A brunette, a red-head and a blonde were in jail when they decided to break out. The girls broke out and the brunette said,”Let’s hide in that barn, they’ll never find us.” So they climbed up the ladder and then the blonde threw it down.
The next morning, the cops said, “Come out with your hands in the air!”
The red-head said, “Hide in those baskets, they’ll never find us!”
So the Brunette got in the first one, the red-head got in the second one and the blonde got in the third one. Meanwhile, the cops were getting a ladder set up and trying to get up there. Once they got up, the sergeant ordered them to kick the baskets.
So the cop kicked the first one: “RUFF.”
“It’s just a darn dog!” yelled the cop.
The cop kicked the next one: “MEOW.”
“It’s just a darn cat,” yelled the cop.
The cop kicked the next basket and the blonde yelled, “POTATOES!”
As a young teenager I fell in love with the movie “The Great Escape” Steve McQueen was my hero, and I loved watching him test the Germans, bouncing his baseball, getting thrown in the cooler. I was rooting for him as he made his escape on the German motorcycle. My heart leapt when he tried to jump the barbed wire fence, which would have meant his freedom. He almost cleared the fence, but, wrecks and gets caught. Most of the other men who escaped are gunned down in cold blood.
The end of the movie finds my hero (Capt Hilts-McQueen) being led back into the Stalag, bruised, bloody, but defiantly marching back in. Only when he hears of the capture and murder of the other 50 men, does he stagger as he is led off to the cooler.
It was a sad ending to a great movie.
What the Great Escape Lacked was a Great Deliverer!
Paul has just taken us to the Cross of Jesus Christ in Romans Chapter 1-5. They are glorious chapters of how condemned men are made right with a Holy God by our Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Sinful men are made righteous in Jesus Christ. Romans 1 – 5 are summarized in Romans 5:18 and Romans 5:21:
Romans 5:18 (ESV) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
- All men are condemned
- Jesus act of righteousness allows God to Justify us
- Justification removes the sentence of death and brings us LIFE!
Romans 5:21 (ESV) so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- In place of sin reigning in our flesh, resulting in death,
- grace now reigns through the righteousness of Christ,
- Leading us to eternal life.
Righteousness has replaced God’s wrath, the power of God’s Grace has replaced the power of Sin and Life in Jesus has replaced the life of death
Romans 1-5 told us how the blood of Jesus dealt with our sins and our guilt! But what about this sin nature that lurks in my heart and soul?
Paul Cries Out
As Paul cried out in Romans 7:24 (ESV) Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Now God’s Word reveals to us the Power of the Grace of Jesus, for it is the Power of Deliverance from Sin! What good is a salvation that deals with our past sins and past guilt, if it does not deliver us from the power of sin that put us in its barb wire prison?!
So many Christians don’t fully understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Grace that it provides, because just like the Great Escape, just when you think you are going to escape from the prison of sin, you get caught up in the barb wire of sin, and back you go to the cooler.
So many Christians whose sins are forgiven and lives made new at the cross of Jesus, whose spirits soar into the heavens in their New Relationship with God, will find themselves days, months, years later tangled up in the Barb Wire of Sin. Many finish their Christian lives in the “Cooler” whiling away the rest of their life by following the bouncing ball of an up and down Christian walk. Christians need to realize that we not only enjoy the Great Escape from Sin at the foot of the Cross, we have Great Deliverance from Sin ON the Cross!
Galatians 1:4 (KJV) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father…
How Did You Receive Forgiveness?
How did you receive forgiveness for your sins when you first came to Jesus Christ as Savior? You realized that Jesus died on the Cross as your substitute, and bore your sins upon Him, and that His Blood was shed to cleanse away your sins. When you saw your sins and felt your guilt, did you say Jesus, please come and die for my sins?
NO! You only thanked Him for what He has already done! By faith you believed your sins were taken away, by faith you believed you were made right before Holy God! What is true of Forgiveness is also true of Deliverance. The work is done. There is no need to pray, but only to PRAISE GOD! Much of Romans 6 describes a past event! Through the miracle of grace, God has placed every believer IN JESUS CHRIST!
As we will see here in these first few verses of Romans 6, we were all crucified when Jesus was crucified. Our old man was very much killed on the cross along with Jesus. So when you find yourself wrapped up in the barbed wire of sin, and feel hopelessly trapped, there is no need to pray “God, I am a very wicked person, I am trapped in my sins, would you please crucify me, so that I might die to these sins and get freed. Please Lord, crucify my flesh so that I might not do this or that sin anymore!”
As we look at Romans 6, 7 and 8, we will discover that such a prayer is wrong, and reflects a lack of belief in what God’s Word Says.
The Four Steps of Deliverance
Paul wants to open our eyes to the Great Deliverance from Sin that has already been provided for us, and can become ours as we continue from the foot of the cross to go through the Cross. The next three chapters are pivotal for your Christian life and walk, if you are to understand how the Cross is the means to your Great Deliverance from the power of sin. Our study of Romans 6, 7 and 8 will show us the way of deliverance in Jesus Christ! There are FOUR concepts in these chapters that must be grasped:
- Presenting ourselves to God
- Walking in the Spirit
To enjoy the life that Jesus wants you to live, His abundant life, what He considers a “Normal Christian Walk”, you must experience all four of these steps. All four of these steps will take us through the cross and into the life Jesus wants us to live!
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? Romans 6:1 (ESV)
- continue (epimenō): abide, tarry; remain. Shall we remain in sin as a continuing habit? (present tense)
- Sin (hamartia) is Deviation from a right line; missing the mark. lawlessness
- abound: to have in surplus
Perhaps Paul was reading their minds, knowing they were thinking: Since grace abounds all the more when sin abounds, isn’t it OK to keep sinning so that we might experience more of God’s grace?
Paul wants us to understand something about our new Life in Jesus Christ. While our justification introduces us to a new world of TRANSFORMING GRACE, it takes us out of the world of CONDEMNING SIN and lawlessness.
And just as Paul emphasized in Rom 1-5, this “new life”, this “great deliverance” is entirely of God and the Power that He works in us THROUGH HIS GRACE!
I. The Power of God’s Grace
“If you profess belief in Christ, no matter what you are like as a person, how you behave, God has received you in Christ and has forgiven you. When you die you will go to Paradise to live forever in love, joy, and peace.” (wrong)
We can see grace as the active power of God that works to conform us to Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The Grace of God is not a gift you can put on the shelf and neglect or ignore. Our New Birth brings the most powerful force in the universe into our life, the GRACE OF GOD! Grace never cleans you up and leaves you there. Grace is the power that washes us, sanctifies us and justifies us. The power of God’s Grace takes his children and works to conform them into the image of His Son!
Grace Empowers Salvation
Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. John 1:12 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Grace Empowers Christ-like Living
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age… (Titus 2:11-12NIV)
Grace Empowers us to abound and be generous in giving:
2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV) while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
Grace Empowers us to serve God
Hebrews 12:28 (KJV) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Grace empowers our Christian ministry and labor
1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Grace empowers those who are weak
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (ESV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Grace empowers our relationship with God
Romans 5:1-2 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Grace Empowers us in times of need
- The Grace Of God Makes Room For Every Sinner At The Foot Of The Cross.
- The Grace Of God Makes Room For Every Child Of God At The Foot Of The Throne.
The Grace of God never wants to leave you at the cross, a born again child of God, but remaining a baby, soiling yourself, mired in your sin, missing the mark. At the foot of the cross you are born again, brought into a right relationship. There is to be no more “deviation!” Grace will then take you through the cross by empowering you to become like Jesus Christ! Grace empowers us to be conformed to Jesus Christ. Your sanctification or transformation takes place as you experience the POWER of the Grace of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
We Need To See Ourselves As God Sees Us! We Need To Trust In The Truth Of God’s Word!
Romans 6:2-3 (ESV) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
- God forbid, (me genoito μὴ γένοιτο )
“How is it possible for such as we are, born-again children of God, to do such a thing. It is against our nature to habitually yield to the evil nature. We are not persons of such a nature as to do so.”
- Died to sin (apethanomen tēi hamartiāi).
Second aorist active of apothnēskō. Refers to our new quality in relation to sin. We have been totally made new at the very moment of our new birth. ἀπεθάνομεν does not mean will be dead, nor have died, but died. It refers to a specific act in our past history. This is not a reference to something that will happen in the future. God’s Word says “We are dead to sin!”
IF GOD SAYS WE ARE DEAD TO SIN, WE EITHER BELIEVE HIM OR WE CALL GOD A LIAR.
God Performs Surgery
1. Breaks the power of indwelling sin by removing the “old man”
Verse 2: “We are dead to sin,”
2. Gives us New Life by implanting the divine nature. God gives us His divine nature, which through grace gives us both the desire and the power to do God’s will.
Verse 4: “We walk in newness of life.”
THIS IS NOT JUST A REMODEL JOB, NOT A FACE JOB. This is a radical life changing operation whereby we are made NEW; we are made alive to God!
Christians are dead to sin. Sin, is the sinful nature. We are dead to the sinful nature. (we’ll see how a bit later)
The wording in “died to sin” pictures the separation (apo-off, away from) of the born again Christian from his old self.
When Adam sinned, his nature was forever changed. There was a cleavage between that which God once called “good” and sin. This cleavage, this corruption, was passed onto all men from that day forth. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:18 & 19:
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men…For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners.
God uses His surgical knife to cut the believing sinner loose from his old self. The old self is removed and a new creature is transplanted.
This occurs when the believing sinner identifies with the Lord Jesus in His death on the Cross (Rom 6:3-7), the moment he places his faith in Jesus as Saviour. Instead of being in the old ADAM, we are now in the NEW ADAM!
The tense of the verb is aorist, which speaks of a once for all act. God has worked a separation between the believer and the old man (Adam) which is a permanent one, a once for all DELIVERANCE of the person from the evil old self. This surgical operation is never repeated. So far as God is concerned, He has so thoroughly done His work that that separation is to be permanent.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49 (ESV) 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 but it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV) And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
Our righteousness, our redemption… none of it would be possible if we were left in the prison of Adam, if we were still slaves to our old nature, our old self.
To complete the deliverance, God imparts His divine nature by placing us IN CHRIST which gives the Christian a hatred of sin and a love for righteousness. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit takes up His permanent residence in him to guide and empower each Christian to battle against sin, and live this Christian life.
This is why Paul cries out: “How is it possible for such as we who have died off once for all with respect to sin, any longer to live in it?”
Or to translate and interpret, “How is it possible for such as we, Christians, who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live within its grip?”
- Live therein:
To spend one’s existence, simply to pass one’s life, from which is derived our word “biography,” the narrative of how one spent his life. You have a new nature! It’s time to write a new biography! How can you keep living the old life? Why do we PERSIST in Sin when we are in a new identity, writing a new biography?
II. Grace BRINGS US INTO New LIFE IN Christ
Romans 6:3-4 (ESV) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life
- Know ye not (ἀγνοεῖτε) Are you ignorant?
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (ESV) For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
- Were baptized into Christ (ebaptisthēmen eis Christon)
baptizo, “the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition.” (Wuest’s Word Studies)
Galatians 3:27 (KJV) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Did put on Christ (Christon enedusasthe). As a badge or uniform of service like that of the soldier. Baptism was the public profession and pledge, the soldier’s oath of allegiance to Christ, taking one’s stand with Christ, the symbolic picture of the change already accomplished by faith
- baptized into his death:
“to be brought into union with them, as their disciples, or worshippers, as the case may be. In like manner, in the expression baptized into his death, the preposition expresses the design and the result. The meaning therefore is, ‘we were baptized in order that we should die with him,’ i.e., that we should be united to him in his death, and be partakers of its benefits.” Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
Is it something magical, something super spiritual? No. It doesn’t save you; it doesn’t make you more holy! It is done in complete obedience to Jesus Christ. Now does Baptism represent something amazing, even mysterious? Yes! It also represents something that many Christians do not fully understand.
III. We are united with Jesus in Death; Our Old Man is Dead!
Romans 6:5-6 (ESV). For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
What dies? What happens to the Sin Nature?
Even though God gives us a new nature which has been surgically separated from our old nature, the power of sin is very much alive. John makes this very plain:
1 John 1:8 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Sin here is the nature, not the act, and for two reasons;
- The word is without the article, and such a construction in Greek emphasizes nature, quality, and
- Because the word is singular.
The word “ourselves” is in the emphatic position, John’s thought being that any person who holds the theory that the sinful nature is eradicated at a certain point in the Christian’s experience is only deceiving himself!
John tells us the sin nature remains in the Christian throughout his earthly life and is not eradicated until that Christian dies or is glorified.
Yet even though our sin nature has not been eradicated, God tells us that our New Birth DELIVERS us from the power of sin. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Romans 6:6 (Darby) knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin.
- old man
- body (of sin)
Sin here is our sin nature, the root of sin.
- We were all once slaves to sin, our sin nature.
- Sin is a power in and of itself, for it enslaves us
- Sin seeks to draw us into obedience to our old man (self) so that we might sin.
Old man represents everything we inherit from Adam.
- We recognize the old man by knowing our new man, for the old man is everything the new man is NOT!
- Whatever in our life is not of the new man must belong to the old man.
- Our new man embraces everything which flows from our Lord Jesus Christ at regeneration.
- We sin because our old man loves sin and is under its power.
Body of Sin refers to our body, our flesh.
- ´ Our corporeal body is the puppet of all our sinning.
- ´ It is subject to the power of sin, fully laden with the lusts and desires of sin.
Understanding this, Knowing this
Sin is the power which pulls us to do sin.
Old man is the inward being of what we inherit from Adam.
Body of sin is the outward flesh we inherit from Adam.
First there is sin, next the old man, last, the body. Sin radiates its power to attract the old man and force him to sin. Since the old man delights in sin, he condones it and gives in. This instigates the body to sin.
Sin takes place because of these three elements:
- The compulsion of sin’s power
- The inclination of the old man
- The practice of the body
How does God deliver man from sin?
Some theologians say that since sin is the first cause we must annihilate sin in order to attain victory. They cry for the “eradication of sin.” After all, if the root of sin is pulled out, we shall never sin again. Others say we must subdue our body if we are to overcome sin, for isn’t it our body that practices sin?
So the choice is to get away entirely from sin and any temptation thereof, or to practice asceticism,
Asceticism (from the Greek: ἄσκησις, áskēsis, “exercise” or “training” in the sense of athletic training) describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals.
Either choice promotes legalism and removal from the world.
We can see these expressed in religious sects such as the Amish, or in monasteries, or in church rules such as don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls that do. These are not the goal of Jesus Christ. He desires worship that is in “spirit and truth”. He desires us to be in the world but not of the world.
The fleshly thinking is that once we overcome the demands of our bodies we shall be holy.
None of these is God’s way of delivering us from sin.
God neither eradicates the root of sin within nor suppresses the body without!
God deals with the old man in between!
When our Lord Jesus went to the cross, He not only took our sins with Him, He also took our beings, our “old man.” Paul underscores this when he says “that our old man has been crucified with Him.” Crucified is in the aorist tense, meaning that our old man was once and forever crucified with Him.
The Cross of Christ is an accomplished fact. The crucifixion of our old man is an accomplished fact as well!
We don’t question the reality of the crucifixion of Christ, so why should we doubt the reality of the crucifixion of our old man?
The error that enters the church is that since our old man is dead, and since we don’t feel like he is dead, it is up to us to try our best to crucify ourselves! We think we must get on the cross and deny ourselves. This teaching denies the power of the real Cross of Christ and puts any attempt at holiness on the back of what Christians can do by themselves. It is a fleshly attempt at holiness. It is a fleshly attempt to deal with the flesh. As such it is doomed to failure. The Bible never, never instructs us to crucify ourselves.
Romans 6:6 categorically states that our old man is already crucified. This is the beauty of the phrase “in Christ!”
Our faith in Him places us IN CHRIST. We are united with Jesus so that we can say that when Jesus went to the cross, we went there in HIM! When Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him! This is a mystery, a truth that is not discerned by brain power. It is discerned by the revelation of the Holy Spirit!
Only the Holy Spirit can transcend our fleshly ways and open our fleshly eyes to see that we are in Jesus Christ and we are united with Him in one. The Holy Spirit alone can show us how our old man was crucified with Christ simply by being in Christ!
Jesus said the truth will set us free. He said this because He was aware that divine truth revealed to sinful man it becomes a power in man, and that power (or grace) empowers us to believe! Faith comes through revelation. As we see God we believe God. As we see the truth we believe the truth!
The most important prayer you can pray is for God to reveal this truth to your spirit; pray until God gives you revelation so that you can declare with all your heart “my old man has been crucified with Jesus”. Seeing will empower you to know! As Paul say, KNOWING THIS!
The Consequence of the Crucifixion of Our Old Man
The body (of sin) is annulled (withered, unemployed).
Before, when sin stirred, our old man responded and as a result the body practiced sin. With the crucifixion of the old man and its replacement by the new man, sin may stir within and attempt to exert its power of control, but it fails to get the consent of the old man in driving the body to sin. Sin can no longer tempt the believer for he is a new man, the old has died.
The body’s occupation was formerly of sinning, but this body of sin is now unemployed. He has been terminated.
Why does God crucify our old man with Christ and render our flesh unemployed? His purpose is that “we should no longer be enslaved to sin”
Our divine deliverance makes it possible for us not to yield to the pressure of sin, nor be held in its power. Sin has no dominion over our dead “old man!”
TURN THE TV OFF
The Christian has the same power over the old man that he has over his television. When a program suddenly comes over the air unfit for Christian eyes and ears, he can turn the TV off with a “There, you cannot bring that smut into my life.” Before salvation, the old man could do nothing but be a slave to sin. Sin had total dominion over our old self. Since salvation has crucified our old man, sin is annulled, it has no power over our old man, and therefore, the body of sin is unemployed.
We have a new King reigning in our body, the Grace of Jesus Christ: Romans 5:21 (ESV) so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When you are born again, the Holy Spirit places a NEW KING on the throne of your heart and life. King Jesus comes into your life, removes the power of the old self, and brings you new life in HIM!
Doe Jesus always stay on our throne? No, He does not! Does He want to always be on your throne? Yes He Does! and we will see from His Word how this can be possible!
PLUG IS PULLED
A floor lamp is connected to a wall outlet. The light is possible because of the electricity that flows from the outlet up through the cord into the light bulb. Just so, a sinner has this old man, this nature of Adam that is under the domination of Sin. Remove the old man, and Sin no longer has a conduit to appeal to the man’s flesh! When a new believer understands that the old man is truly dead, that he has been crucified on the cross, it presents an entirely NEW WAY of praying when faced with the temptation of sin!
Our prayers should confess confidence in the fact that the old man is dead, that he was crucified and buried, and that now we are in Christ.
Here is the Truth of Jesus that will set you free:
God’s way of deliverance is totally different from man’s way.
- Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it.
- God’s way is to remove the sinner, to crucify the old man.
Most Christians mourn over their weaknesses; thinking only if they were stronger all would be well. We think the failure to lead a holy life is because of our impotence, our weakness and so we put undue stress upon what WE MUST DO TO BE HOLY! We keep trying to escape, to jump over the barbed wire fence. When we become preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to jump over the barb wire, we naturally conclude that to gain victory over sin, we must have more power, a more powerful motorcycle so to speak.
We plead with God: If only I was stronger, if only I could control my temper, if only I could control these lusts, if only I wouldn’t worry so much, and so we plead with God to strengthen us so that we can exercise more self control.
That is not NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ. That is a cleaned up old man trying to work his way into holiness.
God’s way is to get us weaker and weaker until we finally see that Jesus has put our old man to death on the cross. God delivers us from sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.
My prayer is that each of you would enter into the wonderful grace of Jesus by coming to the cross and seeing your old man hanging there with Jesus. This is a realization that only the Holy Spirit can take you into. KNOWING THIS…that your old man has been crucified!
Would you ask God to reveal this to you?
John 6:26-29 (NIV) 26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”