For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14)
I've been trying to read at least one chapter of Romans daily but not just read it, take in the words and meditate upon it. Trying to take my pastors' advice and study more instead of just reading. I'm sharing what I feel God is bringing to light for me with chapter 6 of Romans.
The way I understand grace, is that grace is when we receive something we do not deserve and mercy is when we are spared from punishment we do deserve. Romans six talks about God's grace. It's clear Paul is emphasizing God's goodness and how God wants to bless us and be good to us. (and for us).
He's not saying to do away with His moral laws or that they are no longer valid. What usually happens when we try to follow laws is we find we can't. We find ourselves comparing ourselves with others to see if we are upholding the 'law' better or more than others. We then tend to start judging ourselves and others for the way the law is being kept. This places the focus on the law, ourselves and others instead of Jesus. We are a 'slave' to the law and not enjoying the freedom of grace Jesus provides. When Jesus came he fulfilled the law, became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and is the law. We are under grace because when Christ died on the cross, He died to cover our sins. This gives us freedom from sin and the consequences of that sin but only if we accept Him as our savior. The ones that refuse Jesus' gift of salvation, will continue to sin, will be tied or bound to the curse of sin and will die and face the consequences. The consequences being eternal death in hell (lake of fire) instead of eternal life in heaven.
Just as Jesus died and arose again, when we accept Christ and have a personal relationship with Him, we die to our old self, die to our old ways and start a new life in and with Christ. We are under grace and enjoy the freedom from the consequences of sin. The closer we grow to Jesus, the less we sin naturally. The more we seek to obey and become Christ-like, our desires change to match the desires God has for us. We love others (and ourselves) instead of judging them (and ourselves) because God is love. God's love frees us from eternal condemnation.
And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment (Matthew 22:37-38)