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  • Romans Chapter Six

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    Sixth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans

     

    Introduction

     

    We are now embarking into the study of the sixth chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans.

    Paul is now stepping up the level of doctrinal depth of his Epistle. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul at this point to write a chapter that is crucial to the proper understanding of the victory of the believer, victory over sin and death.

    Let is also remember that the Roman church had not had at all up to this epistle any apostolic doctrinal training and because of this the Holy Spirit using Paul writes perhaps the most complete and in depth doctrinal and theological book of the whole Bible.

    Chapter 6 however is a very complex chapter and is intense and sometimes even difficult to understand. This chapter is however better understood in the light of the following two chapters, chapters 7 and 8.

    This is a chapter that is essential to the understanding of the position and the relationship of the believer with sin and death. It is crucial for the believer to understand this portion of Scripture in order to have true and real victory over sin. It is a portion of Scripture that when understood properly fixes the faith of a believer upon the reality of how God perceives the believer and what actually and really does happen to a person who is born again of the Spirit of God, a person who is regenerated by God, by His grace.

    We had seen previously in chapters 3, 4 and 5 that the believer was forgiven and justified through Jesus Christ and that the believer stands firm in God’s grace by faith in Jesus and stands fully forgiven and justified and blessed of all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, all by God’s grace of which faith is part.

    Now however, in this portion of Scripture Paul describes to the Roman believers and also to us, how God views the believer in Christ and how this is a MUST for the believer to learn and believe if the believer wants to gain victory over sin and over the flesh. This is seen from a forensic point of view, in other words from God’s point of view what actually happens to a person in Christ. Believing, having faith in God’s word, in what He says about us, our position in Christ, our relationship to Him but also how this affected our relationship with sin, death and the flesh.

    We must remember, what is it that sets us truly free from the power of sin in our life?

    John 8:31-36 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

    We MUST live by faith and by faith we must take God at His word. His word then tells us what has happened to us in Christ and how all this translates and develops into our life. I repeat, this chapter is a part of a trilogy, chapters 6-7-8. It is better understood together with the others because chapter 7 and 8 compliment chapter 6 and actually render this chapter better understandable. In other words, simply by reading chapter 6 some questions may arise in the mind of people and these questions are then answered by Paul, both in this chapter and also in the following two. In fact the questions that can begin to arise in the minds of the readers actually start at the end of chapter 5.

    This chapter begins a very rich portion of Scripture especially in doctrinal truths and it will no doubt challenge us in our study of the Scripture.

    The first question that arises from how chapter 5 ends is this one, and Paul addresses it by explaining the answer in chapter 6.

    Romans 5:20-21 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

     

    Romans VI from Verse I to verse XI

     

    1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.  8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

     

     

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

     

    As we said Paul asks this question, a question that he knows would unfortunately arise in the mind of persons, even immature or untrained and spiritually ignorant believers. This method of teaching is not really new to Paul he in fact has often employed this method of asking questions and then answering them. We have seen this already at work previously in [Romans 2:3-4],[Romans 3:3-8] and we will see this at work still in this epistle [Romans 9:14],[Romans 9:19-20].

    He knew that the human not renewed mind would make a person shipwreck their limited understanding on the shores of rationalization and false doctrines.

    Let us remember in fact that in Paul’s days as well as today, there were and are Gnostic philosophies, even adopted in many churches today, that claim that it is OK to continue in sin because after all God is love, grace and mercy and He will at all costs forgive sin so that one can continue to live a completely unrighteous life and God will forgive and continue to forgive.

    In the Gnostic mind the body was evil and wicked so that it was useless to submit the body to righteous living, only the spirit counted, so that a person, as we said, could continue to live in unrighteousness and sin and that would not be a problem.

    However, this is a big problem and we see that in the Apostle’s doctrines this concept is entirely considered a false doctrine, unrighteous living is prohibited and it is actually a sign that true faith and conversion, regeneration, has not really taken place;

    see [1 Corinthians 6:9-10],[Ephesians 5:5-7] just to name a couple of Scriptures.

    In fact, make no mistake Hebrews 12:14 says Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

     

    1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

     

    1 John 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

    Now, what we have here, and it is good to understand is this, the Bible does not teach that the believer is perfect or will be perfect in righteous living, although God expects perfect righteousness and holiness He knows human beings, even redeemed ones, will eventually still sin.

    That is why He sent Jesus, is it not? To do what we could not and ever do [Romans 8:1-4]. In fact that is exactly why chapters 7 and 8 were written and what they teach about. Redeemed people still sin and we will see why, but they do not pursue sinfulness and unrighteous living as their standard and lifestyle, they pursue holiness and righteousness.

    So the point is this, that a true regenerated and converted person although does not live in perfect righteousness and holiness, still pursues them. That’s actually the point in Hebrews 12:14. The true believer is a changed person, the true believer pursues, goes after righteousness and holiness because now he or she has a new nature, a changed heart which lead them to desire to live righteously and to actually live differently from before. That is the whole point of the two Scriptures we just read in [1 John 3:7-10].

    The whole idea here is that the focus of the life of the believer and the non believer have become opposite. In other words, the child of God pursues and practices, although imperfectly, righteous and holy living, the child of Satan does not ever care to pursue or ever practice righteous living, he or she cannot and does not want to.

    That is the whole idea of why Paul anticipates the question that the end of chapter 5 may cause in some person’s mind. Is it alright to go on sinning purposefully so that God’s grace may abound even more? Well, we have seen already up until now that the answer of this question is a resounding NO!

    It is not alright, but some legalistic Jews already had accused Paul and the other Apostles of teaching this permissive and what they called libertine doctrine of grace because they would declare that the Apostles were teaching in fact that it was OK to sin because of God’s grace, in other words that this once saved always saved doctrine of grace was enticing and encouraging to sin and to transgress the law of God.

    This could not be further from the truth. Also there were some libertine and permissive Gnostic teachers as we already mentioned that taught that it was OK to continue to sin with the body because the spirit was saved and so it did not matter how the body lived and behaved.

    Both parties are wrong. The Apostles NEVER taught that it was OK to continue to sin as we saw and will see, they always condemned unrighteousness and sinfulness. In addition the Gnostic teachers were dead wrong, in fact they were condemned and damned by the Apostles exactly for this permissive sinful behavior. See for example [2 Peter 2:12-22] and

    Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

     

    Jude 12-13 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

     

    Jude 16-19 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

    Clearly those who teach this kind of unrighteous and unholy behavior were not the Apostles but other false teachers, the Apostles did not at all teach that grace is a green light to continue to sin. This Paul had said to the Apostles’ defense also previously while condemning those who do instead teach this false doctrine.

    Romans 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?–as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

    There are still today many false teachers and false apostles, bishops or whatever else they call themselves, that claim that one can continue to live a lifestyle contrary to sound righteous doctrine and still be in God and in His grace. No, this is not possible!

    There are many even entire churches and denominations for example who advocate that homosexual living is a natural lifestyle, that it is not sin in God’s eyes, that it is OK to practice, in fact these churches have pastors, elders and bishops who are homosexual and teach their congregants that homosexuality is accepted behavior in God’s eyes. They will not admit it but they are teaching in reality that their unholy and unrighteous living is covered by God’s grace anyway, God’s grace abounds to them. No it is not, No it does not! They lie and do not at all understand God, who and how He is, they completely mock God’s holy and righteous character, they make God pass for a liar because they claim that what God has declared in His word sin to be is non sin, they are those who John described in

    1 John 1:5-10 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

    These err as much as those who continue to live in any other kind of sinful and unrighteous lifestyle, have not repented and do not live a sanctified life, these are not truly regenerated saved people. That is the whole point Paul made in the beginning of this epistle, remember? [Romans 1:18:32].

    So now, Paul here in Romans 6 answers in detail once and for all why this cannot be. Being under grace does not at all mean that one can continue to live in sin and in an unrighteous lifestyle.

     

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

    Now Paul answers the question, the famous question that perhaps some people, ignorant of the true value of God’s grace, would dare to ask.

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

    Certainly not! This should never be. Then Paul begins to explain the why, the profound theological and doctrinal reason, but not only. This is also a very practical reason as well, not just theoretical or theological only.

    Let’s get something really straight, there is nothing revealed in the word of God that is not necessary and in the end that is not practical for the life of the Christian. It is blasphemous to declare that doctrine does not count or that it is useless.

    Are we saying that to know how God really is, His attributes, His character for example is not a practical thing in and for the life of the Christian? On the contrary, it is not only practical it is actually essential in the practical life of the believer. Why? Because for example many, many “believers” have made for themselves an image of God that is not biblical. The image they have made is not how God has revealed Himself through the pages of Scripture. This causes the person not to know God the way He really is and this spills over in the practical life of that person. This problem causes, erroneous behavior on part of the believer .

    The first and most serious offense this problem causes is idolatry. Having made God in a different image than the reality of who He is, is idolatry. It causes also the wrong type of worship and lifestyle, it also causes lack of faith, lack of obedience, disrespect toward God, presumption, tempting God, pride, selfishness, and so on, many many other things. So is theology and doctrine important in the life of the child of God? Absolutely, in fact as I said, not only important, essential.

    Some people erroneously say that doctrine and theology are not important, they also say that all we need is love. That perhaps works if you are the Beatles, but it is an non-scriptural concept. The Bible tells us that love is the end of the law, yes, Jesus Himself however tells us that we must worship God is spirit and in what? Truth, see [John 4:23-24].

    That is how we worship God, in spirit and in truth, because biblical love, God’s brand of love, Agape, is always paired in Scripture with the truth and the truth is referred to the word of God [John 17:17-19]. Doctrine, truth and love are inseparable, see for example

    1 Corinthians 13:6 (love) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Doctrine and Theology) 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth (Doctrine and Theology) in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

    How does a Christian grow in spiritual maturity, spiritual knowledge and spiritual discernment? Through love? No not really, through the truth spoken, taught, preached with love.

    1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby

    Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (See [Hebrews 5:12-14],[Romans 12:2]).
    Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

    So how does one receive knowledge and discernment to be added to their love, to make it Agape love? This type of love causes to approve things that are excellent, but how? Through sound and true doctrine and theology by the word of God, that’s how.

    How is one transformed into the likeness of Christ? In other words how does God sanctify us? By His word, right? [John 17:17-19], [Romans 12:1-2], [Psalms 119:9-11].

    God is love [1 John 4:8] and He is also truth [John 14:6],[John 1:14-17] and wants to lead us into truth, all the truth [John 16:13] nothing bu the truth, so helps us God.

    It’s the truth that sets us free, how do we know this truth?

    John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    It sets us free to serve and love God and others the way God wants us to love. Agape is love that needs to be learned and it is learned to practice by the knowledge and the renewal of the mind through the word of God.

    1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

    To exercise God’s love one must know, learn how to love God’s way and this is learned by the knowledge of who God is and what He wants us to do and how He desires us to love.

    2 John 1-4 To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.

    See also [John 16:13].

    So are doctrine and theology necessary? You bet, they are in fact indispensable to live properly the Christian life and to exercise God’s love, His way and to get to truly know God the way He is.

    Neil Anderson Bible teacher, pastor, spiritual counselor and teacher of theology in a seminary declared this truth:

    Good theology is an indispensable prerequisite for good psychology.”

    I add this:

    Good and sound biblical psychology therefore guided by the renewing of the mind through good theology is an indispensable prerequisite for the development of godly, holy and righteous behavior.”

    After all this is what Paul says in [Romans 12:1-2].

    So having said this very important side note, we return to our text in [Romans 6:2]. Why then is it not OK to continue in sin so that grace may abound?

    How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

    What does this mean exactly? Well, Paul explains it.

    As I said before, now Paul begins to give some depth to the answer of why a believer does not continue to sin, or as he put it to live any longer in sin. We must really qualify what Paul means with the term living in sin.

     

    First however, we see that Paul says that the believer died to sin. What in the world does this mean? Well, when someone is dead he ceased to live, right? He ceases to do all the things he did when he was alive, a dead person cannot do the things the living do. The things of the living ceased. On the other hand a dead person does what? Nothing, just lays there dead, in other words that power, the life that before enabled the dead person to act is now gone, that life is gone and so are all the actions that were possible to be performed through life.

    Well, the concept in this case is exactly the same. If a person, who before, when they were living in sinfulness are now dead to sin they have ceased to live in it and by it. They no longer have the sin nature, that nature died, in other words the power of sin that caused the person not only to commit sin but to choose to sin, that power is gone, if we could say it like this, the life of sin is gone. The power of sin is dead. That is what it means to have died to sin.

    The bonds of the slavery to the power of sin are broken because the very power of sin was eliminated by the actual death to sin of the person who became a believer. Yes, a believer at one point in time already died, we will see ahead what this really means because Paul will explain it to us. This death is the death of the old man, of the sinful nature and of the power that made man want and choose to sin.

    So as a dead man ceases to live physically, a person who is dead to sin ceases to live in the power of sin.

    The position and relationship to sin of man before dying to sin is alive to sin and living in it.

    The position and relationship to sin after having died to sin, in other words having died with Christ, is dead to sin and therefore no longer in it.

    Now, certainly a question arises in the mind of many even my own really. If the power of sin and the relationship to sin are dead in a believer why in the world then does a believer still sin? Or then again, does a true believer still sin?

    Well, Paul knows this question will arise in the mind of people and so he wrote for us an entire chapter explaining why, yes, a believer still sins. This will be the context of chapter 7of Romans. That’s exactly why Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote it, because otherwise we could have really been confused as to why a redeemed person still sins after having been regenerated and we could question whether or not we are truly saved.

    The good news however is this, that the actual power of sin, the power that, as we said, causes man not only to sin but to be a slave to sin in such a way that it affects completely the will and the behavior of the person, that power is dead in the redeemed person, it no longer has its power upon the believer.

    So the believer then no longer can live in the power of which he died from, that power has no more hold on the believer. Sin no longer has power over the believers’ will, the believers’ will is now dead to sin, watch now, and alive in Christ to God. We will see this concept better exposed ahead in this chapter and the next one.

    Our nature has been changed when we were regenerated, that is the whole issue. Being dead to sin means that what used to cause our will to be captive to the power of sin is now dead, what was that? Our sinful nature, our natural man, our old man, when we were in Adam we had a sinful, rebellious nature that enslaved us, took captive all of our being, our will was a slave to the power of sin.

    In fact that is the whole issue, being in Adam, that’s it. Now, being dead to sin means no longer being in Adam, but as we will see, being alive in Christ.

    Before in Adam we were all dead to God and we behaved as sin dictated, this is described for us ahead by Paul, and we were alive to sin. Now we are in Christ and with Him we died, we died to sin and we are now alive toward God in Jesus.

    Adam died and Jesus lives, the sinful nature died and Christ’s nature is being formed in us, in fact we do have His nature now.

    2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    Here I believe we must see this issue as changed desires and ability. The word of God tells us in

    Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

    Now this is the issue that also will be seen ahead in this chapter, anyway, now, he who is dead to sin lives not in that sinfulness any longer but is now controlled by another power and desire, God’s Spirit and His word.

    God’s grace does a specific thing in the life of believers, it teaches those who have truly received it certain things, true grace denies ungodliness and sinfulness does not promote it, so that the answer to Paul’s previous question, Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?Is also answered in the word of God like this,

    Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    We will see more of this later in this chapter.

    3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

    Do we know this fact? This fact is extremely important to know. Why? Well we will learn why as Paul explains it to us. Now here we must really understand that the knowledge of this fact really has a very practical aspect in the life of the believer and not only a theological, positional and theoretical aspect. The knowledge of this fact should give the believer an additional encouragement and stimulus in righteous living and victory over sin.

    The knowledge of this should move us believers to break out in faith and appreciation and praise to God, as well as giving us the knowledge of our status, our position and our identity in Christ before God.

    This issue that Paul is explaining to us here in this chapter is the practical reality of our standing in Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection. It is extremely important to know our standing and our identity in Christ as well as knowing the reality of the relationship that we now have with sin and with God. This is a very important issue to obtain victory over sin in our life as believers.

    Paul then begins describing the believer’s victory over the power of sin telling us two very important realities here.

    Our position in Christ and our relationship to Christ.

    Already Paul began in verse 2 telling us about the relationship between the believer and sinfulness. It basically is no longer an issue now, however Paul now gives us even more detail in regard to our being dead to sin.

    Paul mentions now those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus. What does being baptized into Christ mean? That is our position and our relationship now as believers in Christ. But what baptism are we talking about here? Water baptism? It could seem that way but it is not so.

    Let’s remember that water baptism, the baptism that Jesus commanded all of His disciples to obediently undertake is really nothing else than the outward symbol, the outward sign of what God did to the believer in Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is symbolic of what happened to each of us when we were regenerated by the Holy Spirit and were given by God’s grace the faith to believe the Gospel, to repent of our sins and to confess Jesus as Lord. At that very instant, while all this was happening the Holy Spirit baptized, immersed us into the body of Christ. So this baptism described here has no physical water, rather it is the Holy Spirit and the word of God, both represented in Scripture as water, that is the baptism Paul is talking about. This is the same baptism that Paul speaks about in

    1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

    Same thing described by John the Baptist when he described what Jesus would do, baptize the believers with the Holy Spirit. This baptism immersed us fully into Christ, His death, His burial and His resurrection and because He lives we are immersed, fused, united into His life and into His body of which we are now an inseparable part.

    Now, the Holy Spirit is said to baptize us into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, we have been regenerated and have believed the Gospel, repented and confessed Jesus as Lord. So, when were we in Christ before or after this event? That is the puzzling question.

    Now it is difficult to fully understand how this act of the Spirit’s work but it works in such a way, the Spirit actually did this at the moment of regeneration and subsequent faith accompanied it with belief in the work and the Lordship of Christ and with repentance of sins.

    It is interesting to know however another thing that is connected to this event. When Jesus Christ went to the cross, when He went on that cross once and for all the elect, ALL those that God had chosen in eternity past to be in Christ and to be saved, the elect were actually crucified with Christ on that cross, as well as when Jesus was buried ALL were buried and when Jesus arose to new life as well as when Jesus ascended to the Father we also were in Him. How is that possible?

    The Bible clearly shows us these realities [Ephesians 1:3-14],[Ephesians 2:1-6],[Romans 5:6-10].

    One could think then, that we were already saved even when we were not yet. Not exactly, not from man’s perspective, but in a certain way from God’s perspective it is that way.

    So before you call me a heretic I will explain what this means.

    We have to remember that when we look at things such as this one we must realize that there are two perspectives we must understand, God’s and man’s. If we look at what God explains only from man’s perspective we will only have half the truth and a twisted way of looking at the things the Bible teaches. When we study a subject such as the doctrine of soteriology, in other words the doctrine of salvation, but in reality all of the Bible, we must arrive to the understanding that there are, more often than not, two perspectives shown, God’s and man’s.

    Now, in the Bible God explains both and this is true also when we look at things such as the doctrine of salvation from the perspective of God, how does God view it and how does man see it. How did God plan it and fulfill it and how does man understand it and participate in it all by God’s grace, mercy and love of course.

    Now the tricky and difficult part for man is not to understand things from man’s perspective, that is fairly easy, rather to understand things and accept them from God’s point of view.

    Therefore, if we believe that the Bible teaches the doctrine of election, and it does, then, in a way, since those who believe were elected to salvation through faith, chosen to be saved, predestined to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, then it is much easier to reconcile all this.

    We who are saved still lived in Adam for a time, in Adam we were dead to God and alive to sin, we still were by nature sinners and children of God’s wrath, however, since we were elected, chosen predestined to be in Christ and to believe, we were not really destined to remain under God’s wrath for ever. We were, from God’s perspective and not ours, already in Christ, when? Even at the time when all of Jesus’ work of redemption took place, that is why He cried out from the cross It is finished!” Did He lie? Was it all done or did something still have to be done? No obviously Jesus did not lie and yes the work of redemption from the perspective of Jesus’ earthly work of redemption but also from the standpoint of the actual entire completion of it.

    In a sense the whole work of redemption from God’s perspective was completed then, however, it had to be and has to be brought to pass from man’s perspective and in the realm of actual earthly time. In eternity and in God’s mind it was already done, completed, and when Jesus finished the work by His death, resurrection and ascension it was actually and really done, see [Romans 8:29-30], yet it had to be applied through time and space to all those for whom Jesus died [Isaiah 53:10-12].

    This also means that nothing and nobody can stop, thwart God’s project, that which He decrees will be fulfilled, in fact in reality it is already fulfilled, when God decrees something it will come to pass and this confirms God’s complete sovereignty over everything and everybody.

    Certainly Satan can try and will try to obstruct God’s plans, but in reality how can he be effectively successful? How can an enemy of God, who was already defeated, one who has to be permitted by God to do what he does, how can he be successful against God and therefore how can he be successful against those who are part of God’s benevolent plan?

    [Job 1:6-12],[Job 2:3-6],[Philippians 2:9-11],[Ephesians 1:19-23].

    If Jesus came to destroy the power of the enemy, has He done it or not? Certainly! Therefore we, those who are the redeemed in Christ will we be defeated by our enemies?

    [John 16:11],[Hebrews 2:14-15],[1 John 3:8]

    Is God omnipotent only to get us to be converted and then He will not be to keep us in salvation and save us to the end?  [John 10:27-29],[Hebrews 7:24-27],[1 Peter 1:3-5].

    Be careful, because how you answer these questions is a barometer of what you believe regarding God and His attributes.

    So what we experience in our salvation is something real and actual that occurs for us at the time God applies it to us, that is man’s perspective and experience. However in God’s program, in His mind, in His reality it was already done before we were even born, it was already done at the cross, at the resurrection at the ascension, it was done before the foundation of the world. So that we, are not here by accident, in a way God did have a great purpose for our life, the purpose He had given us even before we were born, to be His children through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Is this hard to understand? Oh yes, but after all it is hard to understand why God would bestow such grace and mercy upon such wicked persons, such undeserving rebellious sinners that surely deserve hell, separation from God and certainly not His love, especially not while we were yet sinners, but that is when Christ died for us, that’s when He forgave us ALL our sins [Romans 5:8-10].

    So one will ask themselves, were we not sinners though? This way of thinking, if we were already in Christ at the moment of His crucifixion we should have been already saved and justified why have we lived as sinners, why did we still have a sinful nature that rendered us slaves to sin, if our salvation had already occurred the cross and we were in Christ on that cross, if we were buried and were risen with Him how were we sinners, why have we refused God and we did not seek God? Why did we live in sin and liked it? Were we not then saved? No! We were still sinners, slaves to sin and on the way to hell because we were still natural and spiritually dead people. Being predestined or elected in other words being chosen DOES NOT preclude the fact that we were not slaves to sin, certainly we were, the word of God and our very lives demonstrate the fact that we were slaves to sin. We still needed to be regenerated in the true sense although the work of redemption was completed for us and God did see us in Christ on the cross, in other words He still considered us crucified, buried and resurrected with Christ however all this had to be applied to ALL those who God has elected to be regenerated and to be baptized into Christ, this when the Holy Spirit at just the right moment of our life, moment also chosen by God the Father, applied the benefits of what Jesus did for us.

    Therefore, this from God’s point of view was indeed an already done deal because when God decrees something it is a certain thing that has to be fulfilled and it will be. It is like a prophecy, God declares that it will happen before that it actually happens in real human time, but let’s remember that eternity is not terrestrial human time and so for God yesterday is as today and as tomorrow will be.

    That which God declares has only to happen in man’s time but not in God’s time. We can then safely say then that in the mind and time of God when He chose us and decreed His plan of salvation for the elect it was already a done deal from His point of view not ours. After all what would what John decreed would mean otherwise?

    John 11:52 and not only for the nation, but also to reunite in one all of God’s children dispersed in the world.

    Who are God’s children dispersed in the world? What does children of God mean? Because for God the elect were already considered His children, in His perspective, in His mind, in His decision it is like this and rightly so and responsibly, even in God’s eyes, we were also children of Satan and children of wrath that deserved hell and of this very fact God made us aware by His grace and He has drawn us to Jesus to believe in Him and through our sinful life He taught us in order to show us that otherwise our destiny would have been justly hell.

    John 6:44-45 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

    We were definitely on the way to hell but we were not destined to remain on it. God did everything and does everything regarding our salvation but not separately from our regenerated will and cooperation. From our human perspective and understanding everything appears as if it were decided and chosen by us, after all we did believe in what God did for us.

    After all it is hard, almost impossible to understand how God can be one God and yet be three persons and remain one. In a sense that’s the same concept, how could we had already been in Christ yet not be and then be baptized, immersed into Him, into His death to be in Him? With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible. From man’s perspective this is impossible but from God’s perspective not only possible, because whatever He declares to be, is, not really will be but is, it is at the moment it is declared by God but time has to pass to fulfill God’s entire project so that from man’s perspective it is only done when it occurs but in reality it already was when God declared it.

    Ephesians 1:3-12 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

    However, so far we have seen that the relationship and position of the believer with sin is no longer alive, a new relationship and position has been established. The new position and relationship is not any longer in and with sin, it is now in and with Jesus Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are in Him fully immersed. The Holy Spirit applies the will of God in the form of regeneration, He is the One who applies God’s salvation to us doing what God had already planned and had already accomplished through Jesus’ work of redemption.

    That is why Jesus ascended at the right hand of the Father and why He now sits until He returns, that is why He sent the Holy Spirit, yes He is the Spirit of Christ and He does Jesus’ and the Father’s will, He regenerates, convicts, baptizes into Christ and applies God’s grace, things God however already planned and considered accomplished even before they were in man’s time and perspective.

    This baptism, this immersion in Jesus, this union, this position and relationship is described for us in other parts of Scripture as well [1 Corinthians 6:17],[Galatians 3:27],[Colossians 2:11-13].

    So the first position and relationship in Christ to be delivered by the power of sin is in Christ’s death.

    Christ’s death gave us the victory over the dominion, the power, the slavery that sin had upon us

    [1 Corinthians 15:56-57],[Hebrews 2:14] [1 John 3:8-9] Christ’s death gave us victory over sin and its power, because it eradicated the sinful nature we had in Adam.

    We did already see previously in our study, how man’s nature is completely enslaved to the power of sin. The natural man’s entire being is completely corrupted by sin, by the constant, uninterrupted willful desire to sin. We did see that sin completely corrupted man’s heart, mind, body and spirit. Jesus’ death instead destroyed the power of sin in those who are regenerated by God and given a new divine nature in place of the old sinful one [2 Corinthians 5:17],[2 Peter 1:3-4].

    So that we, also being in Christ and baptized into His death, we have truly and positionally died with Him and therefore we died to sin as well. As we mentioned before being dead to sin we no longer can live in it also practically speaking

    1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God

    and positionally, in other words, we have been transferred from the realm of sin, darkness and death to the realm of righteousness, life and light.

    Colossians 1:12-14 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

    If we could really, by faith embrace this truth in a practical way when we are tempted, we could more often than not have victory in the midst of temptation. What is our victory after all, faith, faith in what God proclaims in His word, faith in what Jesus did for us and faith in who Jesus is for us [1 John 5:4-5]. We have victory already over the power of sin because we are freed from it in a forensic way, positionally we are justified, positionally we are no longer in sin, positionally we are already victorious because the final outcome in eternity will be eternal forgiveness and eternal life [Romans 6:23],[Romans 8:1-4].

    So our being baptized into His death has given us the final and eternal victory over the power of sin. However remains the fact that we must gain victory over sin in our practical life, in our process of sanctification. That is where we often have a problem still. Why? Because we have not yet fully believed this truth and therefore we do not practice it when we must fight off temptation.

    We fall into temptation and then we sin because we believe the lie of sinfulness, of our fleshly desires and the lies of the devil rather than believing what God says about us.

    Before we were converted we were slaves to sin, this we have established so far, Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, the power of sin that rendered us slaves has been eliminated. Satan in reality does not have any right of authority or ownership on us who are in Christ. Jesus has defeated him and so we are also winners on him. However, the devil is determined to deceive us and render us confused and doubtful. He knows that if he can block the efficacy of our faith in God’s word and confuse us in regard to sound doctrine, he can then easily deceive us into believing his lies instead and so doing he will render us ineffective and weak, this way we will remain slaves to our bad habits.

    Until he is able to confuse us and to blind us with his lies into believing that the chains of sin’s power that once kept us captive are not broken we will not enjoy the freedom that God has given us as an inheritance. We are free indeed but if the devil can convince us that we are still slaves to sin we will continue to behave in that way as well. We cannot believe in instant spiritual maturity, however we should know that instant freedom can be achieved. The truth of God in the moment it is understood and believed (faith), will set us free, even instantly from certain ties that bind us to sinful and damaging behavior, this will also help us grow and mature spiritually much faster and better.

    If therefore, the word of God says we are dead to sin, released from the power of sin, died with Christ, baptized in Him, His death, then that is what the fact is in our life and we should believe it and respond with that when we are tempted.

    This would give us the practical victory over the sin that still resides in our members, in our unredeemed body. This is why it is imperative that we bring our body under subjection of the Spirit of God and His will. This is why it is so important for us to really understand this chapter well, it is not only doctrine and theology, rather it is essential for our practical life of sanctification and the elimination of sin in our life.

    4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

     

    Not only we died with Christ, we also were buried with Him through baptism, not water baptism, water baptism we repeat is only a symbol of what occurs in the spiritual life of the person who placed their faith in Christ. Paul is speaking again of the baptism of the Spirit into Christ, His death, His burial into the tomb, and as we see here in these verses, also baptized into His resurrection, His resurrected life, Christ’s life.

    Now this is the actual completed position of a believer. The baptism of the Holy Spirit into Christ is a permanent association with Jesus and His entire work of redemption. What happened to Jesus then happened to ALL those whom have believed in Him by God’s grace.

    The reality of this verse is actually described by Paul also in several other places but one in particular stands out.

    Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

    This is why we said before that to have victory on the sin still present in the flesh we must live by faith in the Son of God and reckon ourselves dead with Christ to sin but alive in Christ to God. In the mean time we have died to the sinful nature as sin truly does not exercise any longer the power of control upon the life of the believer.

    If the death of Christ also caused our death in Him, the life of Christ also caused us to be alive in Him, that is why we then should walk in newness of life and not continue to live in the same old way all other sinners live.

    In other words if we die with Christ then we cease to live for and in sin, our nature is changed as we are regenerated by Christ’s life, by His Spirit, so that His resurrection aptly put being the part of His redemptive work that causes our justification [Romans 4:25], remember?

    This is very important, that is why Paul had us going through all the Scriptures we did prior to this chapter, so we could understand better the truths of this chapter. So that now we see the unavoidable and inexorable connection between Jesus’ death for our forgiveness, the defeat of the power of sin and Jesus’ resurrection with our justification, just as our death in Him is to sin, our new life in Him by His resurrection is to righteousness and holiness.

    So that, His death = our death to the power of sin = our victory over the power of sin, His resurrection = our justification = our new life = our sanctification.

    So that those who are baptized, immersed into Christ do not any longer live in unrighteousness or in the former way of life, rather having been given a new life in God through Jesus’ life they pursue righteousness and holiness.

    This is a transaction that occurs without fail, if we died with Him we live with Him, how does He live? In righteousness and holiness, so live ALL those who are in Him. We are not talking about perfection here but the active and ongoing pursuit of righteous living and holiness rather than continuing to live in an unchanged sinful lifestyle.

    The true evidence of the fact that we died to sin with Him is if we live in righteousness.

    1 Peter 1:14-16 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

    1 John 2:3-6 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

    1 John 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    We cannot say we are in Christ and demonstrate no change in the way we live our life, show no fruit of repentance, show no holiness and no righteousness. People who think they are in Christ and have experienced no change in the way they live and the way they think are not in Christ. Obviously they did not die to sin with Him so that they do not live in newness of life through His life either.

    1 John 1:5-6 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

    Christ’s resurrection justifies fully the believer and justification is attached to sanctification as a Siamese twin, cannot be separated. There can be no justification without sanctification and no sanctification without justification.

    In other words, there can be no change of a persons life if the regeneration that the resurrected life of Christ causes is not present. Sanctification is being separated from sin and being separated to righteousness and holiness. This occurs only in those who have been baptized, immersed into Christ, His death and His resurrection.

    When Jesus gives new life to someone, their life is truly new. This new life then will reflect newness of life, it will reflect and produce righteousness and holiness. Once again, this does not mean that we will be without sin or we will live a perfect life but as we already said before, we will pursue righteousness and holiness as part of our new life in Christ, as a part of our new nature.

    We no longer will disregard the lordship of Jesus over our life, nor will we be indifferent or desire to ignore God’s holy law any longer, we will, even so imperfectly at times obey the working and prompting of the Holy Spirit. So that the connection between justification and sanctification will be evident.

    In other words the connection between God’s positional righteousness and behavioral righteousness will be present, between having put on Christ [Galatians 3:27] and therefore His holiness and the pursuit of holy living will be evident. Whom God declares righteous God will also render righteous, whom God declares holy God will render holy.

    This is what newness of life is, this is what being baptized into Christ does, this is what being baptized in His death and resurrection, in His life produces. It does not produce the uncontrolled desire to sin so that grace may abound, instead it produces the fruit of God’s abundant grace which is not more sin, rather the search and pursuit of righteous and holy living on the part of those who have received God’s abundant grace.

    Let’s remember that God’s grace does not teach to continue in sin, it teaches quite the opposite. See what the word of God says that grace teaches those whom it has touched.

    Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

     

    6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

    Earlier I had presented this concept as the answer to Paul’s question if we should continue to sin so that God’s grace may abound more. Paul obviously answered certainly not! Why? Do you remember why not? Because we died to sin, we have been crucified with Christ, we have been baptized into Christ’s death and also into His resurrected life. We have been immersed into Christ and all of His work of redemption is completed in us. Those who died to sin, how could they live in sin any longer? They cannot! It goes against their new nature, the divine nature that we now have in Christ and through Him.

    Now Paul explains this concept with a bit more of detail. He says, knowing this, in other words we must arrive to have this knowledge. It is imperative for us to know this very issue. Our old man was crucified with Christ. Again this was a concept presented by Paul as we find it in [Galatians 2:20].

    Now, who is the old man here and what body of sin is he talking about? OK, the old man is our old self, the person we once were in Adam who now has died with Christ on the cross.

    Do you remember that person? Are you today a different person than that old man? Did your desires change? Did your life change? Did the way you think change? I hope so. After all in the Greek the word for repentance, metanoia means to transform the mind, metamorphosis of the mind, a change of thinking and therefore of behaving.

    The old self, the old man was that person who lived only to sin, who lived for sin, who lived in sin and did not care at all for the things of God neither could he understand them nor accept them [1 Corinthians 2:14], the one who loved to live in unrighteousness, the man who blasphemed God and thought nothing of it, the man described in [Romans 1:18-32] and [Romans 3:10-18].

    That’s why Paul spent three entire chapters describing what this old man looks like. The old man is the natural man, the carnal man, the man who is in Adam, the one with the nature completely corrupted by sin, the man whose mind could not be and is not willingly submissive to God’s law [Romans 8:7].

    Now the good news for the believer is this, that old man, our sinful Adamic nature is now dead, if we are in Christ. Now, we must realize one very important truth here, something we really need to make ours. If the old man is dead, he is dead. He is not partially alive nor can he return to life. Once the old man, the old self, the unregenerate man died, he died.

    What Paul is talking about here is very important for many reasons, first because all this as we will see ahead is intended to give us the knowledge that the power of sin in our life has been broken for good, even that power died with the old man, so that we can live a practical victorious life over sin.

    The other reason it is important is because it gives us once more the assurance of eternal life, the assurance of our salvation, the assurance of the perseverance that leads to eternal glory in Christ. How? Well, first of all because the old man with its sinful nature is dead and he can no longer live again because we are now transformed into new creations

    [2 Corinthians 5:17],[Ephesians 2:10], eternal ones who cannot die any longer in the spiritual sense and ultimately even in the physical sense after the resurrection of the body and its transformation.

    This will be explained also ahead where Paul declares in

    Romans 6:8-9 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

    This in a reverse sense it signifies also the permanent death of our old self and that our old self can no longer return to life therefore giving us complete assurance of salvation, if indeed we died with Christ.

    Now that our old man with its sinful nature has died, a new controlling nature, the divine nature, has become alive in us through Jesus Christ.

    Paul however now says that the old man has died, has been crucified so that the body of sin might be done a way with. What in the world does that really mean? If the old man is dead, if the old sinful nature is gone, what is the body of sin? What does it mean that might be done away with? Is it not done away with if it’s dead?

    Well, here we are looking at a very specific thing. Yes the old sinful nature, the old self is dead, crucified with Christ, yes the power of sin is broken permanently. Something that was connected to that sinful nature however is alive and remains. What is it? Our body, our fleshly, earthly body is alive.

    That part of us that remains connected to the earthly realm does not die. It will eventually most likely die, unless Jesus returns first in the case of some believers that will be transformed by the coming of Christ without dying [1 Corinthians 15:49-53],[1 Thessalonians 4:13-18] otherwise our body will die and this because sin lives in it, but for now it is alive.

    That body is what we have to live in this world, right? Our body is necessary to live on this earth. There are then two men that are alive, the spiritual new man inside of us, the regenerated us with the new divine nature

    [2 Corinthians 5:17], [2 Peter 1:3-4] and the earthly body, unredeemed flesh with a new nature and new desires, yet these are present inside an unredeemed body which has the law of sin still in it. NOT THE SINFUL NATURE of the old man, that has been taken out, destroyed, died with the old man.

    A part of this unredeemed body is our mind, the man’s psyche that needs to be renewed because it is still is and has been programmed negatively by the old sinful nature. So that in fact the process of sanctification in the new man is this, to bring our bodies, which still contain sinful programming and still contain sinful desires connected to the lusts that are in the world, in subjection to the desires and the will of God expressed through the new regenerated man, this is done by the renewing of the mind through the word of God. How?

    Well, Romans 12:1-2 explains it to us:

    Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    See also [2 Corinthians 10:3-5]

    Paul will in fact will explain this connection between body and sin both ahead in this chapter and also even more in chapter 7, that will in fact be the context of that chapter.

    Now what Paul is beginning to say here is this, the old man is dead, the sinful nature is dead, the power of sin is dead, broken, because the power of sin was alive in our old sinful nature that dictated sinfulness in our life and kept us under its dominion, kept us completely enslaved to sin, under its complete control.

    Now all that is gone, we are dead to sin. But…the physical body is alive and in it another law is at work, sin in our body, [Romans 7:21-25] however, this sin can be and should be overpowered by the new man submitting his mind and body to the power of God’s Spirit and obedience to His word.

    We were slaves to sin, now we are no longer salves to sin, the power of sin, its dominion over us is broken, and we can now, because of this do away with the body of sin which we now live with on this earth.

    In other words we still sin sometimes compared to before it’s only sometimes, whereas before it was always. Do we have to sin like we did before? No we do not, we have now the power, given to us by God, to bring our mind and our body under subjection to the will of God, to submit our mind and body to obedience to God and His word.

    Before we could not do this, neither did we want to do this, now however we want to and we can, the power of sin is therefore broken, sin’s dominion and slavery are gone. This helps, or at least should help us to do away with our body of sin. Bringing our body under submission to God’s Spirit and His word.

    In fact that is what Paul is saying here in the last part of verses 6-7, we are no longer slaves to sin now, rather to righteousness as he says later in [Romans 6:16-18], because the one who died to sin has been freed from sin.

    Notice Paul’s use of the past tense, we died to sin, we have been freed from sin. It’s a done deal. Not something that still has to occur.

    Why is it then that we still sin then? Why is it we still struggle and sometimes it seems we are powerless over sin in our life? First of all we must remain conscious, aware of the fact that while we live in this earthly body this struggle, this war against the sin in our flesh will always be present [Galatians 5:16-17],[Romans 7:18-24].

    We do because we choose to sin, now we can choose to sin or to obey. Before when the power of sin was alive and well in our nature and it completely enslaved all of our being, at that time, we could not choose to obey God and when we did make a choice we always chose to rebel against God and His word. Now we can really choose, now our free will is truly free.

    We have been set free from the power of sin so that we can truly bee free to serve God. That is what it means to have liberty in Christ, that is the kind of liberty God has now granted us by His wonderful and abundant grace. Not the liberty to persist in sinful, unrighteous and unholy living, deceiving ourselves thinking in fact that we can continue to sin so that God’s grace may abound, rather being freed from sin’s power over us now we want and can serve God with our entire being.

    This concept is marvelously described for us by John the Baptist’s father’s prophetic declaration regarding the work of Christ in

    Luke 1:67-75 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

    68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

    Wonderful passage, tempts me to do an exposition of this text, such is the beauty and richness of these few verses, I do not have the time to do it here. It suffices to say that Jesus has saved us from our greatest enemies, sin, Satan, death, the world and the flesh, even ourselves, He has saved us from the hand of all those who hate us, Satan and his ministers, angelic and human and ourselves as well. Remember that the thief only comes to do what?

    John 10:9-11 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

    Jesus destroyed the works of the devil [1 John 3:8-9] and set us free from what enslaved us [John 8:34-36], [Galatians 5:1], [Hebrews 2:14-15].

    He set us free from the slavery of sin and death why? Zacharias tells us as well, so we might serve Him without fear [1 John 4:17-19], and how else? In holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. This is sanctified living not license to sin. This is how the redeemed of the Lord live,this is the liberty and the freedom we have acquired in Christ, not in licentiousness and sin [Galatians 5:13] rather in holiness and righteousness we now live.

    These are the fruits of those who have been touched by God’s grace and those who truly understand the value and the weight of God’s grace. His grace in light of His love demonstrated toward us in Christ Jesus does make His grace weighty and valuable in such a way that those who truly live in it and understand it, value it and do not continue to sin neither do they desire any longer to live in sin.

    So we died so that we have been set free from the power and slavery of sin and death and have been set free to live righteous and holy lives.

     

    8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

     

    Here now Paul is summing up what we have seen so far and he also adds another detail as well. If we died with Christ, we then believe that we shall also live with Him. When is it that we shall also live with Him, when we go to heaven? Yes, but not only, and in this context although the two things are certainly connected I believe Paul is specifically referring this to the fact that we will also live with Him in the way He lived and lives.

    The newness of the life of Christ, is the power of the resurrected life through the Holy Spirit [John 6:63]. This life is the divine nature and power that God has given us when He regenerated us [Ezekiel 36:25-27],[2 Peter 1:1-4], He made us new creations, new creatures in Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17],[Ephesians 2:8-10].

    This is in fact what Jesus meant when He spoke to Martha about Himself being the resurrection and the life. In fact look at how she answered and then what Jesus answered her

    John 11:22-26 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    Martha was indeed and rightfully looking ahead to the resurrection of the body at the last day, while Jesus instead was in reality saying as well as Paul says is in the passage we are looking at, that the resurrected life is not a life only for the after death or the last day, rather a condition, a status we already live in as believers and it is a power we have now being in Christ.

    Eternal life and therefore the resurrected power of the life of Christ is available now, today and forever. See also what Jesus says in regard to the resurrected life in the believer, when does the believer have it, now or later? We already have it today as well as forever

    John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    The only difference between the resurrection of our bodies and our spiritual man is that later on even our bodies will be transformed in the likeness of the resurrected Christ. Now however, our inner spiritual man, the new creature in Christ is alive with Christ and has the power of the resurrected Christ. That is why Jesus speaks of eternal life as something a believer presently has and not something a believer will only have in the future.

    So having died with Jesus Christ we are also alive in His resurrected life and His power now, today. That is why we can by God’s power, we should, bring our members, our earthly and mortal body under subjection to the will and desire of God in the spiritual man which is now alive in and with Christ.

    We have the life of Christ now, presently not only later after our bodily death. That is the beauty of the resurrection, it not only has for the believer future blessings and eternal life but present blessings and supernatural life to be experienced in this earthly body.

    Jesus’ resurrection gave us His life, the Holy Spirit regenerated us, in other words, gave us spiritual life, that is, He resurrected us from the grave we were in.

    Remember that we were dead spiritually, dead in our sins and trespasses, but Jesus made us alive [Ephesians 2:1-6].

    We have been resurrected already, that is why Jesus tells us that we have eternal life and not that we will have it, that is why the word of God tells us as we read previously that who has Jesus has life not will have it, but has it now, today and will have it forever.

    Our spirit has been resurrected from death and we are now alive, our new and inner man, our spiritual man is alive and is a new creation. Our external man, our body, not our sinful nature, that one has been eradicated, that one has been crucified with Christ it no longer lives, our external man is our body of flesh, the same body that once was also slave of our sinful nature and it therefore behaved as a slave to sin.

    This body, our outer man, the body we need to live in this world, that body is not redeemed yet and it is subject to death because of sin present in it.

    Now the transformation of the body, the redemption of the body will occur when? At the resurrection of the body when Jesus returns or at that same time the transformation of the mortal, unredeemed body will occur. This is described for us by Paul in:

    1 Corinthians 15:42-57 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

    55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    There you have the description of the resurrection of our body and the subsequent transformation of the natural, and for now, unredeemed body.

    So for the resurrection of the natural body and its transformation into a heavenly spiritual body to be joined with our spiritual man already resurrected and alive at the present time,we must wait for the coming of Jesus when He will accomplish this in our life.

    In the present the spiritual man submitting to the will and the word of God will bring into subjection even the natural body rendering it obedient to God and so living in righteousness and holiness WITH the natural body. This is so that the natural earthly body will become also an instrument of righteousness and holiness. That is what Paul will explain in more detail later on in Romans 6.

    Now Paul continues saying knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

    Jesus willingly laid down His life for His sheep but He exercised the power to raise His life from the dead.

    John 10:17-18 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

    So Jesus has been raised from the dead and dies no more. Jesus is alive forever, He was dead but now He lives forevermore.

    Revelation 1:18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

    Yes, it is Jesus and not Satan who has the keys of death. It is only He who can open up the graves and make people raise from death, both spiritual and physical death. He controls the destiny of people [Psalms 139:16]. It is only He who has in fact, as the passage we are studying in Romans 6 says, the victory over death as death has no longer dominion over Him. Neither can it have dominion over them who are alive in Christ.

    Jesus has been raised from the dead and He dies no more. What He did was specifically once and for all to save His own and what He did, dying and raising from the dead was and is completely sufficient to save and keep saved those whom He died for [Hebrews 7:25-27].

    Jesus did this to set us free from the dominion of death and He has defeated him who had the power of death, that is the devil.

    Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

    That is why He has the keys of Hades and death, because He won death, destroyed him who had, notice had is in the past tense, the power of death, the devil, now Jesus has the keys that opened up Hades and death, He is the one who has the power to deliver us from death and hell or send us there. Some may not believe this concept but Jesus did, listen to His words

    Matthew 10:28-29 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Jesus died once to sin, as we said it was a once and for all act, He died therefore to sin for man. Jesus did not need to die for himself as He knew no sin [2 Corinthians 5:21], but as this passage says, he became sin for us and so the death He died He died to sin and for our sin, so as to destroy the power of sin and in so doing He atoned for our sins so that what was the salary of sin, death, would be defeated and so that these, sin and death would not have any longer dominion over us as well as they can have no dominion over Him.

    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    You see the power of death is sin and the strength of it is the law but God gives us the victory over these through Christ.

    There is a higher law, than the law of sin and death, the one of the life of the Spirit.

    This law is higher than all the other laws [2 Corinthians 3:1-10] , because God is higher and greater and omnipotent, so that His life in us cannot be in any way subdued or killed.

    How and who can defeat the true life of the omnipotent God, He who is life Himself ?

    How can Satan, sin or any other thing kill God’s life?

    Christ no longer can die, so, in a sense neither those who are in Him can be overcome by death.

    Romans 6:7-9 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

    No enemy can overcome God’s life, and since He is life, the person that is in Him has His life, eternal life, His life. God is eternal life, He is and He lives forever.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    Now, the life that Jesus lives He lives to God. Paul is making a real parallel here in this section where we studied what Jesus did and what this means for the believer. This is so that when we are baptized into His death and His resurrection,when we are made partakers of Christ we receive all the benefits of what He accomplished in His death and His resurrection, that was the whole point of [Romans 6:4-5].

    So Jesus during His life lived to God as well as He lives to God today and always. That is now the parallel that Paul draws further. As Jesus died to sin, we are also and we should be dead to sin, so sin now has no longer dominion and power over us because of what Jesus did for us.

    In the same way Jesus arose form the dead to life and by His resurrection we have also been raised to new life with Him and in that newness of life we are and we should walk, we should then walk even as He walked [1 John 2:5-6].

    That is the point that Paul is making so that now as Jesus lives His life to God so should we if indeed we belong to Christ. This is the whole principle of sanctification, those who are in Christ should walk in newness of life and not in sin because we have been united together in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection.

     

    11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    In the same exact way that our position in Christ dictates, since we know now our position and the relationship we have in and to Jesus, and out of the dominion of sin, in that same way that we should, by faith in what we are in reality in Christ, dead to sin alive to God in Christ, living in faith of this fact in our life. we must reckon, consider ourselves indeed dead to sin.

    This is because in reality we are dead to sin, our old nature, our old self has been crucified with Christ it is no longer the old me that lives, but, for the Spirit of Jesus Christ Who lives in me, in my mortal unredeemed body, the life I now live in this flesh, in this body, I live by faith in Jesus and by faith in Jesus means living in conformity with the life of Jesus Christ and how God sees us now.

    How does God see us? Justified, righteous, holy, victorious. This is what Jesus is, this is what we also are positionally in Him, we actually are all these things, now we must live in them by faith. The whole point that Paul is making here is the same exact thing he said in

    Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

    We are alive to God now in Christ Jesus our Lord, yes we are. Our bodies now must be brought under submission to the will of God and His word. This is now possible because we can, by the power of God in us, the Spirit of Christ in us, if we indeed submit and transform our minds, bring our members, in other word our bodies to be obedient to the Spirit and the Word of God.

    Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices then means this, reckon them, our bodies dead as the sacrifices were, but living because they are made alive to God by the Holy Spirit through the renewing of the mind. This is what Paul explains to us in [Romans 12:1-2].

    By transforming ourselves through the renewing of our mind by the word of God we bring our emotions under subjection to the word and will of God, this will modify our behavior to be righteous and holy and this will in turn bring our bodies under subjection of our transformed and renewed mind so that our bodies now can exclusively be used to obey God and to do His will.

    This is done because if we indeed reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus we will conform our flesh, our body, our mind to the life we now have within us, the divine nature in us. This concept is also explained beautifully in

    2 Peter 1:3-8 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    When we understand properly our relationship to Christ and our position in Christ,when we understand properly what our position and relationship is now to and with the power of sin, then and only then we begin to seriously walk in a transformed manner.

    We often walk in defeat and fall under temptation because we either do not really understand our position and our relationship to Jesus and to sin and because we believe the lies of the enemy and the lies we tell ourselves about us. If we do not live our life in the flesh by faith in what God has done through Jesus for us and by faith in what God says about us and how He sees us, we will not walk a victorious Christian life.

    Romans VI Verses XII to XIV

     

    12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

     

    12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

    In fact that is exactly what Paul exhorts us not to do now. He says, therefore, because of all that has been said up to now, due to the fact that the power, the dominion of sin has been destroyed, since we now have the power of Christ’s life in us, we must not allow sin to reign, to have dominion in our mortal body so that we should not obey the body when it craves its lusts, which are desires contrary to God’s will. We should reckon, consider and treat our bodies as dead.

    As we mentioned at the beginning of the chapter we must remember that in Paul’s days as well as in our days there were and are people who claim that since we are saved spiritually we can go on sinning with our bodies, in other words obey the lusts of the flesh and keep on sinning because after all it’s the spirit that counts and not the body, so we can worship and serve God in spirit but we can fulfill the lust of the flesh, of our bodies. Not so!

    It seems instead evident to me that Paul has laid to rest this concept and this Gnostic philosophy with what he has shown us so far.

    However, the believer’s body is not its own to do what he pleases with, it belongs to God as well, the word of God tells us that we do not belong to ourselves any longer but we belong to God and we have been purchased at a very high price, the precious life of Jesus who bought us for God.

    1 Corinthians 6:17-20 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    Therefore we cannot do with our bodies as we please but we must do with our bodies the work of God, those things we have been re-created to do, obey God’s will and His word.

    Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    This is also what it means to be alive to God.

    Another beautiful passage that explains to us this entire concept is found in

    2 Corinthians 5:13-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    This passage truly gives us a summary of what we have been studying thus far in this chapter. Jesus died for all the elect and therefore as we have seen all have died with Him as well. All those who live in Christ then should no longer live for their fleshly desires, in other words must bring into subjection our bodies to the will of God, living for Christ, for God, for the One who died for us and rose again, so all those died to sin in Him and rose to new life also in Him to serve God and not themselves and their fleshly desires any longer.

    Paul calls our bodies members here, it is our bodies he is talking about. So that now that we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ we should no longer serve unrighteousness with our bodies, once again Paul brings out the subject to present ourselves being alive to God from the dead, as we mentioned before Paul did explain how to actually do this in

    [Romans 12:1-2]. This is what we must do daily all our earthly life, this is our reasonable service of worship to God. Our bodies are to be sacrificed alive but as sacrifices were, reckoned dead to sin but alive in Christ to live righteous and holy lives, to be used as instruments of righteousness, to serve God, His righteous law and will.

    The word of God is filled with passages that command believers not to fulfill the lust of the flesh and to serve instead God in righteousness and holiness.

    The first thing we must realize in our body, our flesh is that by itself, in it’s natural state even without the sinful nature that enslaves it, even so in our natural bodies no good thing dwells [Romans 7:18].

    So what are the deeds of the flesh, what did our nature program our mind to do and what does the body crave as a result of sin living in it?

    Galatians 5:16-22 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Look at what Paul is saying here. Walking in obedience to the Spirit a person will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, or of the body in our case. Remember that we have died to sin, in other words the sinful nature has been eradicated, it died, it was crucified with Christ, so Paul is not talking about our sinful nature now, that does not exist any longer, rather it is the flesh he refers to as our body.

    Also remember that in light of God’s word we find described in [Romans 7:18-25] the body is also called flesh and it contains sin and in this case we are not talking of the old nature but of the body. The body even if it does not have the sinful nature any longer it has been programmed by the sinful nature to desire certain things that are contrary to God’s character and His will, these desires remain. The body contains sin now that is connected with it and also this principle or law as Paul calls it:

    Romans 7:21-23 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    This is the whole concept, the body now, not sinful nature, because before there was no desire to do good, there was no delighting in God’s law according to the inward man as the inward man was dead to God and His law [Romans 8:7-8].

    Now however there is a desire to do God’s will inside of us but the body with its sinful desires wars against the mind of the believer trying to draw him back to it’s old ways, that is the law of sin present in the body itself.

    So what the body craves still are the deeds of the flesh described above, to which deeds now we should not submit rather we should submit to God’s Spirit and word as now we desire to and we can do. We also see as Paul says, that those who practice this lifestyle, the deeds of the flesh, will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    To practice them means to live constantly in this condition, those who as a lifestyle live like that always and they enjoy practicing them. We are not speaking of falling into this behavior occasionally and hating when we do, but to live in such a state as a way of life. Not the struggling with some issues while trying to overcome them rather living openly in them. There is a difference in the matter. It is obvious that Paul is not talking of living in perfect righteousness and holiness otherwise I am afraid to say no one is saved because we all continue to sin during our life. Evil is still present with me, sin is alive in my body, not my nature, so that I must learn how to master my body and bring it under submission to the Holy Spirit. That is the whole point Paul is trying to convey.

     

    So that is what it means to not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

    So the whole point is that living a resurrected life in Christ we will submit to His will and word through the power of the Holy Spirit and perform righteous and holy deeds and live a righteous and holy life with our body as well.

    This is rendered obvious in many other passages of Scripture. See [Romans 13:14], [1 Corinthians 6:18-20],

    2 Corinthians 7:1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Ephesians 4:20-24 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

    1 Peter 1:13-17 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

    [1 Corinthians 9:24-27],[2 Corinthians 5:10],[Galatians 5:13-25], [Hebrews 12:14], [1 John 2:6],[1 John 2:15-16],[1 John 3:1-10].

     

    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

    Now why does sin not have any longer dominion over us? Well, Paul tells us, we are no longer under the law rather under grace. What in the world does this mean?

    First of all we must remember that the dominion, the power, the slavery of sin has been destroyed by Jesus’ work on the cross such is very beautifully and clearly described for us in:

    Colossians 2:11-15 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

    Even before Paul had specified that the power, the reign, the dominion that sin had over us, over our nature and therefore every other part of our being has been defeated, destroyed [Romans 6:6-11]. Now however Paul opens up a new subject, law. Not only the power and dominion of sin and its consequent slavery to which we were subjected has been destroyed but also the power of the law is wiped out.

    Look at verse 14 of Colossians 2, this passage is claiming that the handwriting of requirements that was against us and contrary to us has been wiped out, taken out of the way because Jesus nailed it to the cross in Himself.

    This is speaking to the fact that the written law of God had a requirement, this requirement was perfect obedience to it. This requirement was not fulfilled by us and therefore it condemned us and was against us, the accusation of our failure to obey and observe the law, the guilt of having transgressed God’s holy law, our accusation was taken out of the way and placed upon Christ who instead obeyed God’s law to the fullest. He took the accusation, the condemnation of the law away from us as He was considered guilty in our place so that we may be justified through and in Him.

    The law is God’s holy requirement by which every human being is required to live by, whether he knows God’s written law or not, every man is required by God to live in obedience to His law which is a reflection of His character. We did explain previously in the study when we studied chapter one that man is created in God’s image and likeness, because of this God has placed the knowledge of His moral law within. We did see that according to conscience man knows that he violated God’s law when he sins. He may not know the specifics of every act but he knows he sinned against God’s law as he knows God exists.

    Man is therefore without excuse before God [Romans 1:19],[Romans 2:14-15].

    Now the law is that which indicates the holy and righteous character of God as well as the instrument through which God demonstrates both the inability of man to obey it as well as man’s guilt of violating it. However, the law is also that instrument by which sin gets more power. What is the power of sin? The law!

    1 Corinthians15:56-57 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Here we see, the consequence of sin is death,the strength or power of sin is the law, but the victory is in Jesus who fulfilled the law for us and gave us His grace by which we no longer are under law but in His grace when we are in Him. The law came through Moses but grace and truth through Jesus [John 1:17].

    This Paul explains this concept in better detail for us in

    Romans 7:6-14 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

    What Paul has said in verse 14 of Romans 6 is better explained here in Romans 7:6

    We are not under the requirements of the law any longer to observe it all, although being under grace does bring us to desire by the Spirit of God to obey God’s moral law. Grace gives us desire to obey God’s commandments however being under grace means that we are freed from the result of disobeying the law when we fail, in other words death, spiritual death that is. The guilt of our transgression of God’s law has been removed as well as the eternal spiritual consequences.

    This is also explained by Paul in the chapter following Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    We will see in better detail the meaning of these passages when we get to those chapters, however it is fairly clear what this all means that is what Paul is also telling us in [Romans 6:14]. We are no longer under the requirements of the law, to obey it all to the smallest detail, but because what the law could not do, in other words, make us righteous and holy before God, in fact it did the opposite, it produced even more sinfulness in us because of our sinful nature, because our flesh was weak.

    God however did what we could not do and fulfilled His law by sending Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin of His own, He, Jesus, fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law of God so that these could be fulfilled also in us as He gave us by His grace the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, who now because of this are no longer in the flesh, in other words us who are now regenerated, born again of the Spirit of God and therefore walk according to the Spirit.

    He freed us from the law of sin and death and the eternal consequences of our disobedience to God’s law by grace we have been saved not by the deeds of the law. Jesus has fulfilled God’s law for us, for His elect, He died in our place paying the eternal consequences of our debt to God, He justified us, He took away the guilt of our transgression of God’s law and imputed to us the His righteousness, righteousness of having obeyed God’s law to the smallest jot and tittle.

    So what this all means is that we are no longer under the requirements of the written law rather we are under God’s grace given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord who fulfilled God’s law for us and gave us the credit of having it done ourselves while removing ALL the guilt of our transgressions of God’s law, past, present and future.

    So by this wonderful grace, this unmerited favor God has bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus, sin has no longer dominion over us, it does not rule any longer and we are no longer under law and it’s requirements to fulfill it all, as Jesus did it for us and gave us the merit for doing it ourselves,we are under God’s grace we are in God’s grace in which we stand firm [Romans 5:1-2].

    Paul has grappled with this concept in several passages of Scripture, as we did see where he already told us that those who are still in the flesh, this meaning those who still have a sinful nature of which they are slaves are those who persevere in living a life of sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He is not speaking of those who instead walk in the Spirit of God and no longer in the flesh or in Adam if we want, this is the natural man but who still at times sin. The spiritual man may sin but it is he who walks in the Spirit, for them Paul says there is no law [Galatians 5:16-25]. In fact the law Paul says is not for the righteous but for the unrighteous.

    1 Timothy 1:8-11 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

    So we are not under law as we see but under grace.

     

    Romans VI Verses XV to XVI

     

    15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

    Here we are again, the questions that men ask in their spiritual blindness and ignorance warrant a clear answer. Once again Paul has to anticipate this carnal question.

    He anticipates the question. Is it alright to continue to sin because we are no longer required to be under the requirements of complete obedience of God’s law? Does God’s grace give us the green light to continue in sinful living? Is grace man’s license to sin? Well, is it?

    Paul once again answers as he already did answering a very similar question in the beginning of this very chapter, and the answer is, Certainly not!

    Being under grace does not mean to be lawless. As we said previously there were two types of people in Paul’s day, the legalistic Jews who accused the Apostles of teaching that grace was against the law because it enticed and encouraged people to continue to live in sin thinking to be righteous. There were also the pre-Gnostics who instead claimed that since the body was evil what a person did with the body in reality did not count at all because the spirit was what mattered to God and so a person basically could live a dual lifestyle of sinfulness and holiness and ti was alright. We did see however quite clearly that the Apostles did not at all teach that grace was the same as licentiousness. Grace does not give the right to continue, to persevere in sin. Not at all!

    When a person is truly under God’s grace, when a person is truly in Christ Jesus it has a divine nature, the Spirit of God living within, they are a new creation and we did see that the Apostles, all of them condemned sinful lifestyle, condemned persevering in sin, warned that those who did were only deceiving themselves, that such people were really not in the faith, were not in Christ but were still in their sins, they would not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    The best passage that describes what being in God’s grace produces is found in

    Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    God’s grace that gives salvation and when it gives salvation to man, does a very specific and important thing.

    First of all Jesus Himself, in other words, God’s grace to man has appeared to mankind and even Jesus has taught man to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, The Sermon on the Mount alone speaks volumes to these things we see in listed in Titus. However, the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, in the life of the person He has come to live in, also teaches the same things that Jesus taught, the same things the Apostles taught. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, that He would convict of sin, righteousness and judgment, that the Holy Spirit would take that which is of Christ and would communicate it all to the church through the Apostles and the prophets, who did communicate these things to us through the pages of the New Testament.

    So that when we truly have been touched by God’s grace and if we truly have been made new creations through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, if we truly have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, God’s grace teaches us, not that it’s alright to continue to sin because we are not under law but under grace, rather it teaches us the exact opposite. It teaches us to deny ungodliness, it teaches us to deny worldly lusts. It teaches us to live soberly, it teaches us to live righteously, it teaches us to live godly and holy lives in the present corrupt and depraved age, it teaches us to live in purity as we who have the hope of seeing Jesus that is coming back, we who have such hope purify ourselves of sin even as He is pure of sin,

    1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    The grace of God has redeemed us by Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. So the end result of God’s grace is not a life of sinfulness rather the fact that He created us in Christ Jesus, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to perform good works that God has also prepared beforehand that we should walk in them [Ephesians 2:8-10].

    Paul has grappled with this concept in several passages of Scripture, we did see where he already told us that those who are still in the flesh , this meaning those who still have a sinful nature of which they are slaves, these are those who persevere in living a life of sin, these will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    He is not speaking of those who instead walk in the Spirit of God and no longer in the flesh or in Adam if we want, being the natural man, those who walk in the Spirit but who still sin at times. The spiritual man may sin but it is he who walks in the Spirit, for them Paul says there is no law [Galatians 5:16-25]. In fact the law Paul says is not for the righteous but for the unrighteous.

    1 Timothy 1:8-11 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

    So we are not under law as we see but under grace and this grace not only teaches us no to continue to sin, it also tells us not to deceive ourselves into thinking we can be saved if we live a sinful life without change. God’s grace when it has touched a person has brought and brings transformation.

    Paul speaks of this concept exactly in:

    1 Corinthians 6:8-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    So, is it acceptable to continue to sin because we are under grace rather than under the law? I believe the answer is clear, it’s as Paul said. Certainly not , because if a person continues to live a life of sin, an unrighteous lifestyle, if a person thinks they can live ungodly lives, a life without change, a life that deliberately, continuously and habitually pursues sin rather than righteousness and holiness, and think they are saved, be in God’s grace, they are sadly mistaken and they are only deceiving themselves into hell.

    Those who think it is alright to continue to live an unrighteous life of sin and be in God’s grace demonstrate they are not under grace because they do not even understand the value and the preciousness of God’s grace. It is only when we are truly touched by God’s love, His grace and mercy that we truly realize how precious and valuable God’s grace really is and this does not encourage us to sin at all, rather it encourages us and gives us the desire not to want to sin any longer, true grace stirs up hatred for sin and love for God and His word which is demonstrated by obedience to His word [John 14:15], [John 14:21-24],[1 John 5:2-3].

    Grace then translates into love for God which translates into obedience, these prove that one’s faith is genuine and so truly touched by God’s grace because true faith, faith that is alive and has made alive also translates into obedience [James 2:14-26].

    We did touch upon the quality and the value the preciousness of God’s grace in the previous chapter. I believe it is worth looking at his subject again so as to eliminate all and any doubts and to eliminate every and any possibility to think that we who believe the Bible teaches that one cannot fall from grace, in other words lose their salvation, that we DO NOT AT ALL teach licentiousness to sin and that we do not teach that sanctification and righteous living are not an essential part of the believers’ lives.

    They are in fact essential as they are the evidence that one is in God’s grace. If one does not possess them they are not in the faith. Grace is abundant and excellent in quality, most precious and valuable because it is the most precious gift of God.

    It proceeds from Him and every gift that comes from Him is good and perfect [James 1:17]. Grace in and through Jesus [John 1:16-17] is the most precious one and the most prefect one. It is abundant value and preciousness because it is through the righteous, holy, perfect life given by Jesus Christ the only begotten of the Father. It’s abundantly precious therefore as it cost God everything He could offer to a bunch of undeserving wicked sinners as we are, because of its quality it is more precious than any worldly riches.

    1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

    It’s rich in quality and in value.

    Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

    It’s ALL of God, His best for us, His ALL for us and it’s free to us.

    Isaiah 55:1-3 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;

    This is the description of God’s abundant and rich grace toward mankind when He will, in the end, give His inheritance to those whom He had grace upon, the end result of the removal of sin through Jesus Christ our Lord, the OT description of this.

    Isaiah 25:6-8 And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.

    This is the NT description of the same thing.

    Revelation 21:2-7 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

    Who is he who will inherit ALL things? He who overcomes. Who is he who overcomes? He who is in Christ Jesus. How does one end up in Christ Jesus and one who overcomes through Him? By God’s abundant and rich grace.

    Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

    Ephesians 2:3-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    It’s exactly because God has given us in Jesus Christ His greater and most precious gift, which He demonstrated us in this abundant and most precious grace that, whoever rejects and does not posses this most precious gift of grace, for these people, not the abundant blessings that come from this precious gift will be given, rather the worst possible and imaginable punishment will be given, why? Because let’s look at what the Lord has to say about this

    Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    We cannot do an in depth exegesis of this passage although there is a great need of it because this is perhaps one of the passages in the Bible that is most misinterpreted. However, if the Lord wills one day we will do a study of the book of Hebrews and we will do a more complete exegesis of this passage.

    Here is sufficient to know several basic things. The first thing is essential for the proper understanding of this passage and the entire book as well, is that the letter is written to a Hebrew assembly, community formed primarily by Hebrew believers and non believers as well.

    In this church as well as those we have today although not Hebrew predominantly, there was as there are, people who are not fully convinced about the Gospel, that are doubters, who still are not converted. They received the knowledge of the truth, they accepted it superficially, the word however did not make way in the depth of the heart to change it and it did not therefore produce the fruit of regeneration, true faith, see also Jesus’ parable in [Matthew 13:20-21].

    The knowledge of the truth is the Gospel, the sinning willfully after having received the knowledge of the truth does not mean the generic sin of a person. If it were such no one would be saved because this would mean that even we would have to be perfect while instead we all know that even after having been regenerated we still willfully sin, in fact, now more than ever we sin willfully because only now we can practice our true free will.

    Before we were slaves to sin and we did what we wanted to do, it was still willful but it was also because we could not help ourselves. Now however, we are not enslaved by our sinful nature any longer and yet we sin, this time because we willfully, knowingly sin, we want to disobey God. So, if the sinning here in question, willfully, is this, then what would there would be no more sacrifice for sins mean? This would really be very bad then because non one could even stay saved then nor repent any longer.

    No, obviously then it does not mean this, no one is perfect even after their conversion, everyone sins willingly, so what does this mean then?

    If a Hebrew in that case especially, but really any person receives, in other words hears, because receiving means hearing, even according to the parable of Jesus in Matthew 13, if one receives, hears, the Gospel which gives the knowledge of the truth, if a person lives under the constant preaching of the Gospel, the word of God and remains unbelieving, in other words does not fully accept the Gospel as truth, for this person, in this particular case the Hebrew, there remained no more sacrifice for their sin.

    The sacrifices of the Hebrew religion could not forgive their sins [Hebrews 10:1-4]. They refused, rejected the only valid sacrifice that takes away their sins, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This was, is, in fact the whole context of the epistle to the Hebrews which the author went to great length to explain in the previous chapters. If they went back to the Jewish religion they would not be in the grace of God but they would remain in their sins.

     

    Even today however a person who hers the Gospel, becomes curious, perhaps even accepts the concept of the Gospel mentally but does not truly accept it and does not become regenerated, if this person remains in unbelief and returns to the futility of his life without Christ, religious or worldly futility, if they reject the one and only grace and fount of salvation, the most precious gift of God’s grace, these will undergo the worst possible punishment ever, why?

    Because first of all their sins will not be forgiven and their guilt will not be taken away, they will remain guilty before God, the worse possible punishment in fact will be because of the fact that they trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace

    Attention at this verse because the Greek grammar and Scripture indicates that the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified is not meant for the person who tramples underfoot the Son of God and considers common thing this blood, rather it is meant for the Son of God. He, the Son of God, Jesus is the One who was sanctified, set apart by the blood of the covenant, His own blood with which He was set apart as the perfect sacrifice, the only sacrifice [John 17:9], in this way He sanctified us. However, a person who never truly believed such as these described here, these were not ever sanctified by the blood of Christ. He was the One set apart, sanctified by the blood He shed, the blood of the covenant, that person then who rejected Jesus has also insulted the Spirit of grace.

    The blood of the covenant was holy, sacred. It is the blood shed on the cross by Jesus. By that shed blood Christ was set apart to God as the perfect sacrifice. He entered into the Holy of Holies and, there, being the perfect sacrifice by shedding His own blood, He entered into the Holy of Holies in the presence of God even as the high priest did symbolically in the OT where he sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. Christ, the Chief High Priest, bearing His own blood, as it were, finalized that great sacrifice and established the new covenant and brought His own blood in the presence of God. So it was the covenant sealed in His blood and these are the people who count that blood, His blood set apart to seal the covenant, as an unholy thing.

    What are these people declaring, then? They’re rejecting the covenant God made with Jesus and all who are in Him. Watch this now! The first statement was a rejection of God who exalted the Son; this is a rejection of Christ who set Himself apart as the perfect sacrifice, then they reject also the Spirit of grace who is the Holy Spirit. So the apostate rejects God the Father and he rejects Christ the Son and He rejects the Holy Spirit, therefore rejecting God and His only way of salvation.

    John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    To be under grace is not license to continue to live in sin, so those who live in sinfulness even after coming to the knowledge of the truth, that is the Gospel but do not obey it, those are not under grace to begin with, they heard the truth, perhaps lived or live in the light of it but never fully embraced it. These are those in whose life no visible change has occurred, there is no fruit of repentance, only desire to live for themselves and fulfilling the lust of the flesh and religion, these are those who deceive themselves, however, they are not under grace rather they are still under the law and they need desperately to be saved.

    Paul goes on saying: Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

    This is what he and the word of God have been saying all along. This is what Jesus said as well.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

    What is Jesus saying? The same thing Paul is saying. Paul says to whom we present ourselves to obey, we are then slaves of the one whom we obey whether it is sin leading to death or slaves of obedience leading to righteousness.

    If a person does not present one self to obey God they prove that they are still slaves to sin and this is an ulterior proof that they are still in their sinful nature and not born again [2 Thessalonians 1:6-9].

    Jesus says that those who practice a life of sin are slaves to sin. They both say the same thing. Jesus in His words continues and says that a slave, to sin in this case, does not abide in the house forever, what house is He referring to. The Father’s house, heaven [John 14:1-3].

    However He says, a son does abide in it forever. Who are the sons in question? Those whom the Son sets free from the slavery of sin. Those who through a new birth become children of God and who by faith accept the work of the Gospel, the work Jesus did to set people free from the power of sin and make them children of God [John 1:12-13],[John 3:3-8].

    Paul is saying the same thing only he uses different words and illustration. Paul says that those who obey sin are slaves to sin, they are still in their sinful nature which leads to death, physical and spiritual death. Those instead who obey God are God’s slaves and have become slaves to live in righteousness. This concept was explained yet in still different wording by Paul in

    Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

    Same concept. So, to whom a person yields his or her obedience demonstrates whose slaves they are. They are either slaves of sin in disobedience to God and this leads to death or slaves of God in obedience to His word and will which leads to righteousness.

    Now there is another thing to be mentioned which we must continue to explain otherwise some people may become confused or misunderstand what is being said.

    All this does not mean that the true born again believer never yields obedience to sinful behavior. If this was so people would be perfectly righteous and holy but this is not possible while the believer lives in the natural, fleshly, earthly body, we will see how this subject is explained to us by Paul in the next chapter, Romans 7. Sometimes, more often than we should, believers do sin.

    Paul and Jesus however are not speaking of those who while yielding their obedience to God sin. They are talking about people that yield obedience to sin and disregarding Jesus’ lordship and the will and word of God. Those whom we have said want to live in sin, choose to practice sin as their preferred lifestyle and erroneously think they are under God’s grace.

    However, when a true born again believer sins and as we said this will happen, God as a loving Father disciplines, corrects, scourges even His children to lead them into righteousness and peaceable fruit, see [Hebrews 12:5-11].

    However, there can be situations in which God deems necessary to severely discipline His children because of certain sinful behaviors in some cases disciplining them with physical sickness and in extreme cases even with physical death, but not eternal death.

    1 Corinthians 5:5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    1 Corinthians 11:28-32 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

    Physical death is a result of the sin that still resides in our mortal unredeemed body and living in certain sins is cause of God’s discipline even with physical death if He warrants the need for it.

    That is why Paul also tells the believers, as we read in Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

    Our old man, the sinful nature which was a complete and total slave to sin is dead, crucified with Christ so that the power of sin which enslaved our entire being including our will is now dead, broken, it cannot make us sin any longer. However, the body of sin is alive though, that’s our body where sin still lives. This body must be done away with, in other words it must be mastered and brought under submission of the Holy Spirit and our spiritual man. That is what it means now to crucify our flesh, this body of sin must be continuously killed, figuratively speaking. Killing it, crucifying it means rendering it submitted to the will and word of God.

     

    Romans VI Verses XVII to XIX

     

    17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

     

    Paul now gives the assurance to the believers, assurance that God has indeed begun a good work in them [Philippians 1:6].

    Paul thanks God, who else can be thanked for a person’s salvation? Man? No, only God can be thanked because salvation is entirely the work of God in cooperation with only one man, the man Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son. The only human aspect of salvation is Jesus, for He is the only human being that God accepted in the process of salvation ans obviously because of Him we also can be accepted

    Ephesians 1:4-6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

    So Paul thanks God now, because the Son indeed has set free some who were slaves of sin. Remember whom the Son sets free is free indeed. No longer slaves of sin rather children of God. So then should we also thank and praise God for this unmerited favor of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Paul is saying at one time though you were slaves of sin and basically we know by now that someone who is a slave of sin does nothing else but sin at all times, they sin and rebel against God and His word.

    However, God be thanked, He set us free from the slavery of sin and so even though we lived in that condition of total slavery, while we were dead in our sins and trespasses, while we were slaves to sin, Christ died for us and God by His amazing grace regenerated us and because He did, because we became born again by His grace only at the hearing of the Gospel, [Romans 10:17] yet, because of God’s doing we were able to believe from our heart, with our new heart of flesh that God gave us, we willingly made the first step of obedience to God, we believed the Gospel, we repented of our sin, we confessed Jesus as our Lord.

    This is an important, very important thing that Paul wrote here. Yet, we were able to believe from our heart.

    What did we learn previously in our study? What did Paul explain to us for instance in [Romans 3:10-18]? What did Jeremiah tell us in [Jeremiah 17:9]? That unredeemed man has a completely corrupt, wicked and hopeless heart, which does evil continuously. Unredeemed man cannot do any good neither can he seek after God nor can he believe God. So what could Paul be saying in agreement with all the things he previously said?

    How could a person be able to believe with their heart then? Is this not a contradiction?

    Well, the Bible does not contradict itself, it does however interpret itself and explain itself if we carefully and willingly seek and desire to know the truth.

    In the OT God described how He would perform His work of redemption and regeneration, let’s remember that He explained it exactly in detail how He performed it in the NT. However, in Ezekiel 36 God tells us how He would make it possible for us to believe with our heart and therefore have faith in Jesus Christ’s work and His lordship.

    Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    This is how God through the washing of regeneration through the Holy Spirit has made us able to believe with our hearts, He changed our hearts, took out the heart of stone which could not believe and gave us a heart of flesh that could, He did so by regenerating us first, by which process we believed having now a new heart, this is explained to us in NT words in

    Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    This is how God saved us, it had really nothing to do with us rather all to do with Him and because of this we were able to believe.

    Able to believe what? That form of doctrine to which we have been delivered. What is this form of doctrine? So who said that doctrine was not important? These err when they think this. Obviously doctrine is important if it saves,it must be important if God delivered us to it.

    That doctrine or teaching for that matter is the Gospel and what it teaches. Remember before we have seen a passage that showed us what the grace of God teaches us to do and that is really what the Gospel in the end teaches us. It does not simply teach us the work of the cross and the resurrection but it also teaches us what is attached to Jesus’ work of redemption, faith in Him only, His death, His resurrection, repentance of our sins, self denial, Jesus’ lordship.

    Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
    Acts 17:30-31 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

    Here in these passages we read we find the form of doctrine to which we were delivered. The Gospel as we see has different formats but these ALL include the same essential parts of which the Gospel is made up and we clearly see that it is a form of doctrine, of teaching. It teaches us to confess Jesus as Lord, to believe with our heart that God raised Him from the dead, it commands us to repent, it teaches us that there is a judgment of the world in righteousness, it commands us to lose our life of sin to find the life of Christ, it teaches us to deny ourselves, it teaches us to deny ungodly living and to live holy and righteous lives. So we see that it teaches us that all the elements of salvation have to be present in the person’s life in order to have assurance that salvation has occurred, these elements are faith in the work and lordship of Christ and that which this faith produces, repentance, self denial and sanctification. When we believe, truly believe in the doctrine of the Gospel it all becomes evident and practiced doctrine, all that the Gospel commands to do, we obey, by grace and faith, the gift of God.

    The Gospel is a doctrine, a teaching to which we MUST become obedient and not only an announcement ti which one gives mental assent only.

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

    Those who do not obey the Gospel do not know God at all and we have seen what obeying the Gospel really means. Yes, do not make any mistake, it is only faith, truly believing in Jesus that is evidence that salvation has occurred, we are justified by faith but this is also obeying the Gospel, obeying all that the Gospel tells us to do, this will occur in the lives of those whom have been regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit. Faith that is alive in Christ as James says generates works, these works are the fruit of genuine faith, so one is not saved by works rather by faith alone, faith that is alive however immediately produces works of faith, obedience to what God commands us to do.

    James 2:14-26 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    James is not saying faith together with works save, no not at all, this would conflict with what Paul said in [Ephesians 2:8-9], rather what James is saying is in perfect agreement with what Paul said in [Ephesians 2:8-10]. We should not take only verses 8-9 but always include verse 10 because that is exactly what James is saying. Saved by grace through faith these produce works, obedience to what God commands us to do.

    Faith without works is not real faith because faith produces works of obedience.

    Paul says we were delivered into this doctrine and not only this doctrine delivered to us. What does this mean?

    The Greek words used in this case are words used to indicate the melting down of metal and the pouring of the molten metal into a mold to cast the specific image of the mold into which the metal had been poured.

    The words may be literally translated like this, into which mold of doctrine you have been cast.

    So that the illustration that Paul wanted to give in this passage was that as believers we have been melted down by God and we have been poured into the mold of the Gospel, which mold is the work of Jesus Christ and the person of Jesus Christ. So that we could then take the shape of the mold of what we have been cast into. This is a beautiful parallel to what we said before in regard to having baptized into Christ, His death and resurrection and therefore His life that transforms us into His image. This has happened also because we have been delivered into, cast into the mold of the doctrine of the Gospel which by God’s grace we have obeyed.

    Paul continues saying in verse 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

    Paul has already explained to us in several ways that God has set us free from sin. Jesus has set us free from the slavery of sin, our sinful nature has been eradicated, destroyed by God regenerating us and giving us a new nature, His own. So now we have freedom from sin’s power and we are truly free to love and serve God. Our old man has been crucified with Christ our new man has been risen with Christ. Now we are completely new creations in Christ

    2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

    However looking at what Paul says here in Romans having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness and look at what he said in the verses prior to the verse of 2 Corinthians 5 we just read.

    2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    Once again here is the issue that we looked at before in our study, we have been set free from the power of sin, we have been freed by god from the slavery of sin and of our sinful nature and we have been made anew, regenerated, re-created, for what purpose? Here it is, for the purpose of becoming slaves to a new master, God, Christ and therefore slaves of righteousness. Those who are in Christ practice righteousness and we are bond servants of the master that gave us our new nature, His.

    1 John 3:8-10 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

    Jesus has destroyed what the devil caused, our enslavement to sin. We who are born of God do not practice sin because we have Christ’s nature, His divine nature [2 Peter 1:1-4], we are born of Him we therefore are those who now practice righteousness as opposed to the children of the devil, they as we did, are slaves to sin and practice unrighteousness.

    So now we have become not only children of God but also bond servants, slaves of God and of righteousness.

    We do not belong to ourselves but we now belong to God. Let’s reason about this.

    There has been a change of ownership now, God purchased us from the slave market of sin, He purchased us with the sacrifice of Jesus, His blood, His life, has bought us and set us free from the slavery of sin but now we belong completely to God.

    Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

    Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    We are a purchased possession, God purchased us, that is really what the word redeemed really means. Being redeemed means that a price has been paid for us, we have been bought in order to possess us, so does the word ransomed which is also used referring to our salvation, having been ransomed. We all now that a ransom is a price paid to bring back someone who has been taken hostage.

    Jesus purchased us form slavery of sin and purchases us for God. We do not belong to the devil any longer but neither we belong to ourselves any longer.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    We are God’s property, yes we are sons as well, that is for sure, we have been given all the rights God’s children have, yet we are called to relinquish our personal rights and become servants of God.

    After all we are called by Jesus to serve, to be servants and God will honor us for that attitude

    John 12:25-26 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

    Matthew 23:11-13 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

    Luke 22:26-27 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

    And we are called also from the word of God to have the same attitude of Jesus that although being Son of God and equal to God did became instead a servant and did not hold on to His rights as Son and He did have them and rightfully so.

    Philippians 2:5-9 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

    If we let this mind be in us, which was also in Christ, if we relinquish our personal rights as sons as Jesus did although He had the right and in Him so do we. If we make ourselves of no reputation and we also take the form of bond-servants, if we also humble ourselves and become obedient even to our death then God as He did with Jesus He will do with us, He will exalt us as well.

    So this is what we have been become slaves, slaves of God, slaves of the Lord Jesus, slaves of righteousness, as He is righteous so will we be obedient servants of His and we will live in righteousness as well.

    That is why even Paul knew that he was a child of God a son as he communicated this truth to the churches, however he let this mind be in him which was in Christ Jesus as well, he considered himself a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, after all that is what it means to confess the Lord Jesus as our Lord is making Him our Lord,if He is Lord we are His servants.

    All the Apostles considered themselves Christ’s bond-servants, look at how Paul in fact begins the Epistle to the Romans, remember?

    Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

    So did Epaphras, James, Peter and Jude [Colossians 4:12],[James 1:1],[2 Peter 1:1], Jude 1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.

    So that even though we are sons we consider ourselves bond-servants of Christ and therefore slaves of righteousness.

    19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

     

    Paul is saying now that he is using metaphors in his language, examples, figures of speech so that it is easier to understand what he means using terminology that binds the common every day life that the recipients of this letter knew well.

    The Roman Christians knew well what it meant to be slaves and servants and therefore they would now understand further what Paul was trying to communicate to them through these figures of speech.

    Paul is now making the parallelism between the members, in other words the body of the believers and how they are to be now compared to how they were before their conversion.

    Before their conversion the body of the believer was enslaved to uncleanness and lawlessness that led to being ever so more and more lawless. The bodies were presented to sin enslaved by the sinful nature, remember that the sinful nature renders the entire human being a slave to sin.

    It is impossible for the unregenerate man to obey God’s law [Romans 8:5-8]. The person that lives in the flesh is the natural, unredeemed man who is still in Adam, who still has a nature that enslaves his whole being into sinfulness. The natural man, the unregenerate man cannot understand or accept by himself, anything that is of a spiritual nature, anything that has to do with God and His law [1 Corinthians 2:14]

    So then, before a person is regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God, every person, us also, presented our bodies to be obedient to sin, serving sin, uncleanness and lawlessness and by doing so we continued to accumulate more and more lawlessness in our life.

    In other words the more one person lets themselves go into lawlessness the more unbridled lawlessness is manifested. With the body all kinds of lawless and unclean deeds were practiced because the body was used as an instrument to practice unrighteousness. Why? Because the body was enslaved to the power of sin.

    Ephesians 4:17-19 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

    1 Peter 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

    This is how those who are not yet regenerated by God live, this is how the natural, unsaved man acts, this is how we also used to live. This is what it means to offer our members, our bodies to be slaves of uncleanness and lawlessness.

    Now though, Paul has already made the point even before, the old man has died to sin, crucified with Christ, that is the old sinful nature that made us slaves to sin, is now dead, destroyed. So that even as Paul declared before, the body we now have still is affected by sin but not enslaved to sin any longer. As we said even beforehand, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the fact that now a new divine nature has replaced the old sinful nature, we now have the freedom, the real freedom to serve God, obey His law.

    Not only we have the freedom to obey and serve God but we have the power and the desire to obey God [Philippians 2:13], power and desire that we receive by God’s grace through His nature that is now within us [1 John 3:4-9].

    It is needful to mention again that what Paul is saying here is in other words what he also says in

    Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    Presenting our bodies as dead to sin but alive to holiness (that’s what a living sacrifice means) which is what is acceptable to God as our act of logical worship. Once again dying to the world and its lustful desires, desires that would and could affect the body which is earthly, natural and unredeemed still and still attracted by lust, the lust of the flesh and of the world [1 John 2:15-17]. We must then let the word of God transform our minds, the programming of our minds that have been wrongfully programmed by our sinful nature, these programs needs to be over ridden by the mind of Christ found in His word through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
    Ephesians 4:21-24 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

    This is what in reality it means to present our bodies to be slaves of righteousness for the development of holiness in our life.

    As before we offered our bodies to the slavery of sin now we must offer our bodies as slaves to serve God in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life, that is why we have been set free to do [Luke 1:74-75].

    Romans VI Verses XX to XXIII

    20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Paul says that when we were slaves of sin, when was this? We did see this was before we were regenerated, before our conversion. When we were still in Adam,when we were still natural men and women, when we still had a sinful nature that completely corrupted us, this was when we were slaves of sin. When we were slaves of sin we had a free will, hummm…just look at what we were free to do, free to live in unrighteousness, free to sin.

    You see all those who do not understand well the concept of man’s radical corruption and depravity cannot truly understand the concept of free will. Man always has a free will, this is evidenced by the fact that if a man can decide what color clothes to wear, what kind of food to eat, which way to go to work or any place else for that matter and so are all the decisions that are not of a moral nature, man is free to choose.

    Now, when it comes to a moral point of view the issue becomes different. Man still has a free will however in the moral case since his will is completely enslaved by the corruption and the power of sin, man is not capable of making the right moral decisions by himself, if left to himself man will always choose to sin.

    Oh yes, there is a conscience, but the conscience only warns whether the choice is right or wrong according to God’s law, but the conscience is neutral, it does not have the power to make a person make the right decision. What Paul is saying then in this verse is that man’s free will when man is a slave of sin is only free in regard to righteousness. That’s what a person who is a slave of sin is free to sin and is free from righteousness. That is only freedom that a person which still has a sinful nature has, the freedom to always choose sin and freedom from being righteous.

    This verse is the reflected image as in a mirror of verse 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

    Being slaves of sin renders a person free from righteousness while being set free from the power of sin renders free from sin and slaves to righteousness, no longer free from righteousness, which means again that a slave to its master does its master’s will, in this case righteousness or on the other hand sin. Paul had described for us what it meant to be free from righteousness, when people still are enslaved to sin’s power, the sinful nature, without regeneration, before conversion. We really need to look again to what it means to be completely and radically corrupted by sin’s power, this is the description of what a person is enslaved to and what they practice and live and what moral righteous qualities they lack.

    Romans 3:9-20 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.12 They have all turned aside;They have together become unprofitable;  There is none who does good, no, not one.”  13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”  15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.”  18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    We MUST get this fact well established in our mind if we really expect to understand the concept of salvation and grace. This is how man without the life of God in him really is and lives, when we were slaves of sin this is how we lived and how we were, as you see we were completely free in regard to righteousness. There is nothing absolutely nothing good in man without God’s life in them.

    Paul then continues saying in verse 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

    What is the fruit of unrighteousness and sin? It is definitely death. God promised Adam in the beginning that if he disobeyed His one and only commandment he would surely die [Genesis 2:16-17] and because of his disobedience as well as Eve’s sin entered in the human race and with sin death, this we saw in [Romans 5:12], the wages of sin are death that is what the closing verse of this chapter six says [Romans 6:23]. So what Paul is saying is so true, right? What fruit did we have or do people have in sin and unrighteousness? The end of these things are death, spiritual death and physical death and that in the end translates into eternal death or as the Bible also calls it the second death [Revelation 20:6],[Revelation 20:14].

    The body however even the believer’s body is dead because of sin. Even though we are spiritually regenerated and made alive in our body still is at work another law, the law of sin in our members, body. This is NOT sinful nature, rather sin that is still present in our body because our body is still unredeemed and earthly, natural, of the earth and from the earth and this body as it is cannot inherit the kingdom of God but must die because of sin and be resurrected incorruptible and transformed see also [1 Corinthians 15:42-53].

    Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

    Once again we should not be deceived, many times Paul warns us of this fact, do not be deceived, those who practice unrighteousness as a life choice and lifestyle will reap corruption which is also death in all of its forms. See also [1 Corinthians 6:9-10],[Galatians 5:19-21].

    So Paul also says in Ephesians 5:5-7 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

    Paul also asks us what fruit did we have in the things of which we are now ashamed? Death is the answer we did see that however, the things we once did we now are ashamed of. Or at least we should be if we truly have been changed into new creations.

    Such were some of us, unrighteous and slaves to sin but now, you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

    Because of this now we are ashamed of the the way in which we once lived, or at least we really should be ashamed of them if we truly are new creations in Christ. Before when we were slaves to our sinful nature we were not ashamed of what we did we thought it was all good, we enjoyed our sinful lifestyle and approved of it as well as those who

    Romans 1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

    like us did the same things.

    Oh, yes down in our heart as corrupt by sin as it was, see [Romans 1:29-31], we knew the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death. Remember man has a conscience and man knows God exists, that He is a holy and righteous God, man knows all this and yet, man defies God and His law calling evil good and good evil [Isaiah 5:18-24],

    Isaiah 5:18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, And sin as if with a cart rope;

    They are proud to parade their iniquity and sin as if they paraded it by riding a cart down the street before everybody. We see this attitude more and more prevalent in our society today, do we not? People who defy God and openly and without shame parade their sins, literally parade their sin in the streets before everybody’s eyes. See as an example of this we have now “gay, homosexual, pride parades”.

    How appropriate is that! They subconsciously but prophetically picked out the perfect name for their movement, they are certainly proud, but not in a good way, arrogantly proud before almighty God, shaking their fists and every other body part in God’s face, in their pride and arrogance and rebellion. They certainly are proud, they have no shame to parade around town what God calls an abomination. However, they do not realize that for the most part God has abandoned them to the consequences of their own doing, that’s His judgment upon them and a society that accepts this sinful, arrogant behavior [Romans 1:24-28]. That does not end with homosexuality, in fact see the list of sins God describes in [Romans 1:29-31], that includes all the behavior listed and not only homosexuality.

    Man should be ashamed of his sinful behavior that offends God but man does not even know how to blush for shame any longer. God described this shameless behavior in the life of his people Israel but it really is the description of the entire human race today.

    Jeremiah 6:12-15 For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land,” says the LORD. 13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely. 14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush.

    He repeats himself with almost identical language also in [Jeremiah 8:8-12].

    The word of God tells us that the behavior of the sinners is something to be ashamed about.

    Ephesians 5:3-12 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

    Yet sinners love their sin, they are not ashamed of their behavior, rather they seemingly become ashamed or rather embarrassed when they get caught doing something evil, but they are embarrassed for themselves, regarding their selfish ego, not ashamed to have violated God’s law and having offended God’s righteous and holy character.

    We who then were darkness but are now light in the Lord, we walk as children of light exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit living in goodness, righteousness and truth and are ashamed of those things that are now dine by them, those upon whom the wrath of God comes.

    22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

    Paul now repeats once more what he really wants us to understand as this reality believed by faith as a true fact in the life of the believer is to bring victory over sin.

    We have been set free from sin. Set fee from sin’s slavery and power. The sinful nature has been destroyed, annihilated and a new nature has been given to the believer. Attention, as we will repeat it, the mind of the believer has not been completely renewed though, and that is the process we call sanctification and it is a gradual process we need to undergo to obtain victory, to become transformed into the image of Jesus, not to be conformed to the ways of the world, this again is explained for us in [Romans12:1-2],[2 Corinthians 10:3-5] and

    Ephesians 4:17-24 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

    As we had said previously having been redeemed, bought out of the slave market of sin by the price of the life of Jesus, His precious blood, now we belong to God [1 Corinthians 6:17-20],[1 Peter 1:16-19] and belonging to Him we are His children but also His slaves, His bond-servants. In ancient times, especially in the middle eastern culture, the son had all the rights of son but he considered himself his father’s servant. In fact the inheritance of all the father possessed was his only, obviously, upon the death of the father. That is also why it was a scandal what the prodigal son did, see [Luke 15:11-12]. In essence he considered his father as dead to him and basically he dead to the father. So we also are children but we willingly subject ourselves to be servants, slaves of our Heavenly Father although we are sons. We do as Jesus did [Philippians 2:5-8], we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand and we wait till it is He that exalts us in due time. We do not claim our rights as children we submit to the will of the Father and wait upon Him. We will receive our inheritance when the time will come for us to receive it [1 Peter 1:3-9], in the mean time we serve God as His bond-servants, servants of love and in love to Him who set us free from the bondage of Sin and made us His children, see [Exodus 21:1-6].

    So we are slaves or bond-servants of God and therefore as ti had been said servants, slaves of righteousness, because that is what God is, righteous and He made us also such and therefore in such manner we should walk, [Ephesians 4:1],[1 Peter 1:15-16],[1 John 2:6], [1 John 3:1-3].

    So the fruit born again believers produce, because we are rooted and we abide in Christ, in God, is the fruit of holiness. We are not perfect in righteousness and holiness, but we produce it, or better yet the grace of God a t work in us produces the fruit of holiness in our life. We therefore pursue holiness and sanctification because we are empowered by God’s grace to keep seeking after these.

    Follow this context next and this train of thought in Scripture:

    Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

    Why without holiness, without sanctification non one will see the Lord? Because they are not working to save themselves or to maintain themselves saved? No! Not at all! Simply because there is non work of regeneration wroth by God in those who do not practice and pursue these things. In fact God Himself is the One who produces this in us and us who then by faith and in obedience, although imperfectly, give every effort to pursue it. If there is no effort nor are there fruits of holiness,of a changed life, of sanctification, a true conversion has not taken place. This is why non one can see the Lord, because even Jesus Himself said that without being born again NO ONE CAN see the Kingdom of God [John 3:3-9] .

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

    Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

    Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

    1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

    Colossians 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

    We work because God works in us, we sanctify ourselves because God works this will and desire and power in us to do so. It is not I who live but it is this, I am crucified with Christ and it is not I who live any longer, but it is Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me [Galatians 2:20].

    We abide in Him and our fruit will be to His glory in holiness and love [John 15:1-17], He prunes us and this is, we are His children, He loves us and He also disciplines and corrects us, this also means He trains us in righteousness so that we produce fruit of righteousness and we are partakers of His holiness

    Hebrews 12:7-11 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

    All this is the proof , the confirmation that we are children of God, although bond-servants, yet children, such love God has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God. However, we are His beloved children, we have an inheritance and this is eternal life, we not only will have it we do have it now, we are possessors of it now.

    We have been born again to a living hope, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have in Him eternal life.

    1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.

    John 5:24-29 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

    We have eternal life, we have passed from death to life, when we changed ownership we changed our spiritual status, we shall not come into judgment, we passed from death to life, we have eternal life now. We believe in Him, we die we live, we live we shall never die. So this is the end of those who sow to the Spirit [Galatians 6:7-8], eternal life.

    This is the end of those who have been set free from the bondage of sin’s power, those who have been born again, those who are children of God and slaves to righteousness and of God, those who have abandoned the former ways of living and live walking in a righteous and holy pattern, those who albeit yet imperfectly, pursue holiness and sanctification.

    Romans 2:6-10 (God) who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    This by the way is not salvation by works it is salvation by grace that actively produces good works through regenerated people [Ephesians 2:8-10],

    Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    The fruit of God’s grace in the end is this, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living righteously, soberly and godly, waiting for the return of Jesus while doing this, He has redeemed us from the bondage of sin to purify us, His own special people who are zealous to do His good works and all those who have this in their life will have also in the end eternal life.

     

    23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    This verse that concludes chapter six is actually very, very clear and is actually self explanatory. It really does not need a whole lot of commenting, yet it needs some.

    The wages of sin. Sin earns a paycheck. Death. This we have seen from the very beginning of time. God told Adam that if he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. Let’s look at that for a moment.

    Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    God always keeps His promises, what He declares is what IS, no ifs, no buts, what He says that is it. Now one could, and some do, ask themselves, “wait a minute though, God told Adam, ‘In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’, how can that be? Adam and Eve both survived, they did not on that day die”.

    On the surface it seems that way, as they in fact continued to live physically, they did not die instantly on the spot. So What did God mean when He said in the day you eat of it you shall surely die? In that day however Adam and Eve died, yes they did. They died spiritually and that was an immediate death.

    Where before they had no shame being naked as there was no malice in them [Genesis 2:25], now they sought to cover their nakedness as shame did emerge because of the knowledge of the potential evil that their nakedness could and would cause in the future human race. They also sought to cover themselves because they felt spiritually naked before God, their guilt, made them feel even more naked. Before they did not have this guilt and they walked before God unashamedly,they walked with Him, now they could not withstand His pure and holy look upon them in their spiritual nakedness, in their guilt, they sought to cover themselves and to hide from the presence of God’s righteousness and holiness [Genesis 3:7-8] because they were not righteous and holy any longer, they morally, spiritually died, decayed.

    Man’s sin and its guilt always make the human being shrink away from God, sin and guilt since it separates from God it separates man from God’s life, spiritual life, sin and guilt always make man seek to hide from God not to seek Him. So that we see that sin has separated man from God’s life giving Spirit so that Adam and Eve did truly die spiritually in the day they ate of the fruit.

    This also is true for every single human being born after. We have seen before in our study that EVERY human being WITHOUT exception is born in sin, this means born with a sinful nature, in other words born spiritually dead, morally decayed, radically corrupt. Death is actually separation,so that our spirit being separated from God since God is life, is therefore dead.

    ALL human beings are dead in their sins and trespasses [Ephesians 2:1-4].

    So God was right, as He always is, Adam and Eve died in that day of rebellion.

    They died spiritually immediately and they began to die also physically, spiritual death entered the human race and physical death also [Romans 5:12].

    Physical death has a course of time usually, in the physical body. God sets a time, allots days to us in which we will physically live, yes God does numbers our years,our days [Psalms 139:16] Nevertheless, even while we live we die, we begin to physically die in the moment we become physically alive.

    So the wages of sin, the consequence of sin is death, spiritual death because sin separate us from God’s life giving Spirit and so being in possession of a sinful nature that completely, radically corrupts or depraves man keeps us continuously spiritually dead, therefore man needs to be made alive again spiritually in order to live eternally in God’s presence. This means that the corruption, the sinful nature needs to be eliminated.

    The wages of sin are also physical death, howbeit gradual yet a reality of sin’s consequence as well. Sin within the body and the effects of sin without,in the world make also sickness and death the reality for every human being.

    So sin will also cause physical death which is also a separation from the body from our own soul and also and foremost from God, who is the giver of physical life as well as spiritual life

    [Genesis 2:7],[Psalms 104:29-30],[John 1:3-4].

    The body dies even after the person’s conversion or new birth because only the spiritual man becomes alive, while the body still physically alive and this always because of God naturally, because it remains in a natural, earthly state still remains connected with the corruption that is in the world and the sin which continues to dwell therein, not the sinful nature, but the body of sin [Romans 7:18-24].

    This is why the earthly, natural body must die and be transformed into a glorified body, this is what the resurrection will be for believers, see [1 Corinthians 15:42-54].

    Those who remain unredeemed, those who do not become born again but remain only physical, natural beings, those who retain a sinful nature, sadly for them, they will die physically and they will remain spiritually dead. They also will be resurrected by God, however, only to live forever separated from God in eternal torment

    [John 5:28-29], [Romans 2:5-6],[Romans 2:8-9],[Revelation 20:11-15].

    Another way of putting this last verse of Romans 6 is this way,

    Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

    Even here basically the same thing is being said, if, a man lives, or sows, his life is rooted in other words in the flesh, form that very same he will reap corruption also another word for death. He who lives, sows, is rooted in the life of the Spirit, is spiritually alive, reaps everlasting life, this is the same concept of this verse Romans 6:23 that we are studying. Jesus said this again using other words still, other figures of speech in

    John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

    In fact the second part of the verse we are looking at says but, the gift of God is eternal life, sin’s wage, payment, consequence is death, the gift of God however, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The consequence of being in Christ is eternal life. Look at the different words Paul used to distinguish the difference between sin and death and eternal life and Christ. Sin has a consequence that is compared to wages, to a payment and in fact it is a retribution, physical death and eternal torment, the second death, are a retribution, a payment for being in sin and for all the sin a person has committed all their life.

    Paul explained this also in

    Romans 2:4-9 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;

    However, grace, differs from sin because God gifts us eternal life in Christ, to all who have been, by God, elected to be in Christ, God gifted, freely, without merit, eternal life [Ephesians 1:4-11]. Grace is not pay, it’s an unmerited favor, a gift we never deserved, never could and never will deserve [Romans 4:4],[Romans 11:5-6], that is the difference, sin repays you with death, physical and spiritual, grace gifts you eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

    What a wonderful truth this is, how grateful we should be to God, He did not repay us according to our iniquities, rather He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, so that being in Him we could obtain this amazing gift of grace even eternal life.