1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:
6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him:
9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.
10For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.
11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
The ongoing journey to Christlikeness is a process with pitfalls along the way. The old nature has to be continually treated as dead and this new life in Christ Jesus must be aggressively pursued. We are new creatures and we have a new Master to obey. We have been set free and now, by God’s grace and power, we must stay free.
Christianity is a down-to-earth relationship between man and God that works. The Christian in this transformed life experiences certain relationships, duties and privileges as he journeys on his way to the City of God.
The Christian is not left to stumble along in darkness and ignorance. God has provided man with the necessary instructions and information to assist him in making the journey successfully with this beautiful relationship and fellowship with God. The Christian has a refuge from “the storms of life.” This does not mean that his struggle against sinful passion is over. It simply means that he treats his sinful nature as dead, refusing to respond to it.
Romans 6, above, begins with Paul’s having anticipated an objection on the part of those who would abuse God’s wonderful gift of grace. The insinuation was that God could actually be glorified through sin because sin underscores God’s mercy and compassion. Some thought the more we sin, the more God’s grace is seen to be grace. Paul’s response was, “God forbid. Certainly not.”
A Christian person cannot die to sin on the one hand and on the other hand still live in it. A Christian in no way can be so double-minded. He cannot be both dead and alive to the same thing simultaneously. He cannot maintain two attitudes toward sin.
Grace must never be treated as though it is cheap. Sin has no place in this new identity with Christ. The result is that sin has indeed been rendered powerless and we are no longer in its deadly grasp. The believer is not only dead to sin, but he has been quickened by the Spirit and is now alive in Jesus Christ.
What is holiness? To be holy means to be free from sin in a sinful world, to be free from guilt and defilement. Holiness is for the soul what health is to the body. Holiness is central in the plan and program of God.
Calvary is holiness provided. The Bible is holiness explained. Salvation is holiness experienced. Winning souls is holiness in action. The Rapture will be holiness promoted. Heaven will be holiness consummated.
The baptized believer has entered a new life, a life in God and for God. That is surely what it means to “walk in newness of life.” We have a new name. It is “Christian,” our new status as “forgiven” and a new view of our “opportunities” and “challenges” as God’s children. We are part of the “family of God,” the “household of faith.”
Being born into this new life is not something like joining the social club or fraternal order. We have not just been initiated into a limited group, selected because of similar social status, academic interest or geographic background; rather, we have now come into the Body of Christ, redeemed; our names are written in Heaven. No matter how many have come, there is still room for more.
The pursuit of holiness is not an option for the believer, as some seem to think. God requires that all who profess to be citizens of His Kingdom pursue His holiness.
Leviticus 11:44 (GOD speaking)
For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
God’s Kingdom is built on His character. We who will receive this inheritance must be partakers of God’s holy character, being conformed into the image of God’s Son.
Every day we make choices that will either acclimate or hinder the development of Christ’s character within us. The choices we make are results of the identity that we affirm for ourselves. When we choose to be conformed to Christ and pursue holiness faithfully, we recognize that the old identity is worthless and must be discarded. When this occurs, we are well on our way to being Christlike.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The Christian lives in a world in which the atmosphere is dominated by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. He comes into contact with such temptations on every side.
Those influencers often control politics, society, literature, amusement, sports and even religion. This loss has been true throughout the ages; although surrounded by such influencers, the Christian is not to be overcome by them. He is to live on a higher plane.
It is important that the Christian recognizes the enmity of the world. The Christian is not always openly persecuted, but the distinctive spirit of the world is definitely antagonistic toward and opposed to the Spirit of God.
Our example should be Jesus Christ in this matter of “separation” from sin. He did not withdraw from the world. He mingled freely with all classes of mankind. He went where He was invited but He always took advantage of the opportunities offered Him to mingle with people in order to teach them about God and His love.
John 17:18 (Jesus speaking)
As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
We are not to withdraw from the world and become a recluse, but we are to mix with those of the world and seek in all activities to influence them for God and to lead them to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. The emotions of the Christian are to be translated into action. “Desiring to” do the right thing is not a substitute for right action.
Paul contended that both God and Satan are looking for “weapons” to use. Most often both work through people. When God wants a word spoken or a deed done or someone encouraged, strengthened and cheered, He selects a person to do this. He does not send angels to do Christians’ work. The angel doesn’t know about redemption for he has no sin, so therefore, he doesn’t need the “new birth” which is salvation.
When Satan wants things done, he motivates people to do his work. Man has to make the decision to whom he will yield his heart, his time, his talent and his love. He does have a choice. He can be a weapon in the hands of God or he can be a weapon in the hands of Satan.
The Christian is not alone in the struggle. He belongs to God. The Holy Spirit has chosen the Christian’s body as His dwelling place. As a Christian, he has all the resources of God to draw upon for support as a Christian. As a son of God or daughter of God, he is not motivated by fear of what God will do to him; rather, he is motivated by what has been done for him through Jesus Christ.
What a difference a change in Masters can make. Being a servant of sin brings spiritual death. Having Christ as Master and Lord brings on the sunrise of better days: victory, ultimately Heaven for the redeemed of God.
Holiness is central in the Bible from the first book in the Bible, Genesis, to the end of Revelation, the last book in the Bible. It is the angel’s song, the saint’s theme of God’s message. Christians think of the glorious consummation in the book of Revelation in the Bible where is described the glorious panorama, the sanctified saints of all ages, standing around the NEW JERUSALEM praising God for redemption, full and free! FREE!
What a picture! What a victory!
If you haven’t already, you can claim your eternal destiny to be spent with God, in the Presence of Jesus Christ, by accepting redemption offered through forgiveness of sin resulting in salvation through faith in Jesus. Ask God to forgive you of your sin. He will.
Do you need to change your MASTER?