Summary: We have all either heard or asked the questions: Why did you do that? What were you thinking? Paul asked himself the same questions initially gave himself the same answer that we often give: I don't know! Why DO we keep making the same mistakes in
“I DO and I DON’T DO”
We have all heard the question, and probably asked it far too often: “Why did you do that? What were you thinking?” A lot of times the response is what: I DON’T KNOW. It sounds like a good answer, but it doesn’t really ANSWER the question at all; It AVOIDS the question. In a minute we’re going to see that the apostle Paul had the same issue.
Last week we looked at Romans 5, which told us that through Adam’s sin, we all die. He was the representative of the human race. I’ll put these two canisters up here as a reminder: Everyone ever born is in the ADAM can, dead in sin, no life. But God is merciful and gracious, and His love to sinners is displayed in Christ’s life and death and He places SOME in CHRIST.
We know that not that NOT EVERYONE is saved, because not everyone has the evidence of BEING SAVED, but we know that God works in such a way as to pick up dead sinners and He gives them life in Christ. (into the Christ canister) We can’t really fathom HOW God does that, but for those who have experienced it, they testify to the miracle of CHRIST’S NEW LIFE in them.
The teaching of Romans 5 is: Through one sin, we all die; through one Savior, many are “better than new”. God makes us clean, not because of our works, but by the work of Jesus.
NEW LIFE in Romans 6
Paul stresses what that means for us in Romans 6:9-14:
Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
(I not only identify with Christ’s death, but also His new life.)
9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. (If you are DEAD, then RESURRECTION is the proof of life.)
10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
(The wages of sin is death, Jesus died to sin, and now is alive to live for God.)
11 In the same way, (THIS GOES FOR YOU TOO!) count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore DO NOT let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey ITS evil desires. (It even makes good sense to not allow sin to HAVE THE UPPER HAND in your life.)
13 Do NOT OFFER the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and OFFER the parts of your body to him as instruments of RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Not in Adam any more, not dead in sin, but instead alive in Christ: It’s a life and death difference!)
14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Sin IS NO LONGER YOUR master if you are IN CHRIST, because know you’re under grace.)
Romans 6 tells us that IN CHRIST, we identify, not only with forgiveness of sin at the cross, but newness of life at the empty tomb. We live our lives for Him now because He has given us LIFE!
We ended last week, with verse 22: “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” There couldn’t be ANTHING BETTER for a dead person than to come back from death to life, to be set free from sin, to reap holiness which isn’t even your own but which has been planted in you by Christ, and you reap the benefits that result in eternal life. In a sense we are “BETTER THAN NEW” because without the abundant work of Christ in us, we are worse than dead: we are doomed to eternal judgment.
Two “I’s in Conflict
Then Paul writes this in Romans 7:
14 We know that the law (God’s Law) is spiritual (Pneumatikos); but I am unspiritual (flesh-sarkinos), sold as a slave to sin.
(Wait a minute! I’m confused! Chapter 6:22 just said I was a slave to God. Could this be the same person? It definitely is the same person! He’s saying: I was born in the flesh, was sold in the same way as a slave to sin in my flesh, I continue to exist here in the flesh. Now, If I’ve accepted Christ, I do have His new Spirit within me, but I am not entirely new Spirit.)
15 I DO NOT understand what I DO. (Why did you do that? I don’t know!) For what I want to DO, I DO NOT DO, but what I hate, I DO.