Sunday, October 7, 2012

Romans 6

We come to Romans 6 one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible. The reason I enjoy it is because it explains how we are freed from the dominion of sin, and how we are to conduct ourselves based on that freedom.
The chapter opens with this astounding attitude that Paul displays with the question: How can we who died to sin live in it? The Reformation Study Bible note on this verse (Romans 6:2) tells us that Paul is saying that we have been really united with Jesus Christ in both His death and resurrection, and this has altered our condition so much, that to continue sinning as before is not only inappropriate but actually impossible. That is amazing. Our heart/attitude has to get to the point of knowing that we are in Christ, really in Him, so much so that we fight against our sin, that our hearts move more and more progressively, toward  hating sin, avoiding sin, of realizing that when I sin, I am not acting in my Christian character, I am acting against my true self in Christ.

Roman 6 goes on to explain our union with Christ, verse 3 states: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? verse 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.

To understand the glory and wonder that these verses are telling us we need to look at 1 Corinthians 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.  When Jesus was crucified, we see from Romans 6 and other passages in the New Testament, that God was working wonderful things for us in Christ's; obedient life, in Christ's death and in Christ resurrection. We have salvation because our sins were placed on Christ on the cross and He received the Father's wrath instead of us. If the enemies of God knew that God was going to work all the blessings we receive by Christ's Crucifixion and resurrection, they would not have crucified Christ.

Romans 6 tells us the foundation of our victory over sin. It tells us when Christ was crucified our old self, (our sin nature) 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, that's verse 6.  The reason we have to pray before we read the Bible, is so the Holy Spirit will open up our eyes and our hearts so we can see and take in what the Word tells us. We can fight against sin because the power of sin over us was broken when our sins were placed on Christ. We can fight against sin. Verse 11: So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

It is a fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, God in the Bible is telling us what He worked for us in Christ's death and resurrection and verse 11 tells us we must, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. God is telling us to believe in what He has done. Verse 4 tells us to walk in newness of life, the life we have because when Christ was raised from the dead the power of sin for all of those who will believe in Him, was broken. God's grace has provided. Verse 14 says For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. This verse is a promise. Sin does not have the power to control you if you are a Christian. Verse 16 gives us a warning however: Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Even though sin does not have the power to dominate us anymore once we trust in Christ, if we obey our sinful nature (because its power has been broken over us, it has not been killed) if we act opposite of the freedom we have in Christ, and desire the evil way, the wicked way, we can be brought back under its influence, if you are a true Christian, it cant regain total control because the Father has you and none can take us out of His hand. That's the attitude of astonishment that is expressed in verse 2 How can we who died to sin still live in it? How? How can one who has been freed from the domination of sin and Satan desire to go back, its impossible. How can we desire Satan and sin when we have tasted Christ and service to Him. How can we return to those things we are now ashamed of. Because we have seen the goodness of God and we know our sin is opposed to the rule of God. The only way a strong desire or habit is broken or changed is for the heart to be captured by something or someone that we find to be more desirable, someone who is more precious to us. That is the Christian pursuit, seeing God more and more in His Word, in His people, in the answer to prayers in your life and He become more and more precious, to you. We are on a road of sanctification a road of holiness. We see this clearly in the book of Romans. We were on the road to death, eternal separation from God. The power that held us on that road has been broken in Christ, it can only be broken in Christ. God knows our hearts, He knows that we have hearts that are prone to wander, He is that Great Shepard and He always brings us back to repentance. We have to fight to make Christ that which is most precious to us. God does not hide the truth He presents it clearly and lovingly so, that's why He ends this chapter with these words:For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Father, forgive us of our sin. Cleanse us of our unrighteousness. Help us to live in character with the new life we have in Jesus Christ. Father press into our hearts that sin is hell and obedience is heaven. Help us to see you as the Great Wonder that You are. In Jesus name.....Amen.

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