Since this is the case, why should I be overly concerned about sin? After all, my Savior forgives me—it’s all covered
under the blood right? I can’t earn this great salvation, I simply need to believe. Yes, yes, and yes, but I’m called not only to believe but also to be holy. So why do I need to be concerned about sin? Here’s a short list of reasons why I need to put to death the deeds of the flesh.
1.) How can I go on sinning when Christ was unjustly punished on my behalf and paid the ultimate price through his death to save me from my sin? For me to go on sinning is out of synch with who I am in Christ. I was saved to be holy and the price paid for my ransom is immeasurable (Rom. 6:1-11; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:15).
2.) My sin breaks the sweet fellowship that I am privileged to have with the Son of God (1 John 1:6).
3.) My prayers are hindered and actually not even heard while I harbor sin in my heart (Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7).
4.) My sin delays my growth in Christ (Heb. 5:11-14).
5.) I was created to reflect and proclaim the glory of God and his gospel (Gen. 1:26; Matt. 5:14-16; Psalm 67:1-2) and my sin hinders others from coming to this knowledge of the living God (1 Cor. 15:34).
6.) My sin creates discord and destruction within the Body of Christ (Gal. 5:13-15).
7.) Continuing in my sin delays the preparation I need to one day see the Lord (Heb. 12:14; Rev.21:27).
8.) God has ordained that my walk of consecrated love and struggle against sin is to be a part of the process of completing the work of sanctification within me (Rom. 8:13; 2 Cor. 7:1).
9.) Putting to death the old man and resisting the devil ultimately demonstrate that God’s grace is present in my life and this reassures me that I have not believed in vain (2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 3:6).
So sin really does matter even once I'm saved by grace through faith alone. And as the apostle Paul lays it out for his readers in Romans 6, it's actually impossible for those who have died with Christ to be mastered by sin ... "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin" (vv. 6-7) and "... sin will have no dominion over you" (v. 14).
To continue with an "I don't stress over sin!" attitude is absolutely out of synch with who I am in Christ and the salvation he is accomplishing in me. And anything that has brought pain to my Redeemer and Friend, or anything he hates, now becomes repugnant to me. Everything Christ loves is now my delight. As the psalmist put it:
"Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes" (Psalm 119:41-48 ESV).