This concept has become a popular and misguided quote in our culture. The statement itself is accurate. The stars are always in the sky but they are not visible until there is darkness. The phrase is meant to present an image that it is good to have a certain level of darkness in your life so that the light that is present (the stars) can shine that much brighter. The only problem is, it’s not true. And this misstep in thought is not new.
The people of the churches in Rome would often use the free gift of grace as some sort of get out of hell free card. They would discount their own dark and perverted ways with sayings like the one above, ‘stars can’t shine without the darkness’. Or they would discount their darkness by pointing out the grace they have in Christ.
Paul’s answer couldn’t be more clear. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!” (Rom 6:1-2a) and again a couple paragraphs later, “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Rom 6:15) Twice his response to this crazy thinking is, “by no means”.
It is true that Christ died for our sins (even the ones we have not committed yet), but ‘by no means’ does this mean we are to continue to live in our sin. This grace and forgiveness is to cover our sins we will still commit, either through ignorance or falling to temptation.
But falling to temptation and committing a sin is not the same as choosing to continue to live in sin. Too many people who claim to have accepted Christ make a conscious choice to continue to live in sin. If this is the case, they are still a slave to sin and have not died to that sin as intended by Christ. This release from the bondage of sin does not come by merely knowing Christ or even believing in Him. In order to free yourself from the bondage of sin, you must “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9)
Being saved begins with BOTH a belief and a confession, but is then followed up with the indwelling of the Spirit. Becoming a slave to the Spirit, a slave to righteousness, means you will no longer live in your sin, but instead you will seek every way to live for Christ, casting aside the old sinful ways.
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