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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 6

Romans 6:1-7 (1)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
July 18, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

(234)

Thesis:How do we relate to the differences between our birth from Adam and our birth from Christ?

Introduction:We have concluded our studies in Romans 5:12-21. We have not plumbed the depths that are there. However, we have seen Paul's argument that we are just as genuinely "delivered by Christ" as we are "enslaved by Adam". One "problem" with the "genuineness" has primarily to do with the fact that we are "in the gestation period" of our "birth" unto Christ (pre-resurrection), while we are, simultaneously, in the post-birth period of our "birth" unto Adam. The net effect of this is that we are "fully functional" as Adam's offspring, but we are only "developmentally functional" as Christ's brethren. A second "problem" with the "genuineness" has primarily to do with the fact that, as Adam's offspring, we are fundamentally "living souls" (1 Corinthians 15:45) who are very much tied to "physical reality" so that we naturally determine "truth" based upon "physical" reality. As "in gestation" in respect to Christ, we are fundamentally recipients of a "life giving spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:46) who can only determine truth based upon "revelational" reality -- the Word of God. Much of the revelational reality is beyond physical reality so that we have to go beyond what we typically think of as "true" in order to get to the "truth". The biggest hurdle, at this point, is the fact that "in Adam" we simply naturally act according to what we received from Adam -- without effort or thought -- but "in Christ" we do not have that "natural, effortless, thoughtless" ability to act. To "act" out of our relationship "in Christ", we must deliberately think and act--oftentimes against our "natural" inclination. So, Paul established the "large boundaries" in Romans 5 -- our "natural" connection to Adam and our "supernatural" connection to Christ. And, in the establishment of those boundaries, he made the claim that the "foundations" of our "connections" are vastly superior in Christ than they are in Adam. Grace is vastly superior to the dominion of sin.

This evening we are going to begin a study of Romans 6. In this chapter -- as well as chapters 7 and 8 -- Paul begins to "flesh out" the issues that are involved in the "large boundaries". He claimed that grace is a powerful king who reigns in righteousness unto eternal life. But, there are problems in that "reign" in the current "gestational period". The superiority of grace does not easily appear in this present setting. Thus, it is mostly denied -- either by action or by word. Thus, beginning in Romans 6 Paul begins to "flesh out" the issues that are bound up in God's gracious actions on our behalf. The first of those issues has to do with the same question, asked twice in 6:1 and 6:15: Shall we continue in sin?


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