1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. 11Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. 19I speak after the manner of men and because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dealing with Sin;
By now if you are truly understanding the gospel you should be surprised at this point. As a sinner by birth, nature and habit you might even have to confess to an inner “whooppee” of delight. The “Good News” perhaps sounds too good to believe. Well, if God calls it good news then it must be good. To those who might begin to argue that God has designed a gospel where they can carry on in their old sinful ways, and it will not affect God’s attitude towards them, it might be wise to ask more sensible, questions, such as; Is that the whole purpose of the gospel? Who is the good news for? - for God or for us? Is God’s not interested in setting me free from sin? Will the gospel not empower me to live any differently, except to believe that my sins are paid for?
Here are three reasons, which Paul states in chapter six to teach us why the good news of the gospel is not intended as a licence for sin.
If you were baptised, then you were in fact being buried, were you not? .
If you agreed to be buried, you must surely have agreed that your old life was finished.
Then you should not expect this new life to be the same as the old which was the path of sin.
If it is God’s life, then it must be a Holy path.
If this is new to you then maybe you should ask the person who baptised you by immersion why they didn't explain to you what it meant.
Sadly there is still an element of this false liberalism in the church. Those who usually are swift to condemn legalism, are prone to display lives which are in practise a compromise between the world and the church. God hates compromise.
The fact that we have been resurrected in Christ can be misconstrued as to suggest we are resurrected to a life in which we please ourselves without compunction. But in Christ we have died to the flesh and resurrected to live his life. Paul describes this life as a life of separation from the world, the flesh and the devil
The butterfly is the result of a caterpillar dying.
Like the caterpillar, we died to rise in Christ’s life into a new freedom, a freedom from earthly bondage, a freedom from sinful things, to be alive to God and the world in which He lives.
So the gospel is designed for you to be able to exercise your new life.
Don’t be earthbound by living in the flesh, flap your new wings of faith, and off you will soar into spiritual life.
Experience your new life- such a life is a happy, peace
In the Old Testament, under the law a slave could only be kept in slavery for six years. After six years, the slave’s master had to let him go free. However if the slave loved his master and did not want to go out free (for he probably would be claimed by a worse master) he would nail his ear to the doorpost of his master’s house and the slave would say; ‘‘I love my master, I will not go out free’’ Likewise the bible teaches us that we have not got the capability to be free, for we will either serve the devil or God. In this chapter it says, either sin or righteousness. So God has not set us free so that we can get ourselves even more bound by sin. So, if the gospel is going to work fully in us, we must now sign ourselves over to be the slaves of righteousness, just as much as we used to be the slaves of sin. God knows more about sin and it’s consequences then we do. He knows the pain and harm it brings. God has designed a gospel that sets us free, not only from the penalty and the power of sin but also from the presence and practice of sin. The penalty was paid by his death. The power of sin to separate drained away when we died to the law, but that is only part of the gospel. God has made a way whereby we can become slaves of righteousness just as much as we were slaves of sin. Vandals or delinquents are often asked why they committed their crimes. Often they say that they were bored. However, no-one seems to ask them why they did something wrong rather than something good and right to overcome their boredom? The answer is that they are slaves to unrighteousness. Through the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit, God can create in us a clean heart, just as much as we were conscious of our sinful heart. If we continue on in the gospel we will discover that happiness and holiness are wedded together. The scripture does warn us in Peter's epistle that if we do go back then we are worse off than if we had never heard the gospel in the first place. The terrible thing about sin is that it damages your faith, and if you lose your faith....? Well... if there is no faith, there can be no salvation, can there?. But if your faith is the faith of God it will not fail. (More of this in Romans ch 8)To some people this part of the gospel might appear to be it’s weakest point. (i.e. that our sin cannot separate us from God) It is however, the strongest, for Satan, whose name means “the accuser” is powerless to separate us from God under the terms this new agreement. It is a new testament written for sinners.
Risking the borders of boredom, one must emphasise again the strength of the argument that sin is of little effect upon those who have faith. Those who live in denial of sinning as a Christian need only to read chapter 7. We have already mentioned that the Apostle Paul, when writing about the same subject to the Galatians, asks this seemingly preposterous question. “Is Christ the minister of Sin? Because it might seem that having been set free from the law, we are free to sin without any fear of retribution. By the same rule you might ask, ‘‘Is Satan the minister of righteousness?’’ for it is his lie that certain folk believe, which promotes them to good works, of self righteousness.
What Paul is writing about in Galatians is that when in the past, men had tried to live according to the law, it never made them holy. After we are justified by faith, the Law is still as powerless as ever it was. So the Christian life, even after accepting the righteousness of Christ by faith is not one of salvation by works. Whatever we do afterwards, whether it be good or evil does not add to the righteousness we have received by faith. If you build up the law again by making rules to keep, you are only going to make yourself a sinner. However if you come to understand the gospel clearly you will see that there is more power in this new covenant, than there ever was in the old to make men live holy lives. There is much more of this in chapter eight but at this point in the Gospel the believer needs to see the extent of God’s grace and the realistic liberty that the gospel brings to the sinner. It is that grace which makes one nail the ear to the doorpost. As in life, debts are never a problem if you have the money to cover them. Sin also ceases to be a problem if one has enough faith to draw on the grace of God in times of failure. (1 John 1:9) For the One who told us to forgive our brothers 490 times, would surely have more grace than He would expect us to have. Galatians ch 5 tells us that the reason faith ‘‘works’’ where the law didn’t is that saving faith works by love. That is the key.
God has confidence in the power of His grace and love. If we continue to exercise the true faith that brings forgiveness, it will surely promote love in us towards the One who forgives us and shows unmerited favour towards us. The law could never produce that love. Therefore what appears to be the weakness of the gospel is in fact it’s strength. This apparent ‘‘loophole’’, turns out to be the noose that strangles Satan. He is powerless to separate us from God anymore. Time and space limit further explanations, except one final illustration of Sarah and Abraham. (In Galatians) to show the power of grace and love. For ultimately, we will never be happy to turn from sin unless love is the motivating force. Sarah is described as a “free woman”. Yet she is married. It is her love for Abraham that sets her free. It was not bondage to please her husband. Nor was it bondage to her to obey her husband, because she had the assurance of his love for her, and therefore she knew he would not ask her to do anything that wasn’t good for her. That is the kind of liberty the gospel brings.
We are free to do anything that our love for Christ will allow us to do.
Allowing God’s grace to cover our sin is a sure way to promote that powerful love. Next time the devil knocks at your door and asks are you ‘‘coming out to play’’, imagine the thrill of your “Father in the upstairs room” as he overhears you telling Satan to go away. For God will know that it is the power of His grace that has made you do it. You will have nailed your ear to the doorpost. If the gospel was designed to save only those sinners who have some strong moral fibre, then salvation through such a gospel would be of works, would it not? The gospel is designed to save sinners, not the righteous- and to keep on saving them. The power to save is in the gospel, not the sinner. All the sinner has to do is believe (Rom 1:16)
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