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A. INTRODUCTION

1. We continue this morning in our study of the apostle Paul's exhaustive treatise on what has come

to be called the Doctrine of S __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, which is, we have learned, the life-long process whereby the Christian becomes more and more like Christ, moving consistently toward the center of God's will for his or her life as regards:

a. authentic personal h __ __ __ __ __ __ __;

b. his/her life's f __ __ __ __;

c. p __ __ __ __ __ __;

d. r __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __;

e. c __ __ __ __ __ __ __ resolution;

f. g __ __ __ __;

g. s __ __ __ __ __ __ and m __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

2. Christians, Paul has shown, have been set free from the s __ __ __ __ __ __ to the s __ __ nature into which all people are born and under whose domination all those who have not been brought "into" Christ must labor, unable to break the fearsome progression of:

a. s __ __;

b. f __ __ __ __;

c. s __ __ __ __ __ __;

d. d __ __ __ __; and

e. h __ __ __.

3. Instead, Paul has explained, the believer has been placed into v __ __ __ __ u __ __ __ __ __ with Jesus Christ, baptized into his death, burial and resurrection, living life now as a "New Creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul in Romans 6-8 explores the dynamics of the sanctified life of this New Creature in Christ.

a. First, the Christian relates to sin differently. Having d __ __ __ (living now "in Christ"), the believer is free from sin's awful dominion although, since he or she retains the sinful f __ __ __ __, the believer remains ever susceptible to a sinful bent. The internal struggle to rectify what he knows with what he often does is perhaps the most revealing sign in a person's life that he does, indeed, possess the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul's agonized and honest portrayal of his own struggles with this Bondage of the Will is recorded in Romans 7:15-25.

b. The Christ has also entered into a new relationship with God's l __ __ as a result of God's gracious justification.

(1) The law, as we have seen, has at its center two profound declarations from the sovereign God of the universe:

- "I am the L __ __ __ your G __ __!"

- "You shall be h __ __ __, for I, the L __ __ __ your G __ __, am h __ __ __!"

(2) Understood correctly, the law of God constitutes the Worst Possible News for mankind.

- In it, God's h __ __ __ __ __ __ __ is clearly demonstrated.

- By it, man's abject and hopeless s __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ is proved.

- Through it, man's eternal d __ __ __ is sealed.

(3) Into this dismal circumstance came the g __ __ __ __ of God, who used the sacrificial death on the cross of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for those who would receive it, redeeming them from their slavery to sin, imputing Christ's own righteousness to them, and setting them free from the law's just condemnation. Obtaining this freedom by his or her identification with Christ (Matthew 5:17), the Christian, by the same token, is given the ability to pursue m __ __ __ __ obligation to the law (Matthew 5:18-20).


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