Back Contents Next

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures}


Get good from your falls and failings. Physicians sometimes make medicines out of poisons and likewise the heavenly Physician makes the diseases of His people become useful for their health. Sin is the greatest bad, yet the grace of redemption works good out of it. David got good by his fall; it made him more humble and broken in heart. It drew out of his heart stronger cries after grace and made him more watchful against future occasions of sin (Psalm 51:7–12; Psalm 39:1; Psalm 141:3).1164 Peter got good from his fall by afterward keeping a sense of the evil of it on his heart (Luke 22:32).1165 Israel, by their departure from God, came to loathe themselves the more in their own eyes (Ezekiel 36:31).1166 And Ephesus, by a sense of their evil, could not bear evils in others (Revelation 2:2).1167The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20 NASB).


Objection: If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?}


OBJECTION: If souls may get good from sin, and if where sin abounds, grace abounds much more, then why should we be troubled by our sin and watchful against it? Why may we not just sin that grace may abound and do evil that good may come from it?


SOLUTION: The apostle answers this objection: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1 NKJV). He then proves this [idea to be wrong] by several arguments.




Souls Who Have a Portion in Christ Cannot Live in or Allow Themselves to Practice Sin

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

Those in Christ Cannot Live in or Practice Sin}


The first argument is that souls who have a portion in Christ cannot live in sin or allow themselves to practice sin. There are four reasons for this.


First, believers are dead to sin, and therefore cannot live any longer in sin (Romans 6:2).1168 Dead people, while dead, cannot live. Believers are dead to sin, so they no longer live in it. They will never more live in it. They may fall into it or be overcome by it. But to allow it, to plan on it, to make provision for it, and to accept encouragements to it—all by considered choice, to continue in it—this is not consistent with people who are dead to sin, as all souls in Christ are. This is because they are baptized into the likeness of Christ’s death, yes, into His death (Romans 6:3).1169 Christ died for sin once to die no more, but was raised by the glory of the Father (Romans 6:4).1170 Therefore, since Christians are really dead with Christ, they should not live anymore in sin, but be perpetually dead to it. This is the very purpose of Christ’s death: to destroy the old man, the body of sin, and the whole power and being of sin in believers; this will be accomplished according to God’s time and ways (Romans 6:6).1171 And, Christ died in vain and has lost the great purpose of His death if those who are in Him can live any longer in sin, “for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7 NASB). According to Piscator, has been made free was put for cause someone to be freed from domination1172 by synecdoche,1173 that is, absolved from the obligation, servitude, dominion, and guilt of sin. An example would be when an apprentice is by law declared free or set free from his master’s rule and power.


Second, those who are in Christ are not only partakers of His death, and from His death, brought into a state of death to sin, but they are partakers of His resurrection, and by it, initiated into a life of holiness (Romans 6:4–5).1174 Therefore, now Christians must live for God, which is not consistent with a life of sin (Romans 6:11–12).1175


Third, those who are Christ’s are brought under grace, under a covenant of grace that is opposed to the law as a covenant of works, and therefore Christians cannot remain under the dominion and service of sin (Romans 6:14).1176 These two covenants are contrary to one another with respect to law versus grace. Therefore, those who are under the law as a covenant of works are in the flesh and bring forth fruit to death (Romans 7:5).1177 Because of this, believers are freed from the law and brought under grace that they might serve God in newness of spirit (Romans 6:6)1178 and no longer serve sin.


Fourth, Christians have become the servants of righteousness and have been set free from the service of sin (Romans 6:18).1179 Your time under sin has expired and you now have no more to do with sin. You are the servant of Somebody Else, and therefore cannot return to serving sin anymore. You are God’s servants, not for a limited time, but forever. You have yielded over yourselves to God. You have sworn over yourselves to be servants of God forever and therefore cannot now serve sin.


That is Paul’s first answer: you cannot, if you are in Christ, serve sin any longer, nor continue in sin that grace may abound. If you are content to live in sin, you are not under grace.


Souls Who Are Rational Cannot Live in or Allow Themselves to Practice Sin

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

Rational Souls Cannot Live in or Practice Sin}


You ought not to practice sin or live in it that grace may abound—if you are rational. It is not to your advantage to sin because sin is an evil thing.


Sin Is Slave’s Work

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

Rational Souls Cannot Live in or Practice Sin

Sin Is Slave’s Work}


Sin is the greatest slavery in the world (Romans 6:16).1180 You are servants to sin and servants to demons. Sins are those works of the devil (1 John 3:8)1181 that Christ came to destroy. Sin is evil in its very nature; it is drudgery and it is naturally filthy, abominable, and shameful.


Sin Has Bitter Fruit

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

Rational Souls Cannot Live in or Practice Sin

Sin Has Bitter Fruit}


Sin has sad results here on earth. It brings forth bitter fruit (Romans 6:21).1182 It makes the soul ashamed when it wakes up to see what it has done, and it fills the soul with grief, horror, and torment. It breaks your loins and makes you go limping to your grave. It makes you weary of your life and afraid of dying. It sets your teeth on edge and fills your guts with wormwood1183 and gravel. Oh, the dreadful effects of sin here in this life! These effects make sin entirely against a soul’s best interest (2 Corinthians 7:11; Psalm 51:8; 38:4; 119:120; 55:4; Lamentations 3:19).1184




Sin Has Horrible Wages

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

If Souls May Get Good from Sin, Why Fight Against It?

Rational Souls Cannot Live in or Practice Sin

Sin Has Horrible Wages}


Here on earth, the work of sin is bad and its fruit is evil. Likewise, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).1185 As soon as the work on earth is done, sins will have their wages, wages that are always paying and never paid. Sinners will be always dying and never dead “where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched’” (Mark 9:44 NKJV).1186 If God is holy and His Word true, this will be the certain end of those who can choose sin and live in sin. And then can you continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid.


Conclusion to Getting Good from Falls and Failures

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity

Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages

Get Good from Your Falls and Failures

Conclusion to Getting Good from Falls and Failures}


Oh, Christian! Get good from your sins to:


And, when God, in any measure, keeps you or sets you free from sin, get good from your sins by longing for Heaven and glory. And, so that you may not [fall back into] sin again, keep close to Christ and abide in His ways so that you might be better protected from sin and fitted for glory (Ezra 9:6; Zechariah 12:10; Ezekiel 36:31; Romans 7:24; Proverbs 4:14–15; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:11, 2:4–5; 1 Peter 2:7; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Acts 11:23).1187


This is to get good from sin and drive on the heavenly trade. This concludes the Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity.




1164Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:7–12 ESV). “I said, ‘I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence’” (Psalm 39:1 NASB). “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3 NASB).

1165But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32 NKJV).

1166Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations” (Ezekiel 36:31 ESV).

1167I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars” (Revelation 2:2 NKJV).

1168May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2 NASB).

1169Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3 NASB).

1170Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 NASB).

1171Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6 NASB).

1172Piscator refers to putting δεδικαιωτα [root: δικαιόω (dik-ah-yo´-o), declare to be righteous] for ἐλευθεροω [(el-yoo-ther-o´-o), set free or liberate]. Paul had just spoken of bondage or slavery in verse 7, and he now refers not to the setting free itself, but to the cause, by which Christ sets believers free: justification, that is, declaring us righteous by His free grace. This is in line with common practice, ancient and modern: when a judge acquits a person, he or she is released from incarceration. An example of where ἐλευθερόω is used is: “That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21 NASB, emphasis added).

1173synecdoche: a literary device wherein a part of a thing (e.g., wheels) is put for the whole (automobile), a material (steel) for the completed item (skyscraper I-beam skeleton), and other substitutions based on similarity or parts of things.

1174Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:4–5 NASB).

1175Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts” (Romans 6:11–12 NASB).

1176For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14 NASB).

1177For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death” (Romans 7:5 NASB).

1178Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6 NASB).

1179And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18 NASB).

1180Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16 NASB).

1181He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8 NKJV).

1182Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death” (Romans 6:21 NASB).

1183wormwood: probably Artemesia absinthium, the source of absinthe, a very bitter substance.

1184For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter” (2 Corinthians 7:11 ESV). “Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice” (Psalm 51:8 NASB). “For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:4 NKJV). “My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments” (Psalm 119:120 ESV). “My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me” (Psalm 55:4 NASB). “Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness” (Lamentations 3:19 NASB).

1185For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 ESV).

1186This verse does not appear in some versions, but the same words appear in nearby verses.

1187And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens’” (Ezra 9:6 NKJV). “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10 NASB). “Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations” (Ezekiel 36:31 ESV). “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24 NASB). “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on” (Proverbs 4:14–15 ESV). “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NASB). “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11 NKJV). “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV). “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’” (1 Peter 2:7 NKJV). “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NASB). “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” (Acts 11:23 ESV).

Back Contents Next