by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3 August 14, 2016 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(025)Thesis: Because grace has been installed as the foundational principle of God's treatment of believers, they will never be subject to the "lordship" of "sin".
Introduction:Romans 6 is Paul's explanation of how life is to be lived in response to "grace". At the end of chapter five Paul claimed that where sin abounded, grace super-abounded so that the former reality of "The Sin" being able to rule as a king has been thwarted by "grace". This raised a most fundamental question: how should believers view the super-abounding grace? Should they simply go on about living as they did and let "grace" super-abound? Paul's answer to that was an emphatic "No" because a set of very basic realities have been put into place by this super-abounding grace so that life is to now be lived on a totally new basis. We have been totally identified with Christ in all that He accomplished in regard to life and "The Sin" and that means that we are to now actively pursue life as the outworking of having been made alive to God both by faith in a promise and by faith in His Spirit within us.
Now, as we come to the middle of the chapter, we find that Paul makes another firm declaration that also raises a very similar question. The declaration is that "Sin" "shall not function as lord over believers". The question this raises is, again, a question of how we are to relate to the reality of "Sin": are we to simply hold on to the fact that we are delivered from "law" so it does not matter whether we do sinful things or not? This is where we are headed in our thinking.
I. The Promise.
A. The difference between "Sin" and "The Sin" is significant.
1. As a basic principle of operation, "The Sin" refers specifically to Adam's choice in the garden that resulted in both "the fear of death" and "the dominance of the spirit which works in the sons of his disbelief".
2. As a basic principle of operation, "Sin" refers to the consequent fact of Adam's choice in that there is now no such thing as human perfection in either motive or action.
B. The tense of the verb [future] is also significant.
1. Because Paul used the future indicative, he was not writing of what "should" be, but what "would" be (in English there is no distinction between the future and the subjunctive).
2. In respect to the "future" Paul had both the immediate and the ultimate in mind.
a. God does not employ "law" in His present dealings with His people (the immediate future).
b. Nor will He employ "law" in His ultimate "judgment" of His people (the ultimate future).
C. The current confusion.
1. Many assume that this "promise" is that, in some way, "Sin" will not dominate our souls in such a way as to produce "sins".
a. But this misunderstanding is directly contrary to both reality and the context.
1) The reality is that many "sins" are produced every day by "believers" even when they are fundamentally obedient to Paul's exhortation to "present yourselves to God and your members as instruments of righteousness".
2) The context directly states that "believers" can yet "sin" (6:15).
3) The context directly states that any "presentation" to "Sin" results in bondage (6:16).
b. And this misunderstanding is rooted in failing to understand the difference between a "king" and a "lord".
2. The truth of the declaration is that "Sin" will never be able to bring us under the condemnation of Justice; it has only a subsequent impact upon the production of "sins".
a. "Sins" arise out of failures to trust in the specific promises of God in view of the specific areas of weakness that exist in human beings.
b. To the degree that one genuinely understands both the fact, and the implications, of God's firm commitment to never condemn any who belong to Him, to that degree "sins" are nipped in the bud.
II. The Rationale.
A. Those who have "believed" are no longer "under law".
1. According to Paul, "law" is the ultimate basis for "judgment" and the immediate cause of all "sin" that will make that "judgment" condemnatory.
2. For a person to be removed from "law" is to be removed from both the cause and the consequence of "sin".
B. There has been an emphatic change created by "grace" so that "believers" are now "under grace".
1. "Grace" is an extensive doctrine of divine provision of required issues for those who are incapable of meeting those issues.
a. The major expression of "grace" was the Cross and God's willingness to place people "in Christ" so that they have already "died to sin" and been made alive to God.
b. The second major expression of "grace" was Pentecost and God's willingness to place His Spirit in His people so that they have a new, and more powerful, "Spirit" inhabiting their bodies to address the heart/mind issues involved in the production of "sins" and "acts of righteousness".
2. Thus, to be "under grace" means that what God will be looking for in both the immediate and ultimate future is the "faith" that He insisted upon as the basis for His provision(s) to "kick in".
a. Under grace, God is not looking for human perfection in motive or behavior; He is looking for what His Spirit did in and through those who simply "believed" Him in the processes of living.
b. For this cause, the only real issues between God and His people are "faith" issues: we either "trust" or "try to do things ourselves".