The consequences for our spirit -Serving God
ROMANS – Part 4
You serve either God or you serve your own body. Your sinful body will always lead you to sinful outcomes. So it will always want you to do the wrong thing. And serving God will always lead you righteous outcomes. This is important for one reason maybe more than any other. If you’ve ever gone to a movie and you see in the movies there are good guys and there are bad guys. The bad guys wear black hats and good guys wear white hats so to speak. Usually a good movie will have the bad guys winning for like 90% of the movie. And only at the end of the movie somehow the good guy wins. About three-quarters through the movie you are saying it’s time for the good guy to start winning. You want to see that sense of justice. You want to see the right guy win. You are waiting for that. Take all that energy, all that motivation and direct it to yourself for a moment and think about it this way. When you sin the bad guy in you is winning and the worse part is, you are letting him. You are the one who is actually making it possible. You need to start thinking the life you live in Christ as ‘duality of life‘, that is a sinful body fighting against a perfect sinless Christ spirit that you received. And you’re this side (the righteous side), you are not both. This is the enemy (sinful body) that is going to the grave one day. It’s the enemy and it wants you to do the wrong thing at all time. It is always set against God. It’s not “you“, but when you obey it’s lusts, Paul says, you have presented the members of your body so to speak. You’ve presented your life to it and said, tell me what you want me to do. So when you start to get into a moment of sin or temptation you need to think about the movie moment and ask, do I want the bad guy to win? When you start to think in those terms you are not thinking something strange or made up, you are actually getting to the heart of what’s going on in your body. You’re starting to understand the spiritual dimensions of what happened when you became a believer. Half of you got really good. Perfect! The other half of you is just as bad as it has ever been. And it can’t be made right. That’s why it has to go to the grave. In the meantime it is not as though it is half you this and half you that, like the devil and the angel on your shoulder. No, you are all good, but you are letting something bad control you. Decide are you serving God or the devil?
Paul says, sin (your sinful body) is no longer suppose to be a master over you, because it once was. That is to say before you had the perfect spirit you had no options, there was no other path. Now you have an option you never had before, now it’s time to stop letting your body be a master over you. And he ends saying you are no longer under Law but under grace. Here again, these terms need defining a little bit. What Paul says in that last verse, in verse 14 he compares sin and you (the body verses the spirit) and Law and grace. You can see the comparison the body of sin is like the Law, your heart or spirit of perfection is like grace. Sin refers to your sinful body. You refers to the part of you that is eternal, your new perfect, sinless spirit. Law refers to the condemnation that sin deserves under God’s law. Grace refers to the salvation we have in the New Covenant, made possible by Christ’s death in our place.
So Paul is saying that we followed in Christ’s footsteps in this also. Christ died according the commandments of the Law, though He Himself never violated the Law. In dying He paid our penalty in His body so we are no longer under that penalty. So the Law no longer condemns us, it no longer rules us by dictating what we must do to be righteous. So now having been saved by grace, we are free to live for God and not for our own sake. We don’t have to try and work ourselves to heaven. We are now serving God.
Romans 6:15-18 (NKJV)
From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 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 leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (teaching) to which you were delivered (committed). 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Some in Paul’s day probably heard this, that is to say they heard that they are no longer under the Law and were aghast at the idea of it. Particularly the Jews. They reacted as much as some Christians still do today in some circles when we say that the Christian is not bound by the Law, not even by the ten commandments which is all part of the Law. They say how can this be… Are you suggesting it’s OK for me to lie, or steal, or murder??? And of course, they are asking that question to mock the idea that they are not under the Law any more. That they aren’t under the ten commandments. Paul asks that very same question in that same spirit as if to mock his own suggestion. Are we now allowed to sin all we want since we’re no longer under the law? Since our spirit is now without condemnation, can we do whatever we please? Paul says the same thing I say to those who ask me that same mocking question…of course not. No you can’t murder,you can’t lie, you can’t steal. But the reason you can’t has nothing to do with the ten commandments. We’ve now got within us a spirit that is perfect. That if we were to obey it, in all respects would never lead us into any of those such things. By grace we already have all we need to do what is right so as long as we don’t pay attention to what is left of our flesh. I don’t need the Law written on stone to tell me not to lie. I know I’m not suppose to lie. My spirit never lies. I don’t need a law written on stone that tells me don’t covet or don’t murder. The spirit in me that is perfect would never do such things. What I need is to not listen to my flesh when it tells me to do those things. And The Law never makes the flesh do what it is suppose to do. Law never produces righteousness. So no matter how many times you write it “don’t covet”,your flesh continues to covet. In fact Paul says the more you tell the flesh not to covet, the more it wants to covet. Because the flesh is literally programmed to disobey God. So the more God tells it what it shouldn’t do the more it knows what it wants to do. How do you solve that problem. You have to put in somebody’s compass a law written on the heart that is perfect in its own ability to direct our thinking and to direct ourselves. Now… it is about if we listen to Him or not.
Click below on other sections to learn more about the consequences of our salvation by Faith – Romans Chapter 6 series:
- Romans 6/Part 1 – Consequences for our Spirit – Righteousness
- Romans 6/Part 2 – Consequences for our Spirit – A New Spirit
- Romans 6/Part 3 – Consequences for our Spirit – Considered Sinless
- Romans 6/Part 5 – Consequences for our Spirit – Being Obedient
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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