Book of Romans - Part 6

Part 6

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls: I’m preaching this Sunday on THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Today’s Text is Chapters 5 & 6. This is Part 6.

Join with us now as I give you an exposition on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

Let’s begin in chapter 5, verse 1, which says, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Look at the word “peace”. The word "peace" here means reconciliation or a state of harmony with God. Therefore, since we have access by faith into this grace of harmony, we also have joyful "hope of the glory of God". And we have this joyful hope because of what God has done for us, not what we may or may not do for Him. Verse 3 also tells us that having this certainty of our eternity in Jesus Christ gives us spiritual backbone in suffering. Now, here in verses 3 - 5, Paul is teaching that the mature Christian realizes any adversity, troubles, trials, and agony in this life for Jesus Christ cannot be useless in the life to come. In other words, whatever we do to spread the gospel will NOT return to God void. It will have some meaning, or tangible-ness in the kingdom of God in some way, shape or form. But if we do suffer these things for Christ’s’ sake, we will receive great rewards and crowns in Heaven. And neither is it fruitless in its beneficial effects in this life. That is, if we understand that our eternal destination in heaven with Christ is because of His work and not our own.

In verses 6, 8, & 10, Scripture teaches that justification gives conviction of security. It also gives assurance of salvation by contrasting what we were before being justified, with what we are after being justified (verses 9-11). The highpoint of these verses is twice-repeated "much more … shall we be saved". But, saved from what? Saved "from God's wrath" as it is that verse 9 expresses what we have been saved from. And in verse 10, "Saved through His life" expresses what we have been saved to. We have been saved to a life of holiness and power through the manifestation of His resurrection life that we have in us (see chapter 8 verse 11).

The word "Atonement", in verse 11, as translated in the King James Version Bible, in its original Greek text means "exchanging equivalent values"; "adjustment of a difference, reconciliation", or "restoration to favor". And the application in the New Testament, according to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, is the "restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ". As the Varsity's Bible Dictionary has it, reconciliation is "to establish a state of peace between two persons; in the biblical sense, it specifically means reconciliation between God and man by the atoning work of Christ". Now, other bible translations have it, "reconciliation" as it is found in verse 11. Now, an important thing to know about the word "reconciliation" is that it is man-ward, and removes our hostility toward God; and is the very thing we need, and we receive in justification.

The gracious results of justification are brought to a pinnacle in this sharp contrast between what the sinner was in condemnation (verses 12 & 18a) and what he becomes in justification (verses 18b & 19). This prepares the way for the higher subject of sanctification.

Being in Adam (condemnation – Romans 5:12) relates one to the fallen race in sin. Being in Christ (our justification – Romans 3:24) is the new position in the Second Adam, the Head of the new creation. This new position is the ground for a holy life as unfolded in chapter 6. It is an effective answer to the objection that justifying grace leads to looseness of life.

Now, chapter six, verse 1, presents a problem against God's method of saving men by justifying grace; however, it is answered in verse 2. Similar objections are dealt with in verse 15; as well as chapter 7, verses 7 & 13. The first objection is this: Salvation by grace alone will encourage men to go on living in sin, taking advantage of the free, exhaustless grace as a self-indulgent son presumes upon a father's generosity. The answer given in chapter 6, verse 3, involves the principle of being cut off from sin by "death". Now, in His birth, Christ became identified with us, that we might become identified with Him in His death. This is effected by our union with Christ by the baptism of the Spirit (verses 3 - 4), which places us in the Body with Christ Himself being the Head (1 Corinthians 12:27). This is the position of the justified believer. For example, his status as God sees him and as he is in God's purpose and sight.

This divinely administered baptism of the Spirit, of which water baptism is an outward symbol, makes us one with Christ in a Body that has passed through death, burial and resurrection into new life (verse 4). Therefore, we are no longer in Adam (condemned to eternal separation from God), but in Christ (justified to an eternal life in heaven with God). "Planted together" in verse 5 means caused to grow together as a graft, so that life and nature merge into one.

In verse 6, the "old self" is what we were in Adam. The "body of sin", which was made powerless, can be viewed either as the human body enslaved by sin in its unjustified state in Adam, or as the sin nature working through the body. In either case, verse 7 declares that "Anyone who has died has been freed from sin." Since this is the justified believer's position (verses 2 - 10), he is delivered from sin's domination and enabled to live a holy life in resurrection power, as we see in verse 8. The justified believer is united to the risen Christ, who won a judicial victory for him over sin in the flesh (verse 10). And because of what Christ did for us on the cross, and His acceptance of our faith and trust in Him, we have a new relational position with God.

Now, converting our position of what we are in God's sight, into possession and what we enjoy in our experience, is on a two-fold basis: We must know what we are in our position in Christ (verses 2 -10); and we must act in faith on what we know. Verse 11 tells us that we are to constantly "count" as true, a word of faith based on knowledge. As we count on the truth that we are "dead to sin" and "alive to God in Christ Jesus", our position becomes an observed reality. Justified believers are "dead to sin" and "alive to God" unchangeably in their position. They become so in their experience only as they momentarily count upon their position in faith. And according to verse 13, this requires yielding to God's will.

Many think that sanctification by grace leads to the problem of legalism. However, the gospel of grace that Paul expounds (as witnessed in verses 12 - 14) does not dispense a license to sin. The apostle explains that when one has Christ, he is not under law, but under grace. As a matter of fact, the truth found in verses 14 and 15 shows that sanctification by grace does not give a license to sin, but actually provides freedom from sin as seen in verses 16 - 23. In these verses, Paul shows his readers the bondage that sanctification delivers from, and the freedom it gives and contrasts them to their past slavery to sin and their new slavery to righteousness. He wants them to live in submission to their new master, Jesus Christ, and not to be entangled again with the sins that characterized their old life, sins which no longer have any claim over them. The point here is that Paul shows that the results are either death with no fruit, or holiness and eternal life. In verse 23, the apostle also contrasts "the wages of sin", which is death, with the "gift of God", which is "eternal life". So then, this eludes an eternal question. The question is, do you have the assurance of eternal life with Jesus Christ, or are you still living in the wages of sin, which is death?

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way