“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Every word in scripture is intentional. God is making it clear that He loved us while we were still sinners, and sent Jesus to die for our sins. This means we are no longer sinners! Let’s jump into the word and see God’s redemption in action.
Dead with Christ
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.” Romans 6:1-4
That old sin nature that bothered you, the one that plagued you all your life, was buried in the baptismal waters with Jesus. You see, we didn’t just pray a sinner’s prayer. We died with Christ. And since we died in the likeness of His death, we were raised also in the likeness of His resurrection. (That also includes our glorified body one day.) Sin has been destroyed. Over and over again in Romans you will find the phrase “being made free from sin”. Don’t re-visit a dead man. God has broken the power of sin over your life by the blood of Jesus. Now, you may have this wisdom, but you have to walk it out. The grace that God made available for freedom from sin is released once you know the truth. Grace and truth go hand in hand. (See John 1:17) So walk free! Don’t let the old man haunt you, he was buried with Jesus! “Therefore do 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14
One time I was walking down the street and I saw a guy hanging out with a couple of people. I introduced myself and asked him a question, “If God could do anything for you right now, what would it be?” He stopped for a second and thought about it, then he replied. “I want a new life, I’ve messed up this one.” So I said to him, “DUDE! That’s exactly what He wants for you! That’s what being ‘born again’ is all about.” He smiled, laughed, and walked away.
The thing that the world wants so bad is available for everyone at the cross. You see, The cross doesn’t just pay for you sin, it removes it, and makes you an entirely new person.
What happens when a baby is born? A person that never existed before comes into the world.
What happens when you are born again? A person that never existed before comes into the world.
What’s strange to me (and I would even venture to say, strange to God) is how our past and who we were is destroyed, and we keep living as if that’s who we are and always will be. Read the epistles. What do the Apostles say in the beginning of almost every letter? “…to the Saints…” Not once do they say, “to the sinners.”
Alright, so we are God’s holy people. Set apart. Different. In 1 Peter he says “…be Holy in all your conduct, for it is written, ‘be holy, for I am holy.” You are different and special to God. His own people. You have been made holy, not by anything you did right. You didn’t earn it, and couldn’t earn it. Make no mistake, you were purchased with a high price, you were not free. If Jesus paid that high of a price for you, who are you to remember something He forgot?
A Romans 7 life
If you read all of Romans in context, you will see that Romans 7 is about a man who tried to follow the law in his flesh. Paul continues right after chapter 6 by saying “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?” Romans 7:1
Wait a minute, we just got done saying how we died. So the law has no dominion over you, and sin has no dominion over you. A Romans 7 life happens when you walk out the law in your own strength. But you were raised with Jesus Christ, and the same Spirit that rose him from the dead, lives in you. (See Romans 8:11) This final thought will carry into the last part…
…to be continued.