Paul having proven the doctrine of justification now moves to discussing the doctrine of sanctification, which is the natural fruit of justification where God produces actual righteousness in the believer.
Through verse 1-10 Paul will begin his lesson on sanctification by arguing that in spite of their past, all whom God has justified will experience personal holiness.
This said, I know none of us here had quite the life of Saul of Tarsus. But do y’all ever wrestle with past sin or guilt over your past life in your Christian walk?
[Let them answer]
If so, how have you dealt with that guilt?
Paul, throughout the rest of this chapter, will expound on the great change that has happened within you; that great changed happened through out union with Christ. Our union with Christ is the alms for a guilt stricken mind and a sinful heart.
“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?”
So does preaching a justification based solely on the free grace of God encourage people to sin?
This is what we’ll call the Apostolic abhorrence; Paul was horrified that such an abuse of God’s grace could even be conceived. One cannot receive this grace and not be changed by it; it is an effectual grace.
“sin still live in it?”
How does one live in sin according to Paul’s reasoning exactly?
“living in sin”, unlike the common expression of old to describe 2 co-habittating individuals in a relationship, would mean that we have our life, delight, fulfillment in our sin.
And Paul is about to cover how and what it means that we died to sin.
So who is the “all of us” that were baptized into Christ?
And what is baptism?
Baptism, to the believer, is to show the transformation of the justification that God has worked in us. As Paul will elaborate more for us in 6:4
So what does our baptism do for us?
“we were buried therefore with Him” It shows our union with Christ.
For what reason was Christ buried?
To be raised by the glory of the Father.
The attentive reader will note that this is Paul’s first use of the word “Father”.
So last week we defined “glory” and “God”; here, let’s define “Father”.
The Fatherhood of God is God making me His son/daughter and then basing all that I do on His work in me and not my work toward Him.
God as Father shows us that it is
1) a loving/caring relationship
2) it’s a relationship that can never be lost
3) it is also a familiar/close relation to us; Him close to us and us to Him
4) its a condescending relationship (IE God literally ooh goo gaa gaa’s His love to us).
“walk in newness of life”
What this “newness of life”?
A resurrected life. The Father raised Christ up for His glory; He likewise makes us His child by raising us up for His glory as well; and we now live a resurrected/new life by Him, from Him and for Him.
If you want a 100% biblical definition of baptism you need look no further than this verse.
We have already labored the point and purpose of baptism here and in other studies; I wouldn’t do so again here.
Define “our old self”.
The believer’s unregenerate self/our past sinful state.
Our sinful state was imputed to Christ when He took on the wrath of God; IE Christ gets our sin and we get His righteousness.
“body of sin” essentially synonymous with “our old self”. Paul is not saying that the body is evil; he merely uses the terms “body” and “flesh” to refer to sinful propensities that are intertwined with physical weaknesses and pleasures.
Why do y’all think Paul describes our past self/unregenerate state as being \”enslaved to sin”?
Basically, because that’s what it was; it was our master and we had no freedom with it; our sinful passions said ‘jump\’ and we said ‘how high?’
How exactly does Christ’s death bring me life?
Simply put, sin leads me further away from God; while Christ and His work lead me closer to God. The closer to God I am the more life Ill possess.
Answer me this: How dead was Christ?
And how alive is Christ right now?
Is He ever to die again?
No; He is alive forevermore.
And we died with Christ right? Our old sinful nature is done away with?
Yes and yes.
So does sin actually have any power over me?
I go through all of that to labor the point of this text.
How many of y’all have heard to “2 wolves” illustration?
[Let them answer]
Perhaps you’ve heard the “2 wolves” illustration:
Now that you’re saved there are now 2 wolves inside you; one of Spirit, one of flesh, and whether which one wins is dependent on which one you chose to feed, and make the most strong.
When Paul says that “died to sin” he means it; Christ’s death was a one-time event; likewise our death was as well. Because we are “in Christ” and He died into our place we are counted dead with Him.
While the “2 wolves” illustration maybe what happens in the midst of temptation (and is in that case an accurate illustration) it is not accurate in regards to your new nature now.
A more accurate illustration of your life now would as follows:
Imagine a ransomed slave from an abusive master; your redeemer is now your master and you work for Him (sense He brought your life), but every now and again you hear your former master calling and barking orders at you.
You have no reason or duty to listen and obey your former master, because you are now totally free, but you sometimes do anyway out of reflex/old habit.
You have been redeemed by Christ to serve Him with the reward of eternal life. You will occasionally fall back into your old ways; but you can never be un-ransomed; you are forever changed.
Now, let’s talk about how we actually spiritually live and die to sin.
Imagine if you will a mason jar full of rocks, of varies sizes, and I want to fill the jar completely with water.
What must I first do?
Empty out all the rocks from the jar.
Is that enough have I accomplished the task I set out to do?
What else must I do?
Fill, the now empty jar, completely with water.
In a likewise manner we also must continually remove our sin from our lives and have more and more living water poured into us.
Now, all that we’ve sufficiently covered what the process of repentance looks like; let’s actually cover the “how” to repentance.
How do I remove sin in my life? Or rather, by what power do I remove my sin? IE Do I just try really really really hard not to sin or is it something more?
Our sanctification, just like our justification, is by faith; not works.
Look at 6:11.
Basically Paul is telling us to embrace the reality of our life in Christ by counting, or living, the reality of our faith.
If Christ died and raised and you’re in Christ then you died and raised as well; you are just as dead to sin and live with God as Christ is right now.
Paul is telling us to live in accordance with our faith.
We are made righteous with God by faith, not works.
Likewise we are made like Christ by faith as well.
We trust in God for our salvation AND sanctification.
All that said, all that we just covered about repentance, fullness, faith, justification, sanctification I ask this question:
Are we living this way? Are we living the way Paul is telling us to live? Thumbs, down, sideways (and don’t lie to me).
Put your hand a bit higher for me if you answer is directly related to your homework assignment; if your result is directly related to your chief struggle this week.
Keep you struggle and result in mind while I ask these questions:
What is one thing you can do today to have joy in God?
[Let them answer. Discuss. Follow up as needed.]
What is one thing we can do to help you in your walk with God?
[Let them answer. Discuss. Follow up as needed.]
And out of personal curiosity: Is there any way I can serve you this week?
[Write down these answers]
And now we’re gonna put all of this together:
What is the single greatest thing I, and you, can do to love your Christian kinsman?
Simply, to be Christ like.
Or, to put it another way, to have true personal holiness in private and public.
To quote one great man, “a good tree will bear good fruit. A bad tree = bad fruit”
We must be good trees in order to yield useful/beneficial fruit to help/love our kinsman.
Paul addresses the conclusion of his readers: If the old self is dead, why is there continually a struggle with sin and how can the new self be brought about.
How does sin overcome you?
You let it; you listen to the old master and obey its passions.
We become passive in our walk, rather than active as we should be in our walk.
And here we see the second Apostolic abhorrence.
How do we become obedient from the heart?
We obey sincerely; we obey out of love not out of mere desire to escape hellfire.
Does any amount of sin lead to any real happiness?
Does more sin lead to any real happiness?
Paul here is laboring the point of sin’s unsatisfactory nature; you will never have happiness in vain sin; why bother searching for it?
What does Paul claim as the fruit for our justification?
Sanctification; the outcome of which is life eternal.
No justification, no sanctification, no eternal life.
If you are you justified, you will be sanctified, and you will be glorified.
I was thinking about perseverance of the saints this week; particularly I was pondering what is the horizontal application of that doctrine; and I thought of this that I wanted to float by y’all:
PotS: God brought us; God’s gonna keep us.
I think one of the applications of that doctrine is patience with each other.
Per example: So Ed is my brother, meaning, God brought him, God’s gonna keep him. God also brought me, He’s gonna keep me. Here’s the problem: Ed gets on my nerves, like all the time; he’s constantly swearing, constantly pushing the limits of grace. And God’s still gonna keep him. So we both have to grow in sanctification together; he has to put away his sin and I have to grow in love/grace/patience toward him. So we both grow in grace; and God still gets the glory.
Why do y’all think this is such a popular verse?
It\’s a great summary of Romans 6.
What are the 2 truths Paul is describing here?
Spiritual death is the paycheck for every man’s slavery to sin.
Eternal life is a free gift God gives to undeserving sinners who believe in His Son.
We can have true enjoy and true life but we must take hold of it by faith in Christ and not trust in our own works.
Big summary of today’s lesson:
Paul teaches us to believe on all that Christ is for us; not just for salvation but also sanctification because of His great goodness and love to us.