Summary: Paul clearly taught salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Such a teaching could easily raise two objections Paul addresses. And in doing so, he charts God’s agenda for holy living for the believer.
The Logic of Pursuing Godliness
1. It must be tough right now for to take the Census, with Covid and all.
2. I have a funny Jewish joke about this.
The census taker comes to the Goldman house.
“Does Louis Goldman live here?” he asks.
“No,” replies Goldman.
“Well, then, what is your name?”
“Wait a minute–didn’t you just tell me that Goldman doesn’t live here?”
“Aha,” says Goldman. “You call this living?”
3. People interpret words sometimes unfairly. Mr. Goldman knew what the census taker meant!
4. Paul’s teaching on salvation was treated unfairly, hearing only part of what he said. His enemies accused him of promoting lawlessness and saying we should sin all we want.
5. There is a sense that if you understand salvation by grace through faith, you will ask,
“Why not sin all the more, since heaven is a result of God’s grace through faith?”
Main Idea: Paul clearly taught salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Such a teaching could easily raise two objections Paul addresses. And in doing so, he charts God’s agenda for holy living for the believer.
I. Question One: Shouldn’t We Sin Freely So that God Can Be More Gracious by Forgiving Us MORE? (1-14)
A. Such thinking contradicts our BAPTISM (6:1-5).
1. Share my experience with baptism.
2. The only mode and time of baptism in Romans 6 that works in the text is believer’s baptism by immersion.
3. The symbol of baptism is put for what it symbolizes, one thing is repentance.1
4. I Peter 3:21, “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ...”
5. “Faith saves a person, but, in the early church, a person was recognized as having saving faith by his willingness to follow Christ in baptism. Baptism is not the point of regeneration; it is, instead, the formalization of conversion. Baptism is often used as a figure to include everything that led up to the point of immersion: regeneration, repentance, and faith.” EJV
6. John Stott writes, “To be sure, the New Testament speaks of baptism in terms of our washing away our sins… but these are examples of dynamic language which attributes to the visible sign the blessing of the reality signified. It is inconceivable that the apostle Paul, having spent three chapters arguing that justification is by faith alone, should now … contradict himself, and declare after all that salvation is by baptism. No, we must give the apostle credit for consistency of thought. ‘The baptized’s faith is, of course, taken for granted…not forgotten or denied…’”
B. Such thinking contradicts our identification with Jesus’ CRUCIFIXION (6:6).
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Why would we want to identify with the sinless Son of God and be careless about sin?
C. Such thinking denies we have been set FREE from sin’s slavery Romans (7-10).
D. The applications: we are to CONSIDER ourselves dead to sin (11-14)
1. Do not let sin reign (12).
2. Do not offer yourselves to sin, but offer yourselves to God (13-14).
E. Paul will build on this and will inform us that we need the SPIRIT’S help to do the above in chapter 8.
II. Question Two Is Pretty Much the Same Question: Since We Are Not Saved by Law-Keeping, Shouldn’t We VIOLATE the Law to Make the Point? (15-22)
A. We are a slave to SOMEBODY.
People who follow the crowd or a sub-crowd often view themselves as true individuals. Among those are those who believe they are independent thinkers. Amazing how alike the independent thinkers sound!
We are born a slave to the flesh, which is fortified by the world (society) and the devil.
At middle school age, we start becoming socially conscious, and it doesn’t stop, normally. The devout Christian is socially conscious, too, but more alert & selective.
B. When we accepted Christ as our MASTER (Lord), we became His slave.
C. When we became Jesus’ slave, we became FREE of our old master, sin.
D. Our new Master demands obedience from the HEART (17).
E. Who we serve REVEALS our destiny.
Like the law, our behavior and ethics reveal who we are.
III. Reaffirmation: Salvation is by Grace As a GIFT (6:23)
A. One of the most IMPORTANT verses for understanding salvation by grace alone.
B. The distinction between a GIFT and a WAGE is crucial.
C. Have you received the GIFT of God?
D. Are you living a life of SERVICE to our new Master?