Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
Romans 6 on the new life in Christ
The apostle Paul has made the case that salvation is based solely upon faith in the finished work of Christ at Calvary
Romans 3: 28
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law.
Refusal to listen to the Holy Spirit when he brings this to our attention is an unpardonable sin. We can receive this salvation or refuse it and face God's wrath, this is the urgent message of the gospel.
1 John 2: 2 Living Bible
Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. 2 He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s.
The law of no, no no or know, know, know
The natural inclination of mankind when it comes to pleasing God is to have a set of laws:
- no alcohol
- no sex outside of marriage
- no thieving, murder, cheating, lying etc
If we trust in the grace of God for salvation then what keeps us from doing these things if we are already forgiven? Romans 6 is Paul's answer to this objection where he explains three things we need to know.
Know that your old nature is dead
Romans 6: 4-5
Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy. For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died; and now you share his new life and shall rise as he did.
While baptism in water is not essential for salvation - see the thief on the cross as an example of one who was not baptised - it is a clear statement to the world, just as getting married is a statement of intent to live as a couple, that a person has received Jesus as the Saviour and that they are now living a new life.
Know that you are a part of Christ
Romans 6: 5
For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died; and now you share his new life and shall rise as he did.
We symbolically enact this when we take part in Communion by eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ to remind ourselves that we are being with Jesus in our bodies in death and life.
Know your are free from your past and alive in Christ
Romans 6: 13 Living Bible
Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes.
Romans 6: 16
Don’t you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself—he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave.
The power of sin has been broken in us and we are free to live a new life.
For a more in depth understanding I encourage you to watch this teaching from Jon Courson
Empty pews leads to empty lives
Images for this post from Unsplash by Mick Haupt and Vasily Koloda