The infamous attitude presented by many renewed/re-born Yeshua believers is that of complete forgiveness of sin no matter what damage has been caused or will be caused by their actions. The term, "saved," gets thrown around alot and the "one-step" t'shuvah program has taken place. The problem with this pervasive attitude is that it is, on most levels, entirely true!
Actually...that's not the REAL problem...the real problem is that in spite of it being true, the other aspects of what make it true are often missed:
"1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Mashiach Yeshua were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Mashiach was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8Now if we died with Mashiach, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Mashiach was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Mashiach Yeshua. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."
Rav Shaul's point is not simply that our sins are forgiven, the person we were has actually died to sin. When we sin, we are living in dead bodies completely alientated from the freedom from sin we've been given in Yeshua. The point is that when we sin, we have NO EXCUSES. We can't say, "well I'm human, it's in my nature to sin." Beep...wrong answer...try again :-)
Yeshua is not a "get out of jail free card!" He breaks the cell open and says, "If you want to live inside this cell, you have no share in me." We've been broken out of jail, but we keep going back in. This is our problem. The fact that the cell is unlocked is not an indicator that we are free, it's an indicator that we have been freed. the difference is that we are empowered to live with the Ruach HaKodesh abiding within us, being transformed into Yeshuas image (see "What is t'shuvah," below).
We followers of Yeshua are dead to sin, but we need to demonstrate this. That is Rav Shaul's main point: We are essentially zombies when we continue to sin, our only true life is a life of righteousness.
This is exciting and sobering. Yeshua's Judaism ain't easy, but there's alot of Joy :-)
May we all live knowing that we have no excuses for our continued sin, and especially in this time of Elul, cultivate a lifestyle:
1. free of arrogant self approval
2. saturated with transformation into glory