S220-042708 Ro 6a
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 042708 ~ Romans 6a
Romans 6:1 ~ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
What’s Paul on about now? He answers the potential objection raised in chapter 5 that was in turn an answer to another potential objection.
Romans 5:19 ~ For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
BY FAITH ALONE
Romans 5:20 ~ The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.
The purpose of the Law – came in alongside of…
Romans 6:1 ~ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
How does that make you feel?
Romans 6:2a ~ May it never be! mh< ge>noito
How appalling and absurd – not only Biblically, but also relationally and not only that, but logically!
No true Christian – filled with God’s Spirit and the knowledge of what Jesus went through can wink at sin.
Paul has given the answer – now he will explain it…
In order to do so we must understand something.
Living like a member of the family is to be Christ-like. We call it discipleship, maturation, etc., but the theological term is sanctification.
Sanctification is aJgiasmo>v, and occurs only 10 times in the Bible, 2 of which are in this chapter of Romans.
The root is a[giov, holy/saint = separate, i.e. separated from sin to God.
aJgiasmo>v, is holiness and is translated into Latin as sanctificatus.
There are 3 types of sanctification:
Positional – Moment of Salvation
Progressive – Everything in-between
Perfect – Moment of Ultimate Salvation
Why 3 types?
Positional is identical to Perfect; Progressive only exists because we don’t understand.
People get this so wrong and yet it is actually very simple.
Please stay with me…
Traditionally, people think three different things –
1) That because of Positional Sanctification we cannot sin.
2) That it is only my evil flesh and not my Godly spirit so sin is not relevant anymore.
3) That our filthy-rotten flesh makes it impossible to keep from sinning.
The 1st leads to all kinds of error, especially various forms of self-righteous legalism, and eventually to heresy and cults.
The 2nd view comes from experience and is making peace with the enemy – it is deception and sin.
The 3rd view comes from Greek philosophy. A gross oversimplification would be that the constant change Heraclitus saw and the perfect existence Parmenides saw was reconciled in the synergistic teaching of Socrates and his student Plato.
The belief was that there was a corruptible physical world that was merely a shadow of the real and incorruptible metaphysical world.
Physical bad, metaphysical good – this teaching found its pinnacle in Plato’s student Aristotle and was spread to the world through Aristotle’s student Alexander the Great.
We think we continue to struggle with sin as Christians because we have this evil physical body.
You say well I’m thoroughly confused – good, let’s look at some Scripture to get our thinking fixed.
Romans 6:2b-7 ~ 2bHow shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.
Romans 6:8-13 ~ Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 12:2a ~ … do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Ephesians 4:23b&24 ~ … be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24aand put on the new self.
Christians sin, not because we have evil bodies or the Devils after us or we have a platoon of demons attacking us or that we are surrounded by evil people…
Christians sin because we cannot grasp that we are dead to sin and that we are alive to righteousness.
If we could fully grasp the concept we would be forever sinless and death and decay would be impotent against us – stay with me; this is a Paul Harvey moment, you must have the “rest of the story.”
Listen carefully to what I’m saying here…
If we could accept our Positional Sanctification we would bypass Progressive Sanctification and have Perfect Sanctification.
We can’t do it because we lack faith – it is impossible for a human to be Perfectly Sanctified in the physical world because we do not, nor will we ever have enough faith.
If we could fully realize what has taken place at salvation because of what has taken place at Calvary – we could truly be set free.
It is our mind that holds us back. We do not believe enough – we do not trust enough.
The Bible says we must allow the Holy Spirit to renew our thinking – the only reason we do not fully trust God is that we do not fully know God.
The whole problem is that with our feeble earth-entrapped experience we can’t trust.
You say, Scott I don’t see the point; you say we can’t live perfectly and I already knew that.
Here’s the point – people think we can’t avoid sin because we are inherently evil or are surrounded by evil – but what I’m saying is that we sin because we lack faith.
Everything in life is ultimately a test of faith
Why do we exult in pressure? Because we desperately desire to have greater faith and that is the only way to get it!
Because we have so much experience militating against faith we must have many experiences building it also.
That is why Paul, James, Peter, John and even Jesus Himself teach us to exult in trial and tribulation – to stand firm, remaining under the pressure, to see God’s faithfulness which builds our faith.
We never are as close to God as when we are in trouble – that’s how we get to know Him and the better we know Him the greater our trust.
The greater our trust, the more we are able to discard the sin which no longer has sway over us.
This is good news – it is a vital piece of information because it helps us fight sin with an altogether different weapon.
Instead of fighting our fleshly lust we must realize the problem is a lack of faith and pray diligently for God to build our faith even when we know that the way to accomplish that is tough times for us!
A buddy, Mace Carpenter, was leading a two-ship…
The RAF Jag pilot gave them a vital piece of information
Romans 6:2b-4 ~ 2bHow shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Baptism picture is effective because it evokes what is happening spiritually, but Holy Spirit Baptism is what is actually effective.
Water is a symbol of the grave – to be baptized into water is to symbolically die and be buried – to be raised up is to be reborn a new person.
You must be born again – spiritually, signified by water baptism.
Romans 6:5-7 ~ 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.
Again, our uniting with Jesus is not by ritual or ceremony.
Our old man, i.e. old modus operandi has been crucified and lives no more!
Our entire body of sin has been murdered – if we could grasp this we would realize that sin has no hold on us at all
We talked about redemption, i.e. ajpolu>trwsiv, purchased with a very high price.
Sin owned you and God came in and bought you with an astronomical price and then as soon as you get to your new home you run away and start working for your old master.
Is the old master going to send you home or is he going to reap the double benefit of having a sold slave still work for him?
The children of Israel wanted to go back to Egypt because they were afraid – even after many deliverances they lacked faith, lacked trust in God.
If we’ve really died in Christ we are dead to the mastery of sin – we should realize this truth and then we can focus on the real problem
Focus on faith is a focus on the giver of faith – then our perspective is correct – I press into Jesus
Romans 6:8-11 ~ 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
While Jesus was on earth there was the theoretical possibility of sin – but he is no longer susceptible.
In addition, when God placed your sin upon Jesus, sin had the legitimate claim to exact his toll which is death.
The beauty of Jesus dying is that the claim was paid in full – Sin and death have been conquered by the proof that Jesus lives again!
The proof we are tied to Adam’s sin is death – the proof that we can be tied to Jesus’ righteousness is LIFE!
Not only are we dead in Christ to sin and death, but we are alive to God in Christ to righteousness.
Romans 6:12&13 ~ 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
You are either identified with Adam or Christ – you are either a slave to sin & death or a slave to righteousness & life.
What is sin?
1 Peter 2:24&25 ~ 24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
Galatians 5:13&14 ~ 13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Sin is, strictly speaking, disobedience.
Disobedience is self-centeredness
Legalism is a form of self-centeredness
True Christianity is about relationships – first with God and then towards others.
Jesus paid the price and redeemed you so that you could live to God by loving Him and through His power loving others.
The whole measure of the Law is love for neighbor, just as John says; the proof of right relationship with God is our unnatural love for others.