0219 A New Loyalty in Christ
Encounter Radio Outline #0219
Air date: 5/12/02
A New Loyalty in Christ
by Dr. Stephen F. Olford
Introduction: The apostle Paul develops the concept of loyalty under three suggestive metaphors. He assumes that his readers have understood that loyalty to Christ springs out of life in Christ, which is consequent upon our identification with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection.
I. The Loyalty of Subject to King (vv. 12-14)
Sin is a ruler, employing man in a warfare against the government of God. However, as Paul has already shown (6:1-11), fusion with Christ in death, burial and resurrection sets the believer free from the dominion of sin. Therefore, we are to be faithful to Jesus Christ as King:
A. A Loyal Subject Must Dethrone Sin (vv. 12-13).
We will be tempted to yield to unrighteousness, but we must remember our vows of loyalty to the King of kings which are bound up with our baptism. By reason of our oneness with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, we have been given the authority to repudiate the law of sin.
B. A Loyal Subject Must Enthrone God (vv. 13-14).
Here is the picture of a loyal subject, or soldier, presenting himself before his king as an expected act of duty. In this sense the believer puts himself at God’s disposal forever, and his instruments are for nothing else than righteousness unto God.
II. The Loyalty of Servant to Master (vv. 15-16, 23)
Paul anticipates those who would interpret being free from the law and under grace as an excuse for a life of lawlessness. The grace of God does not encourage license but engenders liberty, and no greater liberty can be enjoyed than that found in serving Jesus Christ.
A. A Loyal Servant Must Own His Master (v. 16)
Quite clearly two masters are personified in the words “sin” and “obedience.” As servants we must choose our master and then serve Him. If we have chosen Christ, then we must serve Him and none other. But not only does a loyal servant own his Master:
B. A Loyal Servant Must Obey His Master (vv. 17, 22-23)
Obedience to the master, he is an obedience of love, which is rendered in terms of doctrine and duty. In other words, truth in Christ, rightly understood and applied, leads to freedom and service. This service is characterized by holiness, fruitfulness, and livingness
III. The Loyalty of Wife to Husband (7:1-6).
Paul has already pointed out that death severs our union with sin, so that we may own Christ as King and serve Christ as Master. Now, once again, he reveals that through death with Christ, we are freed from the condemnation and curse of the law in order to love Christ as Husband.
A. The Annulment of the Old Marriage (7:1-3)
Just as Paul has shown (Chapter 3) that the law is unequal to man’s justification, so in these verses he points out that the law is unequal to man’s sanctification. While the law in itself is holy, it cannot make men holy. Therefore, it has no right or power over us, so in effect, we are no longer its wife.
B. The Announcement of the New Marriage (7:4-6)
This announcement of our marriage to Christ is the high watermark of the Book of Romans! This means that we share His past triumph, His present life, and His future glory. This calls for a loyalty of wife to husband, which expresses itself in the faithfulness of love and the fruitfulness of life (v. 4).
Conclusion: To identify with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection is to crown Him as King, to serve Him as Master, and to love Him as Husband. This cannot be done without being wholly separated from sin and dedicated to God .This is the quality of Christian life which God is looking for, and it is the only quality of life that will impact our contemporary world.
Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching
P.O. Box 757800 Memphis, TN 38175-7800
Phone: (901) 757-7977 or (800) 843-2241 Fax: (901) 757-1372
Comments? Send mail to: OMI@olford.org