What shall we say then?
When I was just a kid, a debate with my dad would often end with him asking, "Do you think I'm stupid or something?" As you might imagine, I learned early on not to answer that question in the affirmative. Actually, there was no need for an answer, as it was meant to be understood that my dad was not as ignorant as I thought he was. You see, he posed my unspoken objection as a rhetorical question (for I wouldn't have dared to say it out loud). I imagine that most of you have also learned to listen more carefully to the implication of certain questions. Consider this question:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Romans 6:1 NASB
No, no, forget the answer for a moment and just consider the QUESTION (both parts of it, that is). For if it implies a negative response, as it also does 9 other times in this same letter, there might be something worth considering regarding the nature of the question. Specifically, in what frame of mind or from what perspective did Paul pose the question? If you suppose it makes no difference how the question was asked, you may have satisfied yourself with a superficial negative answer that has offered you nothing more than a legalistic program for living. You see, the question arises from the heart of unbelief. That's right, it's the yeah-but objection of the natural mind. Go ahead, give it a try. Say it out loud right now. Repeat the question back to yourself using your best objective tone ... you know the one I'm talking about. And then notice how an exaggerated negative is the best possible response. Yep, you've answered many ridiculous objections that way, haven't you?
Guess who wants you to seriously take heed to this kind of a yeah-but response to God's grace in your life? Guess who wants you to temper or balance grace under the bogus premise that grace leads to sin? Guess who wants you to make that grace safe? It is not the one who has called you by his grace, that's for sure.
Is our God a God of Confusion? Listen to Adam and myself discuss this subject on this week's audio presentation.