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Studies in Romans Presentation 16. Summary of Contents OPENING REMARKS: 1:1-17 BAD NEWS: Universality of sin and its condemnation 1:18 - 3:20 GOOD NEWS:

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Presentation on theme: "Studies in Romans Presentation 16. Summary of Contents OPENING REMARKS: 1:1-17 BAD NEWS: Universality of sin and its condemnation 1:18 - 3:20 GOOD NEWS:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Studies in Romans Presentation 16

2 Summary of Contents OPENING REMARKS: 1:1-17 BAD NEWS: Universality of sin and its condemnation 1:18 - 3:20 GOOD NEWS: A gospel that changes our relationship to God 3:21- 5:21 HOW TO GROW AS A CHRISTIAN : 6:1- 8-39 Sanctification 6:1-23 The Place of the Law 7:1-25 Life in the Spirit 8:1-39 A SHORT DETOUR : Questions concerning Israel 9:1-11:36 HOW A CHRISTIAN OUGHT TO LIVE : 12:1-15:13 In our various relationships 12:1-13:14 Dealing with the ‘weak’ and the ‘strong’ 14:1-15:13 PAUL’S GENTILE MINISTRY, POLICY AND PLANS : 15:14-33 GREETINGS AND CLOSING DOXOLOGY : 16:1-27 Presentation 16

3 Studies in Romans How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification Part 2 Chap 6v1-23 Presentation 16

4 Paul applies the doctrine to Christians by using a bookkeeping term, 'count yourselves dead to sin'. Each morning avoid asking, 'What do I feel about myself?' but rather, 'What is my true status?' Answer: 'As a result of my faith-union with Jesus, I am not the man I used to be. I am a new man. My relationship to sin has altered. I am not under its rule. I have access to Jesus’ resurrection life!’ We count ourselves ‘alive to God’ because union with Christ has brought us into a new realm, provides us with a new relationship to God, and gives us access to his blessings – newness of life. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Union with Christ 6:1-14 9. Application: “count yourselves dead” v11 Presentation 16

5 This teaching helps distressed Christians who say, 'The power of sin is too strong for me. I cannot break free.' Understanding that we are no longer under the rule of sin is a gloriously liberating experience. It draws us away from a preoccupation with feelings that cause us to say, 'I still feel the motions of sin in my body. Therefore, I cannot be dead to sin'. Do feelings make it hard for us to believe God’s Word? When God pronounced his forgiveness over us, did we not accept his Word then? Did we wait till we felt forgiven? No, we believed and only after we believed him did any feeling of peace and forgiveness become ours. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Union with Christ 6:1-14 9. Application: “count yourselves dead” v11 Presentation 16

6 Paul's doctrine is never divorced from exhortation, cf v12-14... If sin is not checked it will rule in our bodies. As we respond to this call to battle stations against sin we are engaged in the process of sanctification. Sanctification, unlike justification, is not a gift to be received by faith. Nor is it a sudden experience of deliverance from sin. As long as we live in these mortal bodies we are aware of the remnants of our sinful nature, clinging to the folds of the new man God has made us. It is like sediment lying at the bottom of a bottle waiting to be stirred up. And so Paul issues a call to arms for us to resist sin. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Union with Christ 6:1-14 10. Sanctification is Active not Passive. Presentation 16

7 Paul’s exhortation in v13 is addressed to our wills, 'Do not offer parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness’. That involves our physical and mental activity, reason, imagination and emotions. These must not be made available as instruments that sin might employ. Sin has a programme of war and an ‘instrument’ is anything that might help it to extend its rule. [Paul expands this thought in Col 3: 5-9]. We must learn to say, "I will not allow my strength, my energy, my appetites, my speech, my mind, my thinking, my imagination, my emotion, to be used in the service of sin." How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Union with Christ 6:1-14 11. Exhortation is addressed to the Will. Presentation 16

8 There are things we might not dream of doing with our bodies, which we might enjoy doing in our imaginations, but Paul exhorts us not to offer any part of our body to the foreign power of sin. On the positive side, we are exhorted to put all that we are and have at God's disposal, and let all our powers be used as weapons in God's battle for righteousness. N.b. the words of Francis Ridley Havergal’s hymn, 'Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee’ How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Union with Christ 6:1-14 12. Consecration in every part. Presentation 16

9 There is a significant difference in the question now asked in v15, 'Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?' It is built on a false premise. It assumes, wrongly, that because the Christian no longer treats law-keeping as a means of earning God's approval, that he is no longer interested in obeying the law. Paul shows that the whole aim of the gospel is to transform us from lawbreakers into law-keepers. It does not encourage the abuse of grace. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 1. The Goal of the Gospel. Presentation 16

10 Paul is not suggesting that the justified man will never fall into sin. Failure to understand Paul's language has produced a great deal of heartache for Christians. The verb ‘to sin’ used here refers to the habitual disposition of our lives. It means deliberate and persistent sin. It means to be relaxed and at home in the environment of sin. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 2. A Christian is not at Home in a Sinful Environment. Presentation 16

11 In order to show just how impossible it is for the Christian to live a life of habitual persistent sin Paul uses a very graphic analogy - that of a master and slave. In order to understand the force of Paul's argument, we must distinguish between the meaning of the word ‘servant’ and the word ‘slave’. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 3. We are all Slaves of one kind or another. Presentation 16

12 A servant hires out his services, so many hours for so much pay. He may be at his master's bidding from 7.00am till 5.00pm cleaning the floors, changing the bed linen, etc. But at 5.00pm he is free to do as he pleases. Now the position of the slave is quite different. The slave has no time to call his own. He is the exclusive possession of his master. There is not one moment when he is free to do as he likes. Paul’s whole argument hinges upon this distinction. He says we are all slaves. We are either slaves to sin or we are slaves to grace. These two masters make quite different demands of us. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 3. We are all Slaves of one kind or another. Presentation 16

13 Man, by nature, is not a free agent. He sins because he is a slave to sin. Because he possesses a sinful nature, sin is their master. He may recognise that he is driven by ‘something’ over which he has no control. "I did not mean to do that but I could not help myself..." When sin is our master, our behaviour as its slaves is marked by sin, lawlessness and then, ‘impurity and ever-increasing Wickedness’ v19. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 4. When Sin is our Master, what behaviour follows? Presentation 16

14 After Paul's treatment of justification, we might expect the answer ‘faith’ to be given. But Paul quite deliberately sets ‘obedience’ over against ‘sin’. The aim of the gospel of God's grace is the promotion of obedience and not the rejection of it, as Paul’s many critics wrongly claimed was his position. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 5. When God is our Master what does he look for? Presentation 16

15 When a Christian says, 'I am not under law but under grace', he is not saying, 'I am a law unto myself, I am free to choose to do what I want'. Rather, he is stating that his relationship to the law has changed. Before conversion his attitude to the law may have been, ‘I must keep the law in order to earn salvation’. But after conversion, once he discovers that grace has brought him into a right relationship with God, he recognises that the way to express his love and gratitude to his new master is by obeying him. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 6. The Christian’s Attitude to the Law. Presentation 16

16 This obedience produces a righteous life which is the goal of the gospel. Cf. Eph. 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’. Paul now makes an important point. If I offer myself as slave to a master, then his power over me is complete. Service is not something I can pick up for a few hours in a day and then lay down again. I am one of two things. I am either the slave of sin or, of Christ. The one produces death while the other produces righteousness. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 7. Death or Righteousness? Presentation 16

17 These masters are bitterly and violently opposed to one another. They have different agendas and objectives with different long and short- term consequences for their followers. Therefore, it is absolutely impossible to be the slaves of both of these masters at the same time; to serve eternal opposites. It would rip us apart! With God it is all or nothing. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 8. It is impossible to Serve Two Masters! Presentation 16

18 This radical change is produced by what Paul describes as a ‘wholehearted obedience to the form of teaching to which they were entrusted’. The word 'form' in v17 was used to describe moulds into which molten metal was poured. Because the metal was molten, it would take up ‘the form’ or shape of the mould as the metal cooled. Christians are what they are as God pours them into the mould of Apostolic instruction. As a result, their lives have taken on a new shape. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 9. What Shape does our life take on? Presentation 16

19 Someone asks, 'How can I be sure that God has changed me?’ Christianity is more than believing. James writes, "Faith without works is dead” [2:26]. Paul takes this one step further. If a man lives a habitually sinful life, then he is saying, ‘the master whose slave I am is sin’. But if a man is seen to be growing in holiness and engaging in deeds of mercy, if the life of Christ shines in his life, then clearly, Jesus is his master. Jesus taught, ‘By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit...’ [Matt 7:16]. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 9. What Shape does our life take on? Presentation 16

20 In Jn. 8:31 the following conversation is recorded between Jesus and some of the Jews, ‘To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins [that is goes on sinning] is a slave to sin”.’ How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 9. What Shape does our life take on? Presentation 16

21 What matters is not what a man says; he may boast that he is a child of Abraham [claim to have made a profession of faith, or even say that he believes in justification by faith]. What matters is how a man lives. It is this that is ultimately important. The man who has turned his back on sin as his master, and entered the service of God, will begin to show his new allegiance by holy living. If you look at a man's conduct you can tell exactly who his master is. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 9. What Shape does our life take on? Presentation 16

22 In closing Paul contrasts the consequences resulting from serving two masters. Who is the best master? If you choose to serve sin then it with pay you with death. “The wages of sin is death”. But if you serve God he will give you much more than you deserve - a grace gift...eternal life! How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 10. Consequences: Sin pays poor wages... Presentation 16

23 Illustrations can be pressed too far and so Paul writes, ‘I have put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves’ v19. The slavery illustration omits a very significant fact. The Christian’s new relationship combines elements of both slavery and freedom. He is driven not by the compulsion of the whip but by the compulsion of love. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:14, 'the love of Christ constrains/compels me'. When we grasp the vastness of God's love for us [Rom. 5:5], we will want to please him. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 11. A Slave-driver or a Loving Father. Presentation 16

24 Illustration: A girl shared a flat with six others. For months they complained about the hours she spent each night washing her long hair in the bathroom. She scorned their suggestion that she gets it cut. Then she met and fell in love with a young man. He told her, ‘You are very beautiful but you would be much more attractive with short hair.’ The next day she got it cut. He had succeeded, where her flatmates had failed. Why? Her relationship to him was different. She was in love with him. She wanted to please him. The Christian’s relationship to God is a love relationship and that makes us want to please him. How to Grow as a Christian Sanctification: 6v1-23 Who is your Master? 6:15-23 11. A Slave-driver or a Loving Father. Presentation 16


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