What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Shall we hence take encouragement to sin with so much the more boldness, because the more sin we commit the more will the grace of God be magnified in our pardon? Is this a use to be made of it?” No, it is an abuse. Those opinions that give any countenance to sin, or open a door to practical immoralities, how specious and plausible soever they be rendered, by the pretension of advancing free grace, are to be rejected with the greatest abhorrence; for the truth as it is in Jesus is a truth “according to godliness,” Titus 1:1.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, not the apologist of sin.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): Persons may be said to be “dead to sin,” both as justified and sanctified: justified persons are dead to sin, inasmuch as that is not imputed to them to condemnation and death; they are discharged from it; it cannot hurt them, or exert its damning power over them; it is crucified, abolished, and made an end of by Christ: sanctified persons are dead to sin; sin is not made their business, it is not their course of life; it is no longer a pleasure to them, but is loathsome and abominable; it is looked upon, not as a friend, but an enemy; it does not reign, it has not the dominion over them; it is subdued in them, and its power weakened; and as to the members of the flesh, and deeds of the body, it is mortified.
THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon—or a beggar his rags…Sin may rebel in a saint, but it shall never reign in a saint.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): Even Christians, therefore, are not so perfect as to be free from “infirmities.” Only let us take care to understand this word aright: let us not give that soft title to known sins, as the manner of some is. So, one man tells us, “Every man has his infirmity, and mine is drunkenness;” another has the infirmity of [sexual] uncleanness; another, that of taking God’s holy name in vain; and yet another has the infirmity of calling his brother, “Thou fool,” or returning “railing for railing.” It is plain that you who thus speak, if ye repent not, with your infirmities, will go quick into hell!
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): Yet you question not but it will be well with you, and never once feared to go to hell. And is that faith, think you? Alas no, it is a plain counterfeit, and a very cheat.
RICHARD SIBBES (1577-1635): To plead for an “infirmity” is more than an infirmity; to allow ourselves in weaknesses is more than a weakness. The justification of evil shuts our mouths, so that the soul cannot call God Father with child-like liberty, or enjoy sweet communion with Him, until peace be made by shaming ourselves, and renewing our faith. Those that have ever been bruised for sin, if they fall, are soon recovered. Peter was recovered with a gracious look of Christ, David by Abigail’s words. If you tell a thief or a vagrant that he is out of the way, he pays no heed, because his aim is not to walk in any particular way, except as it suits his purpose.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Fall into sin we may and shall; but it is not the falling into the water that drowns, but lying in it; so it is not falling into sin that damns, but living in it.
JOHN GILL: To live in sin, is to live after the dictates of corrupt nature; and persons may be said to live in it, when they give up themselves to it, are bent upon it; when sin is their life, they delight in it, make it their work and business, and the whole course of their life is sinful: now those who are dead to sin, cannot thus live in it, though sin may live in them; they may fall into sin, and lie in it some time, yet they cannot live in it: living in sin, is not only unbecoming the grace of God revealed in the Gospel, but is contrary to it; it is detestable to gracious minds, yea, it seems impossible they should live in it.
THOMAS BROOKS: Sin and grace are like two buckets at a well; when one is up the other is down. A man may find out many ways to hide his sin, but he will never find out any way to subdue his sin, but by the exercise of grace.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Were it not for the grace of God there would be no such thing as a Christian.
RICHARD SIBBES: If Christ should not be merciful to our weaknesses, He should not have a people to serve Him. Suppose therefore we are very weak, yet so long as we are not found amongst malicious opposers and underminers of God’s truth, let us not give way to despairing thoughts; we have a merciful Saviour. But lest we flatter ourselves without good grounds, we must know that weaknesses are to be reckoned either imperfections cleaving to our best actions, or actions proceeding from immaturity in Christ, whilst we are babes, or the effects of want of strength, where ability is small, or sudden unintended breakings out contrary to our general bent and purpose, whilst our judgment is overcast with the cloud of a sudden temptation, after which we feel our infirmity, grieve for it, and from grief, complain, and, with complaining, strive and labour to reform; finally, in labouring, we make some progress against our corruption.
DAVID CLARKSON (1622-1686): Get mortifying graces, especially love to God, for those who love the Lord, hate evil. And the more they love Him, the more they will hate it.
THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): The Lord’s grace is promised to him that resisteth. God keepeth us from the evil one, but it is by our watchfulness and resistance; His power maketh it effectual. We are to strive against sin and keep ourselves, and God keepeth us by making our keeping effectual.
THOMAS BROOKS: The life of grace is the death of sin, and the growth of grace the decay of sin.