romans 6:16-18)

Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16–18, CSB)

When I sin, I am saying that I am still a slave to it. A slave who has been freed would never willingly choose to go back to slavery. They enjoy freedom from slavery. When I sin, I am saying that I want to go back to slavery.

This is the reason why when a person become a Christian, they need to go through a time of teaching. The “pattern of teaching” that Paul talks about is Christian discipleship. I don’t just go from living my own life without God to now having God in my life when I want Him. No, I am a slave to sin and then I change Masters. When Jesus dies on the cross, He pays my sin debt. That death makes me free. But that doesn’t mean that I am free from a Master. I am just free from sin as my Master. When Jesus was raised from the dead, God was showing that He is Master of life and death, not just for His Son Jesus, but for everyone.

Sin keeps me enslaved to a terrible master. When I become a Christian, my ownership changes hands. God becomes my Master. Now, this is hard to think about in American society. We want to know that when we have overcome a situation, that I become independently free. But that is simply not the case. I am never independently free. I am either serving sin, or I am serving God. In the absence of serving God, I may think that I am serving myself. But it reality, I am a slave to sin.

3. Sinning makes me weaker (Romans 6:19)

I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.” (Romans 6:19, CSB)

Sin increase my weaknesses. If Christ gives me strength, then sinning makes me weak. Without Christ, I can do nothing. But when I choose to sin, I will end up doing less. 

Christ is like Superman. He makes me stronger. Sin is like Kryptonite. Committing it makes me weaker.

Remember, I didn’t become free to be independent. When I served sin, it never changed me for the better. Instead, I was always getting weaker. I was always getting worse. Sin does that. It never makes me stronger. Sin always weakens me. It weakens my body. I age as a result of sin and my body starts to fall apart. It weakens my emotions. Sin prevents happiness in me. Sin continues to make me impure. It weakens my mind. I begin to think that lawlessness is better than following God’s law.

Remember that sanctification – that big word for Christian growth, makes me better. But if I offer myself to sin more, that makes me weaker. When you get an entire population who is weakened by sin, it can affect society.

4. Sinning creates greater chaos in society (Romans 6:19)

I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.” (Romans 6:19, CSB)

My moral impurity leads to greater lawlessness. When I continue to sin, it leads to the destruction of society. The sins of one generation are the laws of the next generation. When these laws continue to develop more moral impurity, then society begins to crumble. 

When I choose to act in a way that God never intended, it corrupts. It corrupts me, my family, and my society. When a group decides to act in a way that God never intended, it never benefits themselves. Instead, it destroys. 

One does not become more LAWFUL. Instead, one becomes LAWLESS.

5. Sinning destroys my allegiance to God (Romans 6:20)

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.” (Romans 6:20, CSB)

““No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24, CSB)

Jesus said that if you have two masters, you will serve one and hate the other. When you become a slave to sin when you let sin rule your body, then you are letting sin be your master, and you are going to hate God. 

God and sin are in opposition because sin is not part of God’s nature. If you like to sin, you will hate God. It’s just that simple.

6. Sinning creates more shame (Romans 6:21)

So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death.” (Romans 6:21, CSB)

Because sin is not part of who is supposed to be, when we sin, it creates shame. Sin destroys the self. The shame comes from knowing that sin destroys the self. 

The fruit of sin is ultimately a destruction of the self. Shame is an indicator that one has done wrong. It is the conscious acknowledgment that you sinned. That shame will ultimately destroy your self-confidence, and ultimately yourself. Why? Because your confidence is built upon God. He is your source of confidence. But when you sin, you destroy yourself.

Pastor John Stott makes the following observation about the contrast between the benefits of sin and the benefits of righteousness:

A person can assess the rival claims of these two slaveries or freedoms is by evaluating their benefit, literally their ‘fruit’. The negative benefits of slavery to sin and freedom from righteousness are remorse in the present (a sense of guilt over the things you are now ashamed of), and in the end death. But the positive benefits of freedom from sin and slavery to God are holiness in the present and in the end eternal life. Thus there is a freedom which spells death, and a bondage which spells life.2

7. Sinning ends in eternal death (Romans 6:22-23)

But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22–23, CSB)

Ultimately, sin leads to death. Sin pays, and there will be a payday. When that payday comes, it will lead to death.

As Lloyd-Jones points out, this verse makes three contrasts basic to Paul’s teaching in this part of the letter3:

the master that is served—sin versus God

the outcome of that service—death versus eternal life

how that outcome is reached—a “wage” earned versus a “gift” received.

You have probably heard the riddle, “What do you get when an elephant sits on a fence?” Answer: “A broken fence!” There is more truth to this silly riddle than most would think. It is impossible to sit on the fence between serving God and serving sin. Here is the story of one man whose attempt to sit in both worlds found him crashing to the ground.

Wally’s life is like many others who started well but did not finish the race of maturity and responsibility. Raised in a Bible-believing home, Wally still sowed a lot of wild oats during his youth. The rationale for his lifestyle was, “I’ll get right with God when I get older.” After getting through college with his degree in hand (some would say he majored in partying), Wally was still acting like a kid in a man’s body. What had started out as a spontaneous experiment with the drug culture turned into a serious habit that craved more and more—never to be satisfied.

Wally did not let his drug addiction slow him down from having fun. He simply spread his destructive habit to others who were willing to join him on his trip. Supplying his friends with drugs boosted his feelings of importance and gave him the boldness to explore even more deeply into forbidden territory.

But Wally entered that new territory and never found his way out. He never had time to get things right with God. He never had time to make up for all of the wasted years. Wally died from a drug overdose.

How are you spending your time: serving God or serving sin? The choice is still yours, but remember—later always comes sooner than you think!4

1 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 922.

2 John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 185–186.

3 Douglas J. Moo, Romans, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 212.

4 Leadership Ministries Worldwide, Practical Illustrations: Romans (Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2004), 81–82.

Photo by Kaley Dykstra on Unsplash

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