Jun 23, 2019
Originally Presented on May 6th, 2007
Scripture Reading: Romans 6:5-11
In Romans 6 Paul is answering the concern someone might have about justification by faith, namely that it might actually encourage people to sin. In Romans 6:3-11, Paul gives the theological reason why justification by faith does not encourage sin and in 6:12-23 he gives the practical reason why this doctrine does not encourage sin.
The theological reason why justification by faith is not an encouragement to sin is the reality of what has happened in the heart of a Christian. At the deepest level of a man who has been born again, something has been changed by God's Spirit. This change rests on what is now a union with Christ. Look carefully at the phrases used in this passage: "we have been buried with Him" (v 4) . . . "we have become united with Him" (v 5) . . . "our old self was crucified with Him" (v 6) . . . "we have died with Christ" (v 8).
By virtue of our being united with Christ, something within us has died and is gone. NASB translates "our old self" in verse 6. King James has "our old man." Before becoming a Christian, there was a person we used to be which is now gone forever. Whereas before I was 'in Adam', now I am 'in Christ'. That transformation changes everything. I now have the position of being 'in Christ'. That is the theology of conversion.
Paul's reason for mentioning this is found in verse 11. "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." One avenue toward a pursuit of holiness is to contemplate what I actually am in Christ Jesus. It is in the understanding of my status in Christ that I am drawn toward His righteousness.