Updated: Jan 18
My dear readers, do you ever feel as though you are not the best version of yourself? Do you ever think that you let people down, people you love and for whom you want the very best? Do you ever have a guilty conscience about how you treat others sometimes?
If you do, I have good news for you that is twofold. First, there is forgiveness, which, if you are a Christian, you already believe. Second, the forgiveness you experience should translate into a new life and a new way of living.
The opening statements of Romans 6 set forth the reality of Jesus's death and resurrection and what they mean for the believer.
Only when faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus applies to the believers' need to change and live a holy life does the reality of our salvation become life-transforming.
Let us view the teaching of the Apostle Paul, who's transformation from a Pharisee seeking the death of Christians to the self-sacrificing Apostle who laid down his life for Christ and the Gospel.
1:1 "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!"
Paul demolished the idea that God intended to save people and then allow them to go on living their lives as though nothing changed internally.
1:2 "How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
In salvation, there is a reality of death to sin, which needs to become experienced by the believer.
1:3 "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?"
Baptism means to submerse into something. Salvation placed the believer in Christ's death.
1:4 "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."
The baptism spoken of in this verse is not water baptism, which is merely a symbolic representation of what took place at Jesus's death (in the courtroom of God) and takes place in the person who repents and believes. The purpose of death and resurrection is the impartation of Christ's holy life, which becomes newness of experience in the believer.
1:5 "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection."
There is a death that the believer experiences at the point of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. To receive Christ is to recognize our sinfulness and the need to be saved from its penalty and changed into something new.
1:6 "Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin."
The "knowing" of which the Apostle speaks is the reality of knowing that only God can impart. In every human being (with exceptions of some mentally handicapped), God bestows self-knowledge. Man can then understand what he is. The animal has no such capability. The reality of salvation only belongs to those whom God saves.
The reason the believer receives the knowledge of his own crucifixion is so that he might no longer be a slave to sin.
1:7 "For he who has died is freed from sin."
At this statement, the believer upon reflection of his life may not feel or believe he is freed from sin. Doubts and fears may flood in and cause him even to flee this line of thinking. A false victory over sin may take place in some and overtake them with pride.
What is the remedy for doubts, fears, and deception?
1:8 "Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him."
My dear readers, the Apostle declares for all those who have, in reality, died with Christ, not just in their imagination but in power of the living God, a faith available to them so that they can overcome life's temptations, difficulties, and tests. Take special note of his use of the words, "...WE BELIEVE..."
He then returns to the word "Knowing" in verse 9, where Christ's resurrection is the object of faith.
1:9-10 "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
Concerning Christ He has been raised, He is never to die again, death is no longer master over Him. He lives to God. Period! Holy living, sacrificing His life, a substitutionary death is all realities to Christ.
However, how does that which is a reality for Christ become a reality for the believer?
1:11 "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
We must carefully understand the term "consider" that the Apostles uses in verse 11, which he uses 27 other times in the New Testament.
"Consider" by definition can be translated consider or to reckon. It is the word logízomai in the Greek and the root of the English terms "logic or logical." Properly it is to compute. It is to "take into account" as an accounting term. The accountant places the numbers on a page, which, when correct, is reliable. As one who reckons (come to a "bottom-line"), i.e., reason to a logical conclusion (decision). It can be used as impute or lay to one's charge. As stated, the term denotes logic. Therefore, a person should meditate and reason his way to the logical conclusion.
What we must conclude from Paul's reasoning is Almighty God has accomplished our victory in Christ. Christ died in the place of our rightful death to accomplish our holy living through His resurrection.
We need to reckon these things as so, each time we are tempted to sin, doubt, or fear.
The reason we must always be on guard is that apart from Jesus, the deceiver lies at the door. Such deception can remove us from His Divine Protection.
You can hear me on
THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW
CLICK TO LISTEN