Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Logical Question- Passionate Answer -Romans 6

Paul asks a legitimate question in response to this gospel of salvation by grace alone.
6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
Doesn't this thought creep into our minds? Our human propensity to manipulate, twist, and justify works inside all the time.

Paul's answer contains a tone of repugnancy.

2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

See his reasoning about the cost and truth of the gospel:

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Have you come to the point in your life that you discover that conflict comes after conversion? Salvation is an interesting thing: Our war with God is over, our war with the old man has just begun!

A couple of closing applications:
Paul's point is clear... the true response to the gospel results in a new life.
It is illogical and unthinkable to continue in sin. Faith begins a process of wrestling with the old nature.

We have a great gospel indicative: WE ARE UNDER GRACE AND FREE
We have a great gospel imperative: DO NOT LET SIN REIGN

This is not a 'frozen chosen life'- the new life has an active and powerful will. We should be feeding the new nature and killing the old.

Finally, how do we kill the old? It is an amazing observation for the next lesson. Not a mutilation but a re-dedication. Look for it later in Ch 6!

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