Sunday, May 13, 2007

Walking Through Romans PT 9: Romans 6

Walking Through Romans PT 9: Romans 6

Romans 6

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 6:2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 6:3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.

6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. 6:6 We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 6:7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)

6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 6:9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 6:13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. 6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!
6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 6:19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.
6:21 So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 6:23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I am always amazed when people say they agree with Grace, yet then undersell Grace as they fear that it will lead to someone having a “license to sin”. Some slanderously attacked Paul saying that he was teaching one could just keep on sinning. Paul of course makes light of this in chapter 3 verse 8. Of course this was just that, slander… and even today I find that there are those who say about me that I am also against "doctrine", or do not teach "holy living".. which if one understands Grace, and has realized their identity “in Christ” they will find they desire less and less the “sinful desires” of the flesh, and desire more and more to become “transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18)

Here Paul states very clearly again, that are we to keep sinning in order that this grace abounds? Of course not… more…if one reads it in the Greek I am told that Paul is stating this very empathically… it would be more like saying, “HELL NO!” (Hope that does not shock one too much.)

Paul then points out that we are dead to sin… and if that is true… how can one dead to sin, still live in it?

We have been baptized into Christ… now water baptism represents this spiritual truth. Just as we are placed in the water, then put under, they rise out again… which is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and that we to are now dead, buried and resurrected in Christ Jesus… With this imagery… we are “placed/immersed” into Jesus’ death, buried with Jesus and now resurrected as a New Creation.

Paul goes on to show that since we have come to the end of ourselves… or our very death of trying to please God by our own works, in that we died… Since we can then identify with Christ in His death, we also can now identify with Him by His resurrection.

If we die, we are free from sin… think about that. A dead man is not subject to the sinful desires of the flesh… nor is a dead man out to do works to prove his own worthiness to God! He is dead. At that point it simply is too late to do anything to change that simple fact… dead is dead… now comes the Judgment! (Hebrews 9:27)

So all a dead person can do is hope for to be resurrected… and judged and in that there is only the Hope of Jesus for our eternal Life.

So the logical flow is that since we died, so we also live in Christ. Notice this is not living our own life… but something has happened. We have exchanged our “free will” as far as it was free to choose good and bad, yet one was not able to sustain that choice without falling. This free will is not subject to Christ in our surrender to His works. Our “free will” has died! We are a New Creation, behold the old is gone! (2 Cor 5:17)

So as we died in Christ, so now we Live in Christ through His resurrection. Jesus died once for all… some try to teach the false notion that “all” means “some”, yet in all my studies I have not seen “all” mean anything but “all” even in the Greek! I find in the Greek this word to mean “upon one occasion”… as far as the word is one word to our “once for all”… The argument is pretty silly to me if one argues that it is not once for all but once for some… for we see that it is in the one occasion that Christ died on the Cross… He did not die more than that, nor did He die less… to say He died for only some misses that very point… Hebrews also talks of this “once for all” that Jesus offered Himself for “people” once and for all. These people are not as some teach some “special” people… if one looks closely at the type of people the writer of Hebrews talks of they are “people in general” as opposed to “of ones own populace”. What I am getting at is that some teach that Jesus died only for the “elect” and not for everyone. Yet, scripture itself teaches contrary to that notion very clearly. So, one has to twist the passages of Scripture to fit their doctrinal bent in order to have scripture prove their doctrine. I see clearly taught in scripture without resorting to Greek that Jesus died “once for all mankind”. In that all men are equal as they sin for they will die, and now in Christ all men are equal as it is by Grace through faith that man now finds eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Now, as one come to understand more and more or the truth of this and one’s identity in Christ, they will find that being dead, sin as no more hold on us, nor is it employed by the body as it was. Since now death is not the enemy, but has become the Christians greatest friend, we seek to live out the truth “to live is Christ, to die is gain!” (Philippians 1: 21)

We were at one time slaved to sin… so say a man was truly “free” though he had free will, misses that man was also a slave to sin. For we served sin no matter how hard we tried, and always fell short the Glory of God. Freedom was there, yet our own chains kept us bound to our own death. No matter how close we came to our own perfection, death still always won.

Now, though as one is in Christ, sin has been conquered at the Cross. Death has no power over us as Jesus holds the keys to Death and Hades. Yet, even now for all our free will we are given the choice that we must lay it down and no longer pursue our own way, but come to that end of ourselves and in that Jesus breaks the chains of bondage and truly frees us… to be slaves to righteousness!

This though is where the real freedom comes. That we can not grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As we grow I see will one day be clothed in perfection as Jesus is now. Till then we must trust (I am sure we will always even then need to trust) but even more as we do not see and must walk in faith.

As we walking in the Righteousness of Christ we are sanctified… this is not some “process” in the sense we get more and more “holy” as God has declared the believer as holy already. It does mean that we learn and grow as Jesus did. We learn to walk not in our own strength but in the Power of God… (I am not talking about that Benny Hinn type of “power”) This power is that of Love which has flipped the entire creation on its head.

Paul’s greatest question/statement in this passage that should strike any believer,

“So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.”

For all the pleasures we have encountered… all the riches we have collected, all the power this world has to offer… man still dies. Great or small, weak or strong… we all die… “For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”