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Jun 30, 2019

Originally Presented on May 13th, 2007

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:11-15

In Romans 6 we find the same structure and spiritual logic that Paul uses in his letters generally.  First we are presented with doctrine and then we have the application. The practical question he is addressing in Romans 6 is this:  Since we are justified by faith and not on the basis of what we do, isn't that notion an encouragement to sin?

In verses 3-10 of chapter 6 we have the doctrine of our status in Christ.  Because Christians are united with Him, a death of our 'old self' (Rom 6:6) has occurred.  Something within us died to sin with Christ.  Therefore, verse 11 says, we are to consider or reckon or think about that wondrous reality.

In verses 12-23 Paul reasons with us on the basis of our experience in living out the Christian life.  The exhortation to struggle against sin is in verses 12-15 and the practical reason to persevere in the struggle is in verses 16-23.

We sin with the 'members of our bodies' … eyes, tongue, ears, hands, feet, sexual organs.  So the exhortation of Romans 6:13 is very specific. "Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness . . ."

The logic rising out of verses 12 and 14, taken together, is very instructive and encouraging.  Verse 12 commands, "Do not let sin reign" and verse 14 instructs "Sin shall not be master over you."  For the Christian, the reality is that sin's reign has been  broken so sin will never be master over him again.  Therefore a Christian is called on to live in his freedom.  At the end of the Civil War in 1865 someone might have said to a black man in Alabama, "You have been emancipated.  You are no longer a slave. Begin to live like a free man!" The reality of liberty makes possible the change of life.