Posts Tagged ‘Wretched man’


Paul was seemingly singing this song in Romans Seven. He was constantly reminded of the Law of God and how he failed to meet it. Similar to when we are pulled over by a policeman, who reminds us of our failure to obey the Law! Just like this man discovered:

A male driver is pulled over by a cop and the following conversation takes place:
Man: What’s the problem officer?
Cop: You were going at least 75 in a 55 zone.
Man: No sir, I was going 65.
Wife: Oh Harry. You were going 80.
(Man gives his wife a dirty look.)
Cop: I’m also going to give you a ticket for your broken tail light.
Man: Broken tail light? I didn’t know about a broken tail light!
Wife: Oh Harry, you’ve known about that tail light for weeks.
(Man gives his wife a dirty look.)
Cop: I’m also going to give you a citation for not wearing your seat belt.
Man: Oh, I just took it off when you were walking up to the car.
Wife: Oh  Harry, you never wear your seat belt.
Man: Shut your mouth, woman!
Cop: Ma’am, does your husband always talk to you this way?
Wife: No, only when he’s drunk.

Romans 6 deals with freedom from sin. Romans 7 deals with freedom from the law. Romans 6 – how to be delivered from sin. Romans 7 – deliverance from sin is not enough-we need deliverance from the Law. Paul reveals a new discovery in Romans 7: I am in the flesh (vs. 5) I am carnal (vs. 14) and in my flesh dwells no good (vs. 18)

The discovery is that when we are in the flesh, we cannot please God (Romans 8:8)

When we first come to the Lord as our Savior, and then we give ourselves to Him, we feel we must do something for the Lord. So we start out seeking to do his will. We start reading the Bible. We start having regular time of prayer and devotion. We perhaps start tithing. But as time goes by, we forget to read and pray. Money gets tight so we don’t tithe as much or maybe we stop. It seems the more we try to do the will of God, the more we fail. We may re-dedicate ourselves, or try something less intensive, but then we fail that as well.

We get to the point where we exclaim, this is just the way I am, no good thing dwells in me, I guess I just do the best with what I’ve got. And we feel frustrated, or we feel apathetic, or we feel despaired.

We find ourselves in Romans 7. We are despairing because we see there is no way we could please God the way we think He wants to be pleased.

The trouble is we do not know deliverance from the Law!

I. The Power of the Law:

A.The Law Dominates As Long As You Live

VS 1-3: Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Romans 7:1-3

The Law Does Not Apply to Dead People!

  • Dead men pay no taxes
  • Dead men can’t be incarcerated!
  • A wife is no longer married when her husband dies.

1. Christians are Dead to the Law

VS 4: Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

The Law is not dead; the Law has not been done away with. But WE are dead to the Law! Our death has made us dead to the claims of the Law. The Law is not dead; it simply has no claims upon our lives because our old man is dead. The law has no jurisdiction, power, rule, authority, or dominion over the true believer. The believer is dead to the law and the law is dead to the believer. The law simply does not exist for the believer.

What a shocking truth, but that is exactly what Scripture is declaring! We are no longer under the law and its accusing finger, no longer under it’s…

  • Guilt and shame
  • Condemnation and punishment
  • Discouragement and frustration
  • Tension and pressure
  • Sense of failure and unworthiness
  • Sense of disappointment

The Law is Alive to those Walking in the Flesh

2.  We are Free to Marry Christ

VS 4(Phillips): you are free to give yourselves in marriage, so to speak, to another, the one who was raised from the dead, that you may be productive for God.

We are Free to be productive IN THE POWER OF CHRIST!

  • To bear righteousness (Romans 6:21-23; Phil. 1:11).
  • To bear converts (Romans 1:13; John 15:16).
  • To bear Christian character, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Col. 1:10).

None of these is done in the flesh; none of these is done by following a set of rules. Righteousness is of the Heart, of the inward man. People coming to Christ as Savior is dependent upon the working of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit cannot be faked; it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

3. The Law is Alive to those “in the flesh”

VS 5: For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. NASB

“Motions KJV or passions” is pathēma, “an affection, a passion, impulse.” Vincent says, “Motions was used in earlier English for emotions or impulses. Thus Bacon: ‘He that standeth at a stay where others rise can hardly avoid motions of envy.’ “”Did work” is energeō, “to be operative, put forth power, be at work.”

The emotions or impulses of sin, stirred to activity by the law, were operative in the members of our bodies with the result of the production of fruit, this fruit being with respect to death, identified with death, thus, characterized by death. Wuest

We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 1 Timothy 1:9-10

The law not only points out sin, it actually arouses feelings and stirs the emotions to do the forbidden. Sinful feelings are actually “stimulated” (enērgeito) by the law in our members. When the law prohibits and forbids something, it actually creates within us…

• an interest •  an attraction •  an excitement •  an appeal •  a tug or pull •  a fascination •  a seduction •  an arousal

There is within man something that makes him want to do what he is forbidden to do. When he is restricted or fenced in, he wants to break through the restriction or fence.

We will see that as long as believer’s walk in the flesh, they will still be subject to these stirrings, these impulses, these motions of sins. James reveals this in writing to the fleshly Christians reading his letter:

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15

B.We Follow a New Way When We are “Born Again”

VS 6: But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6

1. Believers are “delivered” (katērgēthēmen).

We have been discharged from the law. We stand clear of the law. All claims have been dissolved!

2. We Serve God through the Holy Spirit

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

  • To live by rules is to live a dead religion. Death produces death.
  • To live by the power of the Holy Spirit is LIFE.
  • We do not serve God by following the letter of the law.

II. The Purpose of the Law

A.The Law Exposes our Sin

VS 7: What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” Romans 7:7.

The Law is to make us aware that we are sinners. We need a Savior.

EXAMPLE:  The Law revealed that Paul had a problem with coveting. He never knew it to be so until he read the Law. When people know the Law, they know they are sinners. Guilt is though the law.

When I was pastoring in Edgerton, I went knocking on doors and if a person allowed, I would ask them a couple questions.

Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? Have you ever looked lustfully at another person?

Most of the time they would answer yes to each of the questions. Then I would say, then by your own admission, you a liar, a thief and an adulterer? What do you think God thinks of that?

They would mumble, well I guess he doesn’t like it.

I would ask, if you are a liar, a thief and an adulterer, would God let you into His heaven when you die?

Most of the time they would answer, well, yes.

I would say why would he? They would say, because overall I’m a good guy or something to that effect.

Then I would say, but God’s word says that the man who sins will surely die! How could He let you into His heaven and be true to His own Word?

I’ll never forget this one Law student that I talked with. He came to this point where he was aware of God’s standard and he was aware of his violation of that standard, but he looked at me and said, “Aw, that doesn’t apply to me;” and then he said “I’ve got to go!” and he closed the door.

The Law is given so that men and women would see that they are lost. All we can do is hold that Law up, and pray the Holy Spirit convicts them to the point where they realize they need Jesus Christ!

B. The Law is the Revealing Standard

VS 8-9: But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; Romans 7:8-9.

1. The law reveals the fact of our sin

  • That men are not in a right relationship with God.
  • That men are not in a right relationship with other men.
  • That men are living selfishly, thereby dooming themselves.
  • That men are coveting and lusting, thereby destroying their world and their future.
  • That men are displeasing God and have become unacceptable to Him.
    • We will take that second helping of food.
    • We will try to keep up with the Jones.
    • We will go after the excitement and stimulation of the forbidden.
    • We will fulfill the lust of our flesh: “I know that is not how a Christian should behave by talking with his fists, but man can he fight!”
    • We will feed the lust of our eyes. Bachelorette – “I know Adultery to be wrong, but as I watch this TV show I find myself routing for this couple as they seem so right for each other, even made for each other!”
    • We will satisfy the pride of life. “I just have to have that car!” I just have to have that jewelry!

2.  The Law Reveals The Truth Of Our Condemnation And Death.

VS 10-11: and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. Romans 7:10-11

This is a major purpose of the law. By knowing the law the man becomes acutely aware of sin when he breaks the law. It is the law that gives him…

  • A painful awareness of sin.
  • A sense of guilt.
  • A sense of judgment to come.
  • A dread of punishment and of death.

During the Second Great Awakening (1790–1840) in early America, the Law was preached by Charles Finney, Lyman Beecher, Barton Stone, Peter Cartwright, and Asahel Nettleton among others. Altar calls were being used then by people anxious about their souls. Finney used the term “Anxious Seat”. Sometimes the evangelist would not have an altar call, and people would be begging to be saved. They were concerned for their souls.

3. The Law Reveals the Way of God

VS 12-13 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans 7:12-13

  1. The law is holy: set apart and full of purity, majesty, and glory—set apart in that it reveals God’s nature and will—set apart in that it exposes sin, all that is contrary to God’s nature and will.
  2. The law is righteous: just, fair, impartial, equitable, straight. The law treats a man exactly like he should be treated; it shows no partiality to anyone. It also reveals how a man should treat others. The law is just in that it reveals exactly how a man should live. It shows him how to live in relation to God and to his fellow man, and it judges him fairly and impartially.
  3. The law is good: it shows man how to live and tells him when he fails to live that way. It exposes his sin and demonstrates his desperate need for a Savior. The law tells man the truth about the nature of man in a most explicit way, and it points him toward the need for outside help in order to be saved.

The Law is a written expression of the Character of God: O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97

The Law Does Not Mean Death, The Law Reveals the Sin!

Here in this dish lays Baking Soda (representing man in our natural state). It is still & quiet until another substance is added.

I will now pour Vinegar (representing the Law). It begins to smoke & burn up, but not from the fault of the vinegar, but from the nature of the Baking Soda which will not endure it. Illustrates that the Law is not at fault, but our evil & wicked nature is!

  • When you read “Wet Paint. Don’t touch” what do you immediately want to do? –
  • “No U-Turns”
  • “Keep off the Grass”.
  • In Maui as we snorkeled, “Don’t touch the Turtles”, but I just had to touch one!

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

No Excuses

There can be no finger pointing at God. You can’t say to God that “You made me do it, your Law made me rebel” You can’t say the Devil made me do it either. There are no excuses:

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Romans 3:19

III. Paul’s Personal Testimony

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:14-20 (NASB)

1.  Paul’s Struggle

Here Paul confesses his personal struggle with sin that dwells in him. Paul is a Christian, and has been for several years now. He knows the truth of HIs new life in Jesus Christ. He knows that his old man was crucified with Jesus, freeing him from the power of sin. He has reckoned this truth so in his life. He counts on Jesus to deliver him from sin. He has presented his body to God.

But what has happened? Instead of the truth of God becoming REALITY in his life, he finds that sin still dwells in him. He does what he doesn’t want to do, and he doesn’t do what he should do.

Does this sound familiar? Anyone else identify with his struggles?

Paul reveals a truth here, while we are spiritual (born again, alive to God) we are still flesh. And this flesh loves to sin. The means to freedom has been secured on the cross, our old man is dead. We don’t have to sin, but there is something about this flesh that makes it powerless when it comes to the power of sin.

2. Paul’s Personal Discovery

a. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;

When it comes to serving God, when it comes to following Jesus, there is nothing good in us. Any effort we make in this flesh is tainted, is spoiled. There is nothing good in me.

On the one hand, this is good because when we are aware of the struggle, it reveals we are spiritually alive, that we are born again.

  • If you don’t have a struggle, if you don’t feel guilt, that probably indicates Christ does not live in you.
  • Inward conflicts show us we are spiritually alive!

b. There is a Law of Sin that Dominates his flesh

Just as there is a Law of Gravity dominating our flesh, there is also a Law of Sin that dominates our flesh. The choice we as Christians have is whether we accept this law and live with it, struggling against sin the best we can, or do we desire something more!

3. Paul’s Desperate Desire!

Paul is Desperate for MORE!

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25

IV. The Power of the New Law

Paul has realized that there is a way of deliverance. There is a Law that we can live under that dominates the Law of Sin. This Law is greater than the Law of Sin. And this Law is available to us through Jesus Christ!

This Law will be explored in Romans 8.

Our eyes must be opened to see that sin is not just conduct. When you lose your temper, it is not just you failing to control your temper. When you lose your temper it is the law of sin at work in you. The victory of sin is a law, just as our defeat is a law. If you view sin as simply a matter of conduct then your focus will be entirely on your own self-effort to resist or overcome that sin.

Do you have a problem with smoking? Do you want to quit? Then don’t see it as a habit to be resisted. Don’t see it as an urge to be controlled. See it as a law. A law that governs your life. And then see that you must live by a new Law that is greater than the Law of Sin.

We Need a New Law!

The Law of Sin is powerful. We cannot overcome it in our flesh. Our flesh is subject to its power. Anytime we struggle against sin with our flesh, we are doomed to fail. Just as you cannot escape the pull of gravity by flapping your arms, you cannot escape the law of sin by doing anything in your flesh.

Even mighty Paul made this discovery.

Paul discovered even though he tried, even though he willed it, he could not overcome sin’s power. He tried to be perfect, to not sin, but he failed. Paul discovered that the Law of Sin was mightier than his willpower. He willed and willed, but lost.

Paul came to the conclusion sin was a law that he could not overcome in his own strength.

He needed something else, he needed to learn to walk in a new Law, a Law which had authority over sin, a Law which could govern his life and deliver him from this constant feeling of defeat and failure.

Romans 7 is the revelation of a man who gives up trying in his own strength and realizes he needs JESUS CHRIST!

If you never come to this realization, that sin is a law that you cannot struggle against in with your flesh or your will, then you will always be a Romans 7 Christian. You will live your life in Romans 7.

You will be like the Laodicean’s, who thought they had no need.

Wretched man that I am – Just like John’s picture of the Laodicea church.

Rev.3:17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;”

Do you want to be a Romans 8 Christian? Then have your eyes opened to the truth that sin is a Law. Then plead with God to reveal to you the Law he wants you to live by, the law that has greater power than the law of sin. Plead with Him to open your eyes to the truth of the Law of the Holy Spirit in your life!

If you do not live your daily life by the Law of the Holy Spirit, we shall see in Rom 8, then you are doomed to a wretched Christian Life, a Romans 7 life-one of ups and downs, defeats and despairs, one of fleshly struggles, one of constant bouts of guilt, one of being tossed to and fro. That is the plight of Christians who walk in the flesh and struggle against the Law of Sin with their flesh.

Thanks be to God there is a Better Way!

Have you come to the place of wretchedness in your life? You’ve come to the place of realizing you have no power to overcome sin.

Then you are ready to live your life by the Law that will deliver you from sin, from fleshly struggles and defeats.

By walking in the New Law, You will experience the Righteousness of Jesus Christ and THROW OFF YOUR WRETCHEDNESS!

Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, “How can I get the air out of this glass?” One man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!” Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.” After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

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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.

  1. All men are condemned
  2. Jesus act of righteousness allows God to Justify us
  3. 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.

  1. In place of sin reigning in our flesh, resulting in death,
  2. grace now reigns through the righteousness of Christ,
  3. 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:

  1. Knowing
  2. Reckoning
  3. Presenting ourselves to God
  4. 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!

In Romans 6:1 Paul asks a pivotal question:

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

We can see grace as a passive “gift” or “favor” that is always ours…

“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

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time 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!

Paul states a most Mysterious fact in verse 2:

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

Through the mystery of the New Birth, God performs a major surgical operation in the inner being of every sinner that He saves. This operation does two things:

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.

Something Happens When The Holy Spirit Baptizes Into Jesus Christ. That happens the moment we are born again. Water Baptism is a picture of what happens, a picture of something very powerful.

  1. Death
  2. Burial
  3. Resurrection

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;

  1. The word is without the article, and such a construction in Greek emphasizes nature, quality, and
  2. 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.

Three Major Elements from this verse

  1. sin
  2. old man
  3. 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:

You are offered deliverance from sin as no less a gift of God’s Grace than was the forgiveness of your sins.

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.”