Romans 6 old flesh Adam v. New creation in Jesus, Romans 7- trying to fight against sin by obedience to the law, Romans 8- freedom over sin in the Spirit
These are the chapters that gave me victory over the flesh and sin- victory over our thoughts, anxieties, depression, all fear, any despair, our wicked desire and passions and our past….if you will receive it
What does this mean?
Do we continue to sin so that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. Many put grace and law opposed to one another, they are not in opposition but in apposition. A grace-filled relationship with God and an obedient commandment-keeping relationship with God are both part of a Spirit-filled overcoming, liberated lifestyle. Both are the fruit of love.
Paul tells us the law can never justify us in the site of God because the law lacks the power to overcome sin and our fleshly desires. But, through the new life in the Spirit, we can have complete victory over our sin. Those who have been baptized into Christ were baptized in His death in order to walk in newness of life.
Paul refers to water baptism as a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We show our kinship to His death by water baptism. My home church always referred to it as a “water grave”. It is a picture of us dying to our old man, old ways, the sinful flesh of Adam and being buried under the water of baptism and raised a new man in Christ.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
There is something magical that happens in the waters of baptism. It is more than just symbolic- it is God’s will and plan as a tangible display of death to self. I remember actually having my eyes opened and seeing clearly. God does something in the waters of baptism. If you have truly been born again of the Spirit of God, water baptism will be more than just a religious activity.
If you have not been baptized, you need to be. It is a command of God- why would you not obey? Now, this does not save you, as many get baptized out of superstition. But are you really saved if you are not baptized? How can you deny this Scripture? God wants us to walk in the new man. (read v.4)
Our old man (the sinful flesh of Adam) was crucified with Christ (through baptism) in order that our body of sin would be done away with, so that we are no longer slaves of sin. A dead man is freed from sin.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
We are told that whatever nature we give ourselves over to- we become a slave to. If we give ourselves over to our sinful nature, the nature of Adam, we become slaves to our sinful nature. A slave has to obey their master. If you are a slave to sin, then sin is your master. Paul tells us that through our death and burial and resurrection through the waters of baptism- we are freed from sin because our old nature died and was raised a new creation in Christ. We take on a new nature- the nature of Jesus. We are then freed from our old nature- freed from sin. Sin is no longer our master therefore has no more authority over us.
Reckon yourself dead to sin, but alive to Christ. Reckon yourself means to “take an inventory”. Take an inventory of your life. Who is your master? Are you serving your flesh, the old nature of Adam? Or are you walking in newness of life as a new creation- a freed man? Free from sin? Free from anxiety, fear and depression?
THEREFORE- do not let sin reign. DO not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin. Sin no longer has any dominion over you. Why would you go back into its slavery? Become a slave to righteousness.
What does this mean to you?
Shall we continue to sin so that grace may abound? GOD FORBID (KJV).
This is the utmost declaration as if to say, how can you even think this way? If you look at Paul’s letters and the other letters to the NT churches, including the Revelation of John, these were hammered out because of sin problems going on in the church. Almost right away, false doctrine infiltrated the church
Jude 3-4 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord [a]God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Jude gives “reason” for defending the truth, that there were wicked men who had crept into the church, pretending to be religious teachers, but whose doctrines tended to destroy the very foundations of truth. The apostle Peter, describing these same persons,
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
They had come in “by stealth;” they had not come by a boldly telling their intentions. They professed to teach the Christian faith, when in fact they denied some of its fundamental doctrines; they professed to be holy, when in fact they were full of sin.
Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness – they abused the doctrines of grace so as to give indulgence to corrupt and carnal propensities. They gave this form to their teaching, as Antinomians have often done, that by the gospel they were released from the obligations of the law, and might give indulgence to their sinful passions in order that grace might abound. Antinomianism (anti law) began early in the world, and has always had a wide prevalence. It seems these ungodly men interpreted the doctrine of justification by faith, in such a manner as to free believers from all obligation to obey the law of God, and taught that they might commit the worst sins without being liable to punishment, if they possessed faith. The doctrines of grace to be abused was foreseen by Paul, and against such abuse he earnestly sought to guard the Christians of his time. Jesus agrees and says to the church in Ephesus:
Revelation 2:6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
And then to the church in Pergamos:
Revelation 2:15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, [a]which thing I hate.
The Nicolaitans were antinomians- they were the first hyper grace preachers teaching that you could live in sexual immorality, along with other sins and still inherit eternal life.
I am currently reading a book by Dr. Brown (Ask Dr Brown) concerning hyper grace false theology. This teaching is prevalent among God’s people, and it is a real and dangerous threat to your salvation. Grace is beautiful and it is meant to be a power source in your life. It is not just the forgiveness of sin, but the power to continue to overcome the flesh in this life. We do not abuse this wonderful an awesome gift of God. First things first:
Get radical with sin.
Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to [a]sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to [b]sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
This was also in the heart of Paul when he said that he disciplined his body to keep from allowing sin back into his life
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may [a]obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize [b]is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
How much sin is enough for you to let in? How much sin does it take to corrupt you? If you had a severe peanut allergy, one that leads you into anaphylactic shock, would you even eat one peanut? What about someone like Janine who has celiac disease that even potatoes fried in oil that fried a piece of bread cause her to have a reaction? How much would is OK? How many cancer cells are OK? Why do you not view all sin as an offense to God? There is no such thing as a “carnal Christian”- you cannot live in your sin and inherit eternal life. Do not be deceived.
When will you get radical with your “pet sins”? Cut them out like a cancer.
Do an inventory.
What is the wake you are leaving behind you? Is it a wake of the fruit of the Spirit or a wake of the works of the flesh? I do not care what you are DOING- what is your fruit. Your fruit is not good works, anyone can do good works and a lot do. I can tell you I know some of the most prideful, self-seeking, divisive people that do good works and get applause of men, all in the name of Christ, but their wake is full of rottenness, destruction, destroyed relationships
James 1:26-27 If anyone [a]among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The word “religion” here is not meant in the same way we would mean it. It is translated as “religious service to God”. Even James, the gospel of “doing” says there are three things that show you have true devotion to God. Remember James was the bishop of the Jerusalem church- he had Jewish Christians that were used to serving God by food ordinances, cleaning of pots and pans, bringing in an offering, etc
you bridle your tongue- you are not argumentative, divisive, you don’t tell dirty jokes or speak evil of others
a benevolent love for people in need- a true love for God will care for others in need. At this time, widows and orphans were the most helpless, they had no family to take care of them and they could not make a sufficient living on their own, today it might be single moms or even someone hit by calamity
a holy life- people love the serve part, but forget it is sandwich between these two. You must be holy as He is holy. Holiness is being set apart from the world and sin. If you look like the world, dress like the world and do what the world does- how are you holy?? We are to be a pure, spotless bride, unpolluted from the ways of the world. There are WAY too many Christians that look just like the world.
What is your fruit? A sinful life is not according to the Word of the Lord, it is not holiness unto the Lord and no amount of good works will produce righteousness. The very sign that we have the Holy Spirit is a stark separation from the world and sin. If you have not had a clear separation from sin- you are not in the Lord.
Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Go read the works of the flesh)
Love- agape- seeks the highest good of another without motive of personal gain
Joy- the feeling of gladness based solely on your nearness to Christ
Peace- the rest of heart and mind based on your relationship with the Lord, freedom from fear and anxiety
Longsuffering- endurance, patience, slow to anger or despair
Goodness- a zeal for the truth and righteousness, including a hatred of evil, expressed in kindness and also in correction of evil
Faith- firm and unswerving loyalty, trust and honesty
Meekness- gentle restraint coupled with strength and courage
Temperance-self-control, mastering of one’s own lusts, desires and passions
These should be in FULL measure in the saint. Notice- these are inward things of the heart that will be exhibited outward. Therefore, if you fear are in despair and anxiety- you are not displaying the fruit of the Spirit. If you constantly have outburst of anger- you are not walking in the Spirit. If you do not love the truth and hate sin, you are not in the Spirit. If you cannot master your desire and appetites of the flesh- you are not walking according to the Spirit, but are in the flesh and therefore cannot please God. (Romans 8:8) Some people can only keep it together for a while and then they go off. I have a hard time trusting these types of people. They display to me a life lived in the flesh.
Are you a quarrelsome person? Are you always looking to quarrel with someone and fight and defend your position? Are you antagonistic? DO you cause strife and division? Do you have envy, or jealousy or greed? Do you operate in drunkenness? Did you know this is a fruit of the fleshly, sinful man? IF you continue to act according to the sinful nature you will once again become a slave to sin and shut yourself out of God’s kingdom. Stop making excuses for bad behavior- in yourself, your children and your brethren. Lives are at stake. God has a standard. (expound)
What is going on in you that you refuse to control your flesh?
I hear this all the time, “I can’t”. As in I can’t stop sinning. I can’t stop eating this or drinking that. I can’t overcome my past. I can’t take my thoughts captive. You are shaming and belittling the Word of God and the power of the Spirit in your life to overcome. Paul said, “I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. SO you are either not relying on the strength of the Lord, not taking your burdens and passions to Him or you do not want to give these things up. Which is it? Maybe you are lazy? Or you just do not believe that through Christ you can overcome ALL things- past, present and future?
Are there things that are difficult to overcome? YES. But it is the battle against the flesh that we must wage. I have some serious nature/nurture things that I have overcome and some I still deal with. There are things about me that I hate- but I don’t give in and say, “this is just who I am”. GOD FORBID!
I fight my flesh. I fight me feelings and my thoughts. I fight against my sin nature in Jesus name
How come we never apply the “I can’t” mentality to the things of God? Such as “I can’t afford to not tithe” or “I can’t miss another Sunday service” or “I can’t meet with you right now because I am in the middle of prayer” or “I can’t eat that today because I am fasting”.
Here’s the end of the matter:
Paul is trying to help us gain the victory in this world. Whatever you give yourself over to- either the fleshly man of Adam or the new man in Christ- you will become a slave to.
You will either be a slave to your sin or you will be a slave to righteousness.
Reckon yourself dead to sin. The old you died and you were raised a new creation in Christ. BE a slave to righteousness. The wages of sin is death. Me- I do not want any recollection of the old man that I was. I do not want to identify with anything I did before Christ. I want nothing to do with that old person.
It is called the “law of liberty” because we desire to do the will of God: “I walk at liberty: for I seek your precepts” Psalm 119:45
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Freedom is not permission to violate the commands of Christ and God’s moral precepts in Scripture, but rather the freedom and POWER to obey them and be what we were created for.
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Be a slave to righteousness. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Obey the Word of the Lord. Nothing else matters but to finish your race and here the words, “well done, good and faithful servant”
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