If you could take a pill to be totally free of all sin would you do it right now? If you are born again then your answer would be mostly likely a resounding yes! The desperate man at the end of Romans 7 we have been discussing in the previous post, would certainly grab the chance. I mean, as believers, don’t we all long for that day when we will be in heaven where we will we never ever sin again – a glorious thought!
However, the Gospel (God’s-pill) is not just a promise of freedom from sin in the future, its freedom from law of sin and death NOW.
If you jump back a few chapters in Romans to chapter 6, it is clear that the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the means by which God had not only forgiven all you sins but has dealt with sin in the flesh. Therefore, your freedom is a done deal. It happened 2000 years ago!
Romans 6:18 “and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness”
Romans 6:22 “but now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome eternal life.”
When Jesus was crucified you were crucified with him
Romans 6:6 “knowing that our old self was crucified with him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”
When Jesus died you died with him
Romans 6:7 “for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ….”
When he was buried you were buried with him
Romans 6:4 “therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death”
When he was raised you were raised with him
Romans 6:4 “in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father so we too might walk in newness of life”
The resurrection of Jesus therefore is the key. Life is more powerful then death. Light always overcomes darkness. Therefore, resurrection and eternal life defeats and trumps death completely.
1 Corinthians 15:54 “Death is swallowed up in victory”.
One of my favourite scriptures and the one of the best bits in the Bible (in my opinion), is Romans 8:1. It’s like a victorious fanfare of trumpets announcing the termination of the wrestling match of Romans chapter 7.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, for law of the spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Wow! What this amazing verse is saying and we have been saying already, is that resurrection life, christ in you, the law of the spirit of life, breaks the hold, the chains, the patterns and the habits of sin in our lives! Just like Jesus came to life and walked out of that tomb, so God is able to raise you from the dead! Similarly, as Jesus called forth Lazarus from the tomb – so he calls your name!
It’s because we have been set free, that there can be NOW (this moment and at any moment), NO (zero) condemnation or future judgment and penalty for sin. Nothing you do, no sin you can commit (even right now), is going to suffer a penalty because when Jesus died you died!
In the next verse, verse 2 of Romans 8, the writers gives a bit more detail how this is possible. He explains how what the law was powerless to do (free you from the law of sin and death), God did at the cross and judged sin in the flesh. So, not just sins were dealt with and judged but the whole of your sinful flesh was judged – exhausting any possible future penalty.
Romans 8:2. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: “
This is the ‘too good to be true news’ that is the Gospel of Grace – and the legalists hate it! Without conditions, caveats and multiple hoops to jump through, they just can’t cope – indeed the original translators of the KJV even added extra text (without any authority I may add), “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Why? Because they couldn’t believe verse 1 was that good!
How can it be that good? Surely, the first thought that goes through the mind of the believer is: “yippee, lets go out on the town and sin as much as I can get away with.” Of course, that takes no account that if you are born again you actually do want to live Holy and you have a new nature. In fact, now you are a willing slave to righteousness and to God. Romans 6:18 and 6:22.
It’s a bit like thinking that if you said to your children that they could now do what they liked, that they would somehow smash your house up, drink all your beer and drive your car into a wall! No, if they really are your children and truly love you they probably won’t in fact. This however is the risk of grace and of love that God undertakes. The good news is, that God now treats us as a sons who are led by the spirit of God (Romans 8:14); the law is for immature kids who need rules.
Therefore, when Jesus said the following he wasn’t kidding:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Let’s us therefore, learn to stand and enjoy this freedom that Christ has purchased:
Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject to a yoke of slavery”
Next post (Part 4)
Why do I sin (Part 2)
Christ in you (part 1)
New birth (Audio)
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