Sunday, April 25, 2010

133) All believers are sanctified

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

Paul is emphatically stating that unregenerate sinners are not unwilling slaves to sin, but are more than willing to present their members to the slavery of lawlessness. As such the unregenerate are dead in sin and have no freedom or ability to refrain from presenting their members to impurity and sin. But now Paul is exhorting those who have been set free from sin by the power of God to present their members as slaves to righteousness. Having been set free from the slavery of sin, believers have the freedom and power to pursue righteousness, and Paul completely rejects any possibility of a Christian having two masters. While Christians still sin, they no longer willingly, regularly, and without remorse present themselves to lawlessness and impurity. There are no carnal or nominal Christians! A person is either a regenerated disciple of Christ being led by the Spirit of God or he is not a Christian at all. The fruits of sanctification flow from the internal Spirit caused desires of the new covenant and not from the external legalistic performance based old covenant.

Focus on Christ #133

Thursday, April 22, 2010

132) Set free from sin

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (18) and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

A Christian is a disciple who obeys the teachings of Christ. This is caused by God’s grace and not by unaided human decision. The end result of God intervening with his grace is sinners are set free from sin. This doesn’t make believers sinless, but it does break the power of sin and enables and causes them to respond to a new master. This passage leaves no room for someone to be a carnal Christian and still be a slave to sin. If someone is a slave to sin, he is not a believer and is still the wretched man that Paul goes on to describe in chapter 7. It is God who saves sinners from their body of death and frees them from their slavery to sin.

Focus on Christ #132

Monday, April 19, 2010

131) We are all slaves

Romans 6:16 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?

The distinction Paul makes in this verse is between believers and non-believers. Paul makes the point that everyone is either a slave to sin or obedience that leads to righteousness. The obedience that leads to righteousness is a result of the new covenant promise of a new heart. Through regeneration by the Holy Spirit and the leading of the Holy Spirit, believers have a new nature that causes them to pursue righteousness through obedience to Christ. Please note the fruit of righteousness is a result of regeneration and not the cause of it.

Focus on Christ #131

Thursday, April 15, 2010

130) Grace is not a license to sin

Romans 6:15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Paul makes it crystal clear that being under grace instead of law DOES NOT mean believers are still slaves to sin and now have a license to sin. New Covenant grace provides believers with new desires and also the power to not sin. A person that professes Christ but is unrepentant and continues full steam ahead in all his sinful behavior has not been regenerated. He may claim to be a believer, but he is not under grace and is still under the wrath of God. Paul makes it clear that God’s grace does not make sin an acceptable option to willingly participate in without concern.

Focus on Christ #130

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

REPRINT....70) Grace defeats the law of sin and death

Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Grace came by Jesus Christ and it came with power. When Jesus came into the world full of grace and truth, more was provided than just satisfying the legal requirements for salvation. In addition to his atonement for sin, Jesus also provided believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Under the law sin had dominion and sinners were slaves to sin, but under grace the power of the Holy Spirit sets sinners free from the slavery of sin [Romans 8:2]. Not perfectly of course, but sin will no longer control the rudder and direction of all who are in Christ Jesus by faith. Grace earns the victory over the law through faith [1 John 5:4].

Focus on Christ #70

Sunday, April 4, 2010

129) Present your members to God

Romans 6:12-13 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.

While the born again believer is no longer a wretched man captive to sin, he still retains an ability to sin. The pre-conversion old man is no longer in control of a believer’s heart and actions, but he still has influence. Just as lobbyists work to influence congress, the old man is always there urging believers to participate in sin. However, God has brought believers from death to life and Paul is making it clear that believers are to present themselves to God as instruments of righteousness rather than give in to sinful passions. Believers are not perfect and sometimes stumble, but they follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in a positive direction of discipleship and sanctification. Paul thoroughly explains this in Romans 8:2-14 where he makes distinctions between believers and unbelievers. Anyone who continually follows his sinful passions and walks according to the flesh has not been regenerated. He may claim to be a saved carnal Christian, but he is deluded and bound for hell unless he repents and turns to Christ. Those who proclaim and encourage such false doctrine are very much like the serpent that deceived Eve by saying, “Did God actually say?” Christ did not die on the cross of Calvary so redeemed believers could live unchanged sinful lives and through the indwelling Holy Spirit that does not happen.

Focus on Christ #129

Friday, April 2, 2010

128) Christians are alive to God in Christ Jesus

Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Paul reminds Christians they must consider themselves dead to sin. This means they are not captive to sin as they were before God regenerated and gave them a heart of flesh to replace their heart of stone. In Romans 7, Paul relates how he was a slave to sin before his conversion when he was attempting to achieve his righteousness through law keeping. While the Romans 7 wretched man is a slave to sin and does not have the ability to do what is right, the redeemed regenerated Christian has the ability because he is alive to God. He is in Christ Jesus and has been delivered from his body of death. Although Christians still battle sin, they are not wretched men who are enslaved by sin with no ability to do right. Praise God that the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death [Rom. 8:2].

Focus on Christ #128