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PART 7 AUGUST 16 ROMANS 6-7 Are You Dead to Sin?

 

I’ve often chuckled at a cartoon (by Mary Chambers) that I saw years ago where two couples are talking and one woman says, “Well, I haven’t Actually Died to Sin, but I did feel kind of Faint Once.” That cartoon captures how many of us feel about Romans 6:2, where Paul says that we “Died to Sin.” We would have to admit, “I Don’t Feel Very Dead to Sin!” Maybe there have been a few times when I’ve felt kind of faint towards it. BUT, DEAD? NO WAY!

 

ME: The reason I chuckle at this cartoon is because I realize this is the typical Human Response as we Struggle trying to do the right thing…That Which Christ would have us do.

 

YOU: Romans makes it Clear that You and I are Just Like the Apostle Paul…The things We want to do…We end up Not doing and the Things We Don’t want to do…We end Up Doing.

 

GOD:  However when we come to Romans 6, God through Paul doesn’t just say once in Vs 2 that We Died to Sin, but in some form he also says it in verses 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, and 13.

 

God has Paul Repeat it Several Times Because He Wants Us to Understand that He is Saying it is Crucial When it Comes to Living a Godly Life.  We Are To Be Dead to Sin!

  • But, all to Often We don’t feel very Dead to Sin! In fact, We Rarely Feel Kind of Faint!

 

In Romans 6 Paul Asks a Crucial Question: How Can We Who Died to Sin, Still Live in it?

  • How can we who have been Made Right, Not Live Righteous Lives?
  • How Can We Who Have Been Loved…Not Love?
  • How Can We Who Have Been Blessed…Not Bless?
  • How Can We Who Have Been Given Grace…Not Live Graciously?

 

Paul Seems Stunned that An Alternative Would Even Exist!  Verse 1 “Shall We Go On Sinning That Grace May Increase”?

 

In Romans 6 Paul Turns from the Subject of Justification (Salvation) to Sanctification Or…How We Grow in Holiness. This is Major Problem in the Church!

  • People Get Saved and Love being in Church However…They Ignore Gods Desire for them to Continue Growing in His Grace…To be Sanctified and Made Holy!
  • Paul begins a new theme that he pursues through chapter 8: If we have been Justified by Faith, How Do We Grow in Sanctification?
  • Justification by Faith Dealt with the Penaltyof Our Sin…But How Can We Live a Holy Life in Which Sin’s Power is Broken?
  • Today we will Tackle Chapters 6 and 7 and conclude with Chapter 8 next week.

 

Chapter 6 Falls Into Two Main Sections:

  • In Verses 1-14, Paul addresses an objection that he knows will follow from what he has been teaching about God Justifying Sinners by Grace & Faith Alone, Apart from Merit.
  • He is Especially Responding to what he has just said in 5:20, “Where Sin Increased, Grace Abounded All the More.”

Anticipated Response, “If God’s Response to Increased Sin is to Pour Out Super-Abundant Grace, then Maybe We Should Sin All the More so that God Can Be All the More Gracious!”

  • Paul’s Response in Verse 2 is, “May it Never Be!” Then he launches into his extended discussion of our being united with Christ in His Death and Resurrection.

 

Then in Verses 15-23, Paul responds to another anticipated response to his teaching in 5:20, that the Law came in so that Sin Would Increase, along with his comment that we are Not Under Law but Under Grace (6:14).

  • The Objection in verse 15, “Shall we Sin because we are Not Under Law but Under Grace?” His response is the same as in Verse 2, “May it Never Be!”

 

Paul reminds us that Our Old Life has Died With Christ on the Cross:  “For we know that our Old Self was Crucified with Him so that the body Ruled by Sin might be done away with, that we should No Longer be Slaves to Sin— because Anyone who has Died has been Set Free from Sin”

  • Paul is NOT Saying that it is Impossible, But Foolish for Believers to Sin! Poor Choice!

 

Paul Tackles the Question of Why Christians should Not Continue to Sin Once We have Been Declared Righteous by God Because of Our Faith in Christ.

  • It’s a Good Question…After all, Paul’s recent teaching declared that We are No longer under the law of Moses, and God’s Grace will Always Increase to cover Our Sinfulness
  • Knowing nothing but that…It would seem reasonable to ask why Christians shouldn’t indulge in our desire to sin.

READ 6:1-4 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! 2 “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

  • Paul’s first Answer is that We Don’t have to do what Sin tells Us to Do any Longer, So why Would We Keep Doing it?

 

Then in verses 5-11 He Reveals more information about What Happens when a person comes to Faith in Christ on a Spiritual Level.

VS 5-11 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 

  • Paul is saying that We experience a spiritual death and rebirth that parallels Jesus’ own physical death and resurrection.
  • We are Raised to a New Spiritual Life. In fact, by Faith in Christ, We become so Closely Connected to Him that Our Spiritual Death is a Death to Sin itself.
  • We are Not Slaves to Sin any Longer is Because Our Old Self was Crucified.
  • Dead Men are Freed from their Old Masters. Sin Can’t tell Us What to Do any more. We are Literally Dead to Sin in Christ.

Paul’s Saying: We still have a Daily Choice to Make, however. We have been Freed from the Penalty of Sin. We Are Forgiven! We have Also been Freed from the Authority and Power of Sin. BUT…What We Haven’t Fully Lost is Our Desire to Sin…Sin still Attracts Us!

  • The Old Habits and Ways of Thinking Still Come to Us Naturally! Paul says Stop Giving Our Bodies Over to Be Used by Sin…Rather…Give them Over to Righteousness.
  • SIMPLY…We’re Alive Now…Why Live like Sin Still Owns Us?

READ VS 12-14: Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Paul gives another reason We should Not Continue Freely Sinning Once We are in Christ… Because it Leads to a Lifestyle of Volunteer Slavery.

  • Instead, Because We are in Christ, We should Live as Slaves to Righteousness.
  • Serving Righteousness is who We are Now…We used to Be Slaves to Unrighteousness, but Paul asks the Question…Where Did Sin Get Us?
  • Sin Always Leads to Death…SO…Let it Go and Serve Righteousness.

 

In Verses 15-16 Paul ask the question:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By No Means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

 

These Verses are saying, The Result of Righteousness, Given Freely to Us in Jesus Christ, is to Become like Christ and Experience Eternal Life. Paul Urges Us…Live For That Instead of for the Things of Death that Sin Brings (Romans 6:15–23).

 

After comparing Adam and Christ and what their choices brought into the world in Chapter 5, Paul In Chap. 6 turns to ask if Christians should continue in Sin once they have been Saved.

  • He gave Us several reasons why We Must Not…We Died to Sin’s Power Over Us; We are Now Servants to Righteousness; and What Good did Sin ever Bring? Only Death!

 

Vs 22-23 Concludes: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

As we conclude Chapter 6 Here’s what I want Us to Understand: In Christ our old man was crucified Positionally. This Is Our Promise of Hope! 

  • However, We All still Deal with the Old Nature as it Fights Against the New Nature We Received in Christ when we were Saved!
  • So Daily, We have to Choose to Resist the Old Nature when it Tempts Us to Sin.
  • Satans Power Over You has Been Rendered Inoperative! However, You Have a Choice to Live in that Power of the Holy Spirit or to Turn to Yourself and SIN!
  • Paul Says…Choose Christ…Choose Holiness…Choose Life Transformation!

Now in Chapter 7 Paul Discusses What it Means to be Released from the Law of Moses.

He Tackles the Relationship Between the Law—the Commandments Given by God—and Human Sinfulness.

  • Paul begins by making it Clear that Those who are In Christ have Been Released from Any Obligation to the Law of Moses.
  • This is for the same reason that We have been Released from Our Slavery to Sin: We Died, and Death Breaks those Obligations.
  • When We come to Faith in Christ…We Experience Death of the Bondage of Sin that Held Us Captive and are Resurrected into a New Spiritual Life. This is how We are Freed from Our Responsibility to the Law.
  • Paul uses the illustration of the Law of Marriage. A Woman whose Husband has Died is No longer Obligated to Remain Faithful to him. She is Free to Marry Another Man.
  • In a similar way, Our Death with Christ Freed Us from Our Obligation to the Law and Allows Us to Serve God in what Paul calls the New Yay of the Spirit (Rom 7:1–6).

Some Apparently thought Paul’s teaching about Freedom from the Law meant that he believed the Law itself to be Sinful.  Paul insists that he does Not.  Instead, he makes the Point that it was the Law that Revealed to him, his Own Sinfulness.

 

Vs 7-12 “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”

 

In effect, the apostle replies: “You Want to Know What the Problem is? It’s Not My View of the Law…That’s Beyond Reproach….It’s ME…I AM THE PROBLEM!

  • Paul is saying…My teaching on the law is not a reflection of what the lawis like. It’s a Reflection of What I Am Like.”
  • This is What God Wants Each of Us to See…We are Sinners in Need of God’s Grace!

 

Paul’s Teaching Has a Dual Purpose in Chapter 7: 

  • He Explains that The Life of Fruitful Obedience to God, Comes as We Dieto Our Old husband, the Law, which was a threatening master over us, and we Marry a New husband, the Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 1–4).
  • Vs 7–13 tell us that the Law can Only Expose Our Sin.
  • Although the Law is “Spiritual” having a Divine Origin and Nature—We Are “Fleshly” (v. 14), Intrinsically Incapable of Keeping God’s Good Law.

So God in Christ has to take from our hands the external written code—the law book—and Put into Our Hearts His Spirit, who Empowers the Powerless to Live the Fruitful Life of Love to Which God’s Law Points (vv. 5–6).

Paul’s main Purpose in Romans 7… is to simultaneously (1) defend himself against the misconception that he dismisses and denigrates God’s law, and (2) help the believers in Rome see that they’re fleshly by nature and, therefore, can’t successfully serve God in the “oldness of the letter” (v. 6).

  • But Paul Realizes that defending yourself while pointing the finger at others rarely ends well…so he defends himself while pointing the finger at himselfas the problem.

 

Paul learned that he was Covetous after being told by the Law Not to Covet. Worse, as a sinful human being, merely knowing that covetousness was a sin made him want to covet!

  • Our rebellious natures often choose to break rules just for the sake of breaking rules.
  • The Law Promised Paul Life if he Could Keep the Commandments, but he Discovered he Could Not do it. In that sense, the law doomed him to death. Still, though, in Verse12 Paul describes the law as Holy, Righteous, and Good.

Then in Vs 15-23 Paul describes his devastating experience of wanting to do what is good and finding himself doing what is sinful instead.  Vs 15-23 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. [SPIRITUAL WARFARE…OLD NATURE AGAINST NEW NATURE]

 

Based on the Greek tenses, Paul is describing the Ongoing Struggle of a Believer Against Sin…Rather than Something he “Got Over” when he was Saved.

  • Romans Defends the fact that Non-Christians are Unable to Keep the Law. That’s why the law Cannot Make Us Righteous Before God.
  • It is also true that Christians who have been Freed from the Power of Sin often still find the Powerful Influence of Sin Terribly Difficult to Overcome.
  • Becoming a Christian Gives a Person the Power to Overcome Sin (1 Cor 10:13; Rom 6:17), But it Does Not Make One Sinless (1 John 1:9–10).

 

In Verses 24-25 After describing the disconnect between his best intentions to do good and his real-world sinful actions, Paul cries out in frustration that he is a wretched man and asks who will deliver him.

  • He responds by thanking God through Jesus Christ our Lord, implying that he has and/or will find that deliverance only through faith in Christ.

Conclusion:

  • Romans 6 revealed that those in Christ have died to sin and are no longer slaves to it.
  • Romans 7 begins by showing that, in Christ, we have also died to our obligation to follow the law of Moses.
  • And Paul makes it clear, that the law is holy and good because it Reveals to Us just how Sinful We are. Where there is No Law…There is No Transgressions!

Paul describes how his failed attempts to follow the law convinced him more fully of his need to be delivered from his sinfulness by God through faith in Christ. He Needed Grace!

Romans makes it Clear that God Desires More of You and Me than Just Being Justified-Saved!

Romans makes it clear that We are to Continue in His Grace to Allow Sanctification in Our Lives…More of Christ and Less of US.

So What is God’s method for Our Sanctification…To Become Holy And Set Apart Unto God.

First, Your Thinking. When we become a Christian, we still have the vestiges of old ways of thinking within us. So the first step to becoming more holy is to let God Transform Our Minds.

  • Allowing the Correct Content to Come into Our Minds.
  • If you want to become Holy…Or if you’re struggling to become holy, the first place to look is to your mind. What do You allow into Your Mind…What do You Read? What do You Watch? What you read and Watch those things if Christ was Sitting with You?
  • The first step to becoming holy is to grow in your thought life. What You Read, Watch and spend Your time with will determine the degree of Your Holiness!

 

Second, Put Off the Old Self. [Be Intentional!] In order to grow in holiness, we need to make an active commitment to put off the old ways, old habits and replace them with Godly Choices and Building New Habits and Practices.

  • I remember the difficulty in putting off the old habits, old tendencies, and desires.
  • Think of it as a Set of Clothes. You have a certain set of behavioral clothes. Put off this old suit. Put off this old set of clothes. Don’t keep those old behaviors in your wardrobe. Throw them out! Put them off. Put off the old self.
  • Paul called it, “Putting to Death” the Old Self.

 

Third, Put On the New Self. The new self is Paul’s way of describing the New Nature that God gives us when we become a Christian. We are Born Again. We Become New…But now we need to work to put on that new self…More and More.

  • Again, think of it as a set of clothes. Put on the New Clothes. Put on the clothes of being Like Christ. Put on His Love, His Patience, His Zeal for God’s Glory, His Mercy, His Truth. Put on the Characteristics of Christ.

 

Romans 12: 1-3: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

 

POINT: To Become Like Christ I Must Put Off the Old Self and Put on the New!