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Romans 6: Sanctification

Paul made the case for the condemnation of man, provided God's solution to this problem - Righteousness Through Faith = Justification. Then Paul said it is not new idea but rooted in OT, giving examples of Abraham/David. Paul next talked about the benefits of Salvation, and why the solution was Christ. Now Paul turns to sanctification.

What is Sanctification?

Justification is God declaring sinners Righteous through Faith in Christ.
Sanctification is the ability of God to make sinners actually righteous.

Justification is an act; sanctification is a work.
Justification is a means; sanctification is the end.
Justification is for us; sanctification is in us.
Justification declares the sinner righteous; sanctification makes the sinner righteous.
Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin; Sanctification removes the growth and power of sin.
- J. Vernon McGee

Sanctification will not be complete until we are in heaven, but the process starts at the moment of salvation. Paul is in his encouraging and exhorting stage - just like when he revisited the churches he planted. They were already saved, why bother? - because salvation goes beyond "fire insurance" - Paul explains that in chapter 6.
===================================================================================
Four parts to this chapter - Knowing, Reckoning, Yielding, Obedience

KNOWING
In vs. 1 Paul addresses the idea of cheap Grace. Work-based religions often comment that, 'righteousness through faith is a free ticket to sin. You can keep on sinning (doing what you want), because God will keep forgiving you and piling on more grace. That is not right'.

This is true - "That is not right", but not for the reasons they think. Being saved is not a free ticket to sin, because once saved a Christian wants to be obedient and serve God. Does not mean we do not sin, but it is a far cry from a "free ticket to sin".

Here is an extreme example of this kind of thinking:

"In the early part of the century, the Russian monk Gregory Rasputin taught and lived the idea of salvation through repeated experiences of sin and repentance. He believed that because those who sin the most require the most forgiveness, a sinner who continues to sin with abandon enjoys more of God’s grace (when he repents for the moment) than the ordinary sinner. Therefore, Rasputin lived in notorious sin, and taught that this was the way to salvation. This is an extreme example of the idea behind Paul’s question “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” - David Guzik

Paul says - No! We died to sin. Through faith in Christ we abide in Him, and He in us. When Jesus died for our sins - the bondage of sin or sin's reign in our bodies was defeated for those that accept the gift. When Jesus was resurrected - those that believe in Him were given a new life (a new man).

2Cor5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" NIV

Four times Paul repeats the concept of the "new man" in vs. 4-10. Seems like Paul wants them to know this concept.

This does not mean we, as Christians, will not sin. We may have the "inner" new man, but we still have the "flesh". Christians are tempted to sin, and do sin. But sin does not rule over us any more - we should not habitually sin. With the "new man" led by the Holy Spirit, we should look to God for the Grace to resist the temptations of the flesh. Now, when we succumb to sin, we become convicted by the Holy Spirit, and should seek forgiveness and a restoration of Fellowship with God.

Before I was saved, I sinned with impunity and either rationalized it or gave it not a "second thought". Now, when I sin, I get convicted by Holy Spirit - conscience if you will - and I am led to make amends, ask for forgiveness when possible to people I hurt by my sin, and go to God in prayer. Before salvation for 48 years - this "conscience" (Holy Spirit) at least in my adult life did not exist in me.
===================================================================================
Reckoning

"..count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

God sees you this way - YOU should now also see yourself this way.
==================================================================================
Yielding

Sin does not reign in your body anymore, but it (Satan, "flesh", ways of the world) will try.

Think of it as a two roads, one each running through parallel fields. You have been traveling down the road of "sin". You are in Satan's field. You hear and feel all the temptations, and you walk merrily along in your humanness - sinning. Then through grace and by faith, you decide to change roads. You are now a "new man" walking God's way through God's pasture. Yet, at times - you still hear and feel the temptations of the other road calling to you from across the way. Sometimes you succumb - I.e. stumble. You don't stumble because of potholes in the road - you stumble over your own two feet. The idea of Christian maturity (sanctification process) is that if you stay in prayer, God's Word, and worship - the stumbling should decrease. However it will not be eliminated until we reach Heaven.

As Christians, we saw in last chapter, we have continuing and ongoing access to God's Grace. Paul is saying (vs. 12-14) yield to God. Don't yield to temptation, but offer yourselves up to God. Your body, your body parts - pray to him, offer your body as an instrument (alternate translation: weapon) of righteousness. Grace did not stop on the Cross, utilize this endless resource to fight temptation. From personal experience: it works, and when I sin, it is usually because I do not ask God for help.
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Obedience

In vs. 15- 20 Paul talks about not being slaves to sin anymore, but slaves to righteousness (i.e. God). Word for slaves is the familiar Gk. "doulos" - bondservant. As a bondservant (figurative), we choose to be with God out of love, we choose to serve him forever, we choose to be loyal and obey. By the way, Paul says we chose to be a bondservant to sin before salvation, only God could provide the grace to break that bond to sin.

"I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh: Paul apologizes for using slavery as an illustration, because it was so degrading and pervasive, and especially because many of his Roman readers were slaves. Yet he knows that this is an illustration that works well with his readers." - David Guzik

Paul says you used to serve sin, now (exhorting) - Serve righteousness!
"Can you imagine? A new job, and the first day on the new job you leave work at lunch time and go to your old job and ask your old boss what he wants you to do. It just isn’t right!" - David Guzik

Paul says, 'What benefit did you reap when you were a slave to sin?' "For the wages of sin is death,.."

Now oppose that to being "servants" of God, that through Faith in Christ you have the gift of eternal life, and the benefits lead to holiness (sanctification) - starting here now on earth.

Proverbs 19 (NKJV)
20
Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.
21
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

NOTE:
Thank God for spiritual mentors and people mature in the faith who can lead us and teach us.

Even if there are not mentors around, however, we can still receive instruction from the Lord.

Since the Lord’s counsel is what will stand, it behooves us—me and you—to
do the only smart thing and
spend whatever time is needed in prayer and fasting until we find out what God’s purpose for us is.

Whether I initially like what God has determined for me, in His will is the only place where I can fulfill my purpose.

The same is true for you.

2 Chronicles 1 (NKJV)
10
Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

NOTE: Here are some excellent cross reference scriptures concerning wisdom.

Exodus 31 (NKJV)
3
And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship

* we can ask for and receive wisdom in our daily work

Psalm 51 (NKJV)
6
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

* we can and need to ask for purity of heart, and the wisdom which will come from that

Proverbs 1 (NKJV)
7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

* may we truly fear the Lord—and have intimacy with Jesus that others can “see and taste” so they can see
and feel the wisdom of God.

* May many be brought to the fear of the Lord because of our living
testimony

Proverbs 2 (NKJV)
1
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you,
2
So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
3
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding,
4
If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;
5
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8
He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.
9
Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.
10
When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11
Discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you,

* God has sound wisdom IN STORE WAITING TO GIVE those who are upright because of the Lord Jesus and to those who will seek wisdom.

* This is the key: we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and we have been restored to being sons and daughters of God (John 1:12).

* May we truly delight in the Lord and treasure His commandments. We have access to wisdom from God in that real relationship with Him. When we do, we will be richly rewarded with the greatest blessing!

Proverbs 4 (NKJV)
5
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you.
7
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
8
Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9
She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
~~~

Romans 6 (NKJV)
12
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

NOTE:
I really like these quotes from the article, “The Stupidity of Sin” (Romans 6:12-23) By: Bob Deffinbaugh , Th.M.

“Romans 6 teaches us a great deal about sanctification—the lifelong process of spiritual growth which takes place in the life of the Christian, resulting in the glorification of God."

"By inference, our text teaches us that sanctification is surely not automatic. Once we have been saved, we are not predisposed to always do God’s will. Growth does not occur by accident. The Christian is faced with decisions and choices."

"While there is boasting and great confidence, there is also agony and struggle. The struggles and tribulations are a part of the process.”

“Our lifestyle must radically change as a result of our union with Him and His work at Calvary. Our sanctification is necessitated by the cross, and it is provided for by the cross."

"The cross of Christ is the key to our salvation and our sanctification.”
~~~

Psalm 16 (NKJV)
11
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

NOTE:
May the Lord truly and really be my delight. There I will find my greatest joy.

Out of that joy, the Lord will be able to draw many people to Himself.

Vance

"Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for
refuge." Praying and asking God for safety has always been a part of my daily prayer. And I know full well that God has always kept me and my loved ones SAFE in His LOVE.

Last Tuesday I was driving to the university to attend an ongoing technology seminar (I'm trying to attend as many of the sessions as I can before I leave for vacation on July 28th to CA-Alaska-WA) when all of a sudden I saw a car coming right at me from the opposite direction. The driver was obviously trying to overtake 2 or 3 cars in front of him to get to the light and he got into my lane. Right that very moment, I knew that God took over the whole situation for I calmly swerved to the right to move out of the way and the driver barely missed me. It was a good thing, too, that there was no car to my right. I felt my heart "jump out" of my body as I continued to drive trying to calm myself down. I knew that if the car hit me there was no way I could have survived for the driver was going full speed. The collision could have been front and back as there was another car right behind me. Yes, I thank God for having kept me safe, and I thank Him even more for giving me the opportunity to continue lving my life in FAITH and in LOVE... "You are my Master! All the good things I have are from you." I thank God for the boundless gifts in my life... Such gifts have overshadowed the pains that have come my way, and they have in fact strengthened my FAITH in Him. Truly, "every good and perfect gift comes from You. Father of Lights." AMEN.

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17


Things that caught my eye and attention for the very first time after reading this countless of times.

Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this Your people who are so great? God replied to Solomon, Because this was in your heart and you have not asked for riches, possessions, honor, and glory, or the life of your foes, or even for long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may rule and judge My people over whom I have made you king, Wisdom and knowledge are granted you. And I will give you riches, possessions, honor, and glory, such as none of the kings had before you, and none after you shall have their equal.
(2 Chronicles 1:10-12 AMP)

In a discussion of Solomon, almost everyone agrees that Solomon was wise for asking for wisdom from God. But I realize it is one thing to ask for wisdom and get it, just like any other thing one might ask for; however, receiving a gift, item, thing doesn’t mean one will even use what was given or even use it wisely. Much of the Book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon; yet the man did not even apply to himself his own words of wisdom.

The natural progression of my thoughts led me to examine my use of the things God has so richly blessed me. Do I receive from God and not use it for the purpose God gave it to me to use? Do I show off my gifts to razzle dazzle folks yet not do anything of substance with it?

Speaking of wisdom the wisdom given to Solomon was not as great as the Wisdom of God. Did Solomon believe his own press because of what was given to him by God? What he had belonged to God anyway. Do we think we are all that and a bag of chips with a coke thrown in on the side because of things given to us by God that we not only didn’t earn we couldn’t earn no matter how hard we try. Have I marveled at how wise Solomon was and forgotten to marvel at the God who gave him that wisdom?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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