Grace is King through Christ: When the Body Lines Up with the Faith

When the Body Lines up with The Faith


Romans 4:1-3 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Last week we visited the Old Testament character Abraham with the view of justification on the forefront of our minds. Once again, justification is that declaration of righteousness spoken over a person's life in response to their belief/ faith. With regards to Abraham, the Bible says that he believed God, resulting in God placing into his "account" righteousness ... Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
And based upon his new standing of righteousness with God because of his belief/ faith, God justified or declared him as righteous: Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that the object of Abraham's faith was the promised seed that would come and the sacrifice he would offer. This is why Paul says: 1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Because Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the long awaited fulfillment of the promised New Covenant, at least that's what Jesus said: 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:this is my body, which is broken for you:this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood:this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
The word testament here is diatheke and means contract, arrangement, or covenant. What we must understand is that God has made an arrangement with man. In this arrangement, God is willing to meet man on these terms. The terms were first laid out in the Old Covenant through the symbolism of Israel's wanderings, tabernacle, sacrifices, and festivals just to name a few, but all those types and shadows have found their fulfillment in Jesus and His sacrifice upon the cross.
Ultimately, the arrangement allows man, in his fallen state, to have his sin dealt with at the cross on Jesus. This is God's way, this is God's plan, and He will never, ever meet man any other way. Once the man, woman, or child is willing to humble themselves by recognizing their sin (failure) towards God and repent (willingness to believe God and His way and willingness to turn from our own way), then God will see our circumstance fresh and anew; for a transaction has transpired where our guilt was laid upon the savior, and in return, we were clothed with His righteousness (Galatians 3:27).
Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We touched on this two classes ago, when we discussed the root of this word for reckon in the Greek logizomai, which is a mathematical term ultimately meaning to think upon; furthermore, it's factual in nature. For instance, when you do the math of your checkbook, you arrive at a factual conclusion. From there, a person is supposed to live their lives, financially, according to that truth.
In reference to this passage, the math says that Jesus' work was accomplished, our faith in Him caused a spiritual miracle to transform the inside of our hearts, and if we'll live our lives in this faith, we will not only go to heaven, but we will also have victory over the power of sin because Jesus has power over all principalities and powers, and our faith in Him and His finished work, empowers us with grace.
Before moving forward, an extremely important biblical concept called identification must be dealt with here. Typically, when we consider Jesus' sacrifice, we think of the substitutionary work of our Lord. In other words, we contemplate how He died in our stead; however, identification is the contemplation where one sees, more importantly, believes the gospel by identifying his "old man" on the cross and in the tomb, and his "new man" resurrected in Christ.
The believer void of this truth cannot perpetually walk in the forgiveness of God, because he sees his identity connected to his past instead of the cross of the Christ.
Last week we took the time to review the scriptures regarding Abraham's faith; we proved from the text that even though Abraham existed 2,000 years before Jesus was ever born, his faith was in the seed (Jesus) and the sacrifice (cross); therefore, his faith was in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The result of Abraham's and David's (we weren't able to cover his) proper faith was: v3 counted, v4 reckoned, v5 counted, v6 imputeth, v7 impute, all these words being translated from the Greek word Logizomai, which as pointed out is the word used in: Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The points to be made are: (1) the word is based upon facts not feelings; (2) the word means to think upon; (3) in Romans four, the words translated for Logizomai all refer to God thinking upon a man as righteous because of his faith in Christ and His sacrifice; (4) in verse 11, the believer is being instructed to think about himself what God thinks about him.
What does God think about the believer who has placed and keeps his faith in the eternal plan of God, which was foreordained before the foundations of the earth (1 Peter 1:18)? He thinks upon that man, woman, or child as righteous-- period!
Therefore, proper faith will result in the believer "faithing" (a walk of persistent believing) the same thing, "I'm righteous because I'm clothed with the righteous one. This is my identity. The past is gone. The new has come, and the 'new man,'in Christ isn't guilty !"
Romans 6:11-14
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you:for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Through the previous teachings we have learned that God has only had one plan-- the giving of His Son for the forgiveness of sin. Man's response to God's plan through faith results in righteousness, or a position of right standing before God. In this new position of righteousness, God sees the believer this way, in God's eyes, the guilty has been made righteous through the sacrificial payment of the righteous one (Jesus). Through this transaction, Jesus bore man's sin, and the "faithing" man received His (Jesus') righteousness, resulting in God's justice being satisfied "In the day you eat thereof surely you will die."
Because the "faithing" man woman or child is now seen as righteous because God's justice has been satisfied in that individuals life because they have responded through faith obedience to God's plan, God sees them, thinks upon them, and declares them as JUSTIFIED/ RIGHTEOUS!!
Now, in verse 11 of this Romans passage, we see this word we previously discussed again. Covering Romans four, we pointed out all the various English words, which had as their root Logizomai, meaning to think upon based upon the facts. The context of all those occurrences, once again, was that God was thinking upon the sinner as righteous because of their faith obedience in the obedient work (cross) of the righteous one. God says your RIGHTEOUS!!-- if you're in Christ!
Now, in verse 11, the word is telling all those righteous believers to start believing the same thing about themselves. In chapter four God says, "Righteous;" now, in verse 11, God says start believing what I believe about you based upon My Word instead of believing what your enemy says about you based upon your behavior or performance.
It must be understood that proper faith will produce proper Christian performance. When a believer understands that they're righteousness is a gift given by God in response to faith in the finished work of Jesus, there is now unfettered access into the presence of God, producing the desire for holy living, producing the power for holy living, producing the desire for Christian duty (if you don't like that one you better check yourself at the Christian door), producing a flow of grace, an "infusion" of the Holy Spirit for persistent and consistent Christian service.
That's the next part of the last verse we were reviewing: ... Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God...
When the word "therefore" is used in the text, it's drawing the reader back to what was previously spoken. In this case the context, reaches back to:
Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The context here reaches back to the personification of sin vs. grace, which one is reigning as king on the hearts of individuals?
Now, that we've been told we were born again from the dead, and that sin's power was broken through the cross, we are charged to not let sin reign as a king in our members or body parts. In other words, we've been told that God sees the believer as righteous. We've been told that God expects us to see ourselves hidden in the righteous of Christ; and now we're being told to quit letting sin reign in our lives to the point where it affects our "members" or body parts.
In other words, quit letting your eyes cause you to sin; quit letting your feet carry you places you shouldn't go; quit letting your hands put things in your mouth, and we'll just stop there. Sin's power was broken, so start living like it. Quit being used as an instrument of unrighteousness; and instead, allow God to use your body parts as instruments of righteousness.
The word instruments in the Greek literally means: instruments of warfare. In essence, when we allow sin to reign as a king upon our hearts and manifest itself through our body parts, we are acting as weapons for the kingdom of darkness instead of being used as weapons for the kingdom of light.
Paul reiterates the reason why: For sin shall not have dominion over you:for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
The words "dominion over" here are translated from Kyreiuo which is from the same root as kyrios; the word used of Jesus when He is referred to as Lord, so in this passage, we are told that we know longer having to allow sin to reign as a king in our lives, because sin is not our Lord! Hallelujah! Jesus is our Lord! He translated us from the kingdom of darkness, where the Law had us bound because we were guilty, to the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13), where grace is king in our lives.


Grace is King through Christ: The Object of Abraham's Faith

The Object of Abraham’s Faith


Genesis 15  After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
God spoke to Abraham, and gave Him a word in a vision. It must be remembered that when God first spoke to Abraham, there was no nation of people that served Him. Abraham was born and raised in a home of pagans who worshiped false gods, just like many of us who thought we had been told the truth but we were actually brought in under deception. The context of the word has the thought of answers. In other words, it’s as though God is giving Abraham answers to questions. Undoubtedly, Abraham had questions. God had called him to be a mighty nation and to this point nothing had happened as he would have expected.
God tells Abraham to fear not. In this sense, the word doesn't appear to be speaking of reverence; rather, it speaks of unhealthy fear, probably related to what God has asked of Abraham. The emotion of fear often accompanies the words God gives His people. There is a natural tendency to internalize and take upon self the burden of accomplishment. Instead of looking to the God who gave the word of instruction as the source of accomplishment also, we often attempt to take the reins and accomplish it ourselves. This type of approach will always lead to fears and anxiety because we will realize, that in our own abilities, we are faced with an insurmountable task, wondering, how I will ever accomplish what God wants from me.
The reason that Abraham doesn't need to be fearful is that God is his shield. The shield in this case is known as a buckler. In other words, God is Abraham’s protection in the battle. You and I are in a war also Christian. We have already discussed this concept in detail, but true Christianity understands that there is an enemy of God, and God’s plan, he (Satan) is the accuser, the opposer, and his desire is to exalt himself above all that is God. This is what we are in war against.


But just as in Abraham’s case, God is our shield and our reward. Typically, this type of shield was a small one, in some cases, made out of crocodile hide. These shields were small because they were utilized in the midst of hand to hand combat.
God wants Abraham to know that there's no need for fear because God is his protection in the midst of battle. Furthermore, God is also his reward. This is descriptive of payment. With this said, God is the protection, sustenance (provision), and ultimately the reward, when we endeavor to accomplish, in God’s strength, what He has asked us to do.
What an honor! Abraham your reward is me (God), your payment for your work is me (God). The idea is a wage or payment. You want me in your life; concern yourself with what I'm concerned with. You want me in your life be about my business.
And Abraham's business was directly related to the birthing of Messiah, directly related to the plan of salvation. Stay faithful child of God. Stay faithful to God and His plan, and concern yourself with His business-- the adding of souls to the eternal family. If you do this, there will be a reward. The reward will be Him.
Genesis 15:2
And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

It's as though Abraham is saying, "I know you showed up in my life out of nowhere. When I was lost like everyone else, walking in darkness, and worshiping false gods, you-- a God that was alive, a God that wasn't made of clay or wood, formed or fashioned by the hands of men, but a God who's alive; You, revealed yourself to me. I heard your voice, and I know what you've asked of me, and now you're coming to me you're my protection and my reward, but the very thing I need from you, I haven't received. Your promise to me requires offspring, and I have none.
Genesis 15:3
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed:and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

And so Abraham, like so many believers, attempts to strategize or accomplish in his own strength the plan of God for his life.
His plan is to use his servant Eliezer as his heir. To be truthful, nearly all Christians face these types of trials in their everyday walks with God. We are so prone to get ahead of and out of God's will. Many times, in our personal lives, we make decisions about relationships without regards for God's will. We act like we are in God’s will. We say things like, "God wants me happy. He wants me to have a relationship that will make me happy."
No! God wants you to focus on Him. He wants you to want Him to be your fulfillment. Get that right Christian. Get that right and maybe you'll see your desires come to pass, but stop living a lie and acting like you’re in God's will when everything you're running after is moving you further away from God.
Abraham was trying to help God with his plan, but Abraham's job wasn't to bring the plan to pass through manipulation, logic, and maneuvering. No! Abraham's job was supposed to be believing God's word for the promise to come to pass.
Many times, this is where we go wrong. We are so consumed with what we call the promises of God that are directed towards our "felt needs," we put what God wants on the back burner. You go on and live your life that way. You go on and live a self- seeking life on this side, in this physical world, but don't be surprised when you get to eternity and your eternal reward is based on what you went after here don't be surprised, because that's what you wanted.
God said, "I'm your reward Abraham." Is that the reward you're looking for Christian-- that in the end you've gained God, you've gained His eternal presence?
Genesis 15:4
And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

God's promise was that the seed would come forth from Abraham. Already, in this process, Abraham is trying to compromise God’s word and figure out a way to make things happen another way. Ultimately, Abraham will go his own way, and in his flesh, produce offspring in his own strength. Abraham's choices produced a child of the flesh named Ishmael. The Ishmaelites were a wandering people who ultimately fell prey to the lying religion of Islam. We are still dealing with Abraham's decisions today. With this in mind, the current Christian should be made aware that fleshly attempts to produce God’s will, result in repercussions. You can try to cover them up all you want to, but God and you know the strife and chaos produced by those decisions. There is only one way to stop the fruit of those decisions: repent (turn) and seek God moving forward.
Genesis 15:5-6
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them:and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

You see the Lord's promises to Abraham were greater than his flesh could ever produce that's why God needed Abraham to believe Him at His word.
The stars of the skies speak of a multitude much greater than just the nation of Israel. Instead, God's promise to Abraham was that through him a nation would be brought forth, and that through that nation, Messiah would be brought forth, and through the followers of God, both offspring through Abraham's Israel and Messiah's church, the seed would be more numerous than the stars in the sky, the eternal family of God would be more numerous than the natural mind could perceive.
Even though Abraham would struggle moving forward, he believed God regarding the plan of salvation to the extent that he understood it. The result of Abraham's faith was that God called him righteous.
God wants to call you righteous. He wants to call me righteous. The question that must be asked is will we believe God regarding His plan for salvation? Or will we attempt, in our own strength and logic, to make it through?
Moving forward from this point I would like to show you how much of God's plan Abraham understood.
Galatians 3:8-9
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee
(seed) shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham
The word scripture is graphe, where we get our word graphic, meaning writings. This passage is speaking of the writings of God, so what is being said is that the writings of God are preaching the gospel. To be truthful, before the words of God were written, they were spoken, with God's intent that they would be written, even engraved, within this physical world for man to behold with his eyes.
The scripture of God is His communication to a lost and dying world. As we move closer to the end, there will be more movement away from believing the word of God as inspired, and more movement towards trusting science and the logic of man to fix the ills of humanity, but God says His writings preach the gospel.
The word gospel means "good news." We have already established the bad news in recent, prior classes. We discussed the fall of man and his separation from the presence of God.
 But the scriptures contain within them the word of hope from God, the hope that God has a plan, a plan which contains good news. The good news is that while man is separated because of his sin, God's plan will bring restoration again. God spoke the scriptures in advance, showing that the way to salvation would come through Abraham; the specific thought being justification, that legal declaration given by God, which speaks a verdict of righteousness over a man’s life because of faith exhibited in the promised one.
The justification spoken of specifically in this passage is for the heathen. Who is Paul talking about when he says heathen? The word is ethnos. Ethnos is where we get our word ethnicity, which categorizes people according to cultural groups. Interestingly, the two people groups being juxtaposed are the Jews, God’s people created in Abraham, a nation whose borders were delineated by God’s promises and their circumcision, long before those borders were ever delineated by geographical boundaries such as rivers, ridges, or ravines. With this in mind, God is delineating the heathen as that ethnos or people group who are not His, essentially, speaking of those pagan nations who neither believed in Him nor worshiped Him.


Abraham was called out of the world, and through him a nation called Israel was created. From that nation, the world was given Jesus, and through the name of Jesus, men are saved, made righteous-- justified: Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
God's promise to Abraham and the essence of the gospel is that through what God would bring forth from Abraham, the world would be blessed. When God spoke this word to Abraham, regarding His eternal plan, Abraham believed God (the action required for faith), his faith resulted in righteousness being placed into his (Abraham’s) account. Now, thousands of years later, when heathen or Jews for that matter, place their faith in the eternal plan of God, they are blessed along with faithful Abraham, because they also, receive the pronouncement of justified over their lives.
Galatians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

So the promise given to Abraham regarding the blessing of the nations through his (Abraham's seed) was not the nation of Israel itself; rather, it was the seed brought forth from that nation, and that seed was Christ.
But how do we propose that 2000 years before Jesus was ever born Abraham would have been able to know about Jesus, in order to place his faith in Him for righteousness, resulting in justification?
Undoubtedly, we will have to look, but be assured, this is what God preached in advance to Abraham-- Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
John 8:56-59
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day:and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him:but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

There is so much in these verses to unpack, but we need to stay focused, so I will only briefly mention a sideline thought. Jesus tells the Pharisees two incredible concepts (1) Abraham saw the day of Jesus, and his vision resulted in jumping joy (2) Jesus says that He was before Abraham. More specifically, He says before Abraham was "I Am." Now, where have you heard that wording before? Jesus was referring to Himself as God here, specifically, as the voice from the burning bush. For anyone, specifically, a Jehovah's Witness who wouldn't believe that's what's being said, look at how the people He was talking to responded, they picked up stones to kill Him.
But our focus must remain centered upon Abraham's visualization of the day of Jesus, which is undoubtedly connected to God's promises to him and his son Isaac, which produced Israel and gave Messiah to a lost and dying world.
Genesis 22:2
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

How beautiful is the plan of God? We see in God's command to Abraham thousands of years before Jesus the same terminology God would say about His own Son, "Take your son, your only son."
Genesis 22:6
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together
And here we see a picture of the cross because the wood was laid upon the back of the son, just as the cross was laid upon the back of God’s only Son. 
Genesis 22:7-14
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham:and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him:for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram
(a substitute sacrifice offered instead of Isaac) caught in a thicket by his horns:and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh:(the Lord our provider) as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.


Grace is King through Christ: Crucified with Christ

Grace is King through Christ

Romans 5:1,2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Last week we discussed the comparison and contrast between the words justified and righteousness.
δικαιοω = Justified
δικαιοσυνη = Righteousness
I discussed the corresponding Greek words to compare the closeness of the meanings of the words.
The difference between them lies in the fact that one represents a position or standing before God while the other represents God's declaration or proclamation of that position or standing. Therefore, righteousness represents a person's right standing in God's presence, we will discuss this more thoroughly in a moment, and justification represents God's declaration of that person's righteousness.
As we further investigated the concept of righteousness, we discovered that the word gift was used 5 times in Romans 5:15-17; ultimately, the gift that was spoken of was righteousness given by God unto man:...
Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Another crucial point was also made through this passage. God's righteousness is Jesus, and man's righteousness…

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing,and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Notice the Isaiah passage for righteousness; it is actually plural representing acts of righteousness. It's absolutely imperative that Christian's understand that God's declaration of righteousness over the believer's life is based upon the transaction that took place at the cross, where Jesus took our guilt, and we were clothed with His righteousness (Galatians 3:27).
Ultimately, true righteousness will produce true acts of righteousness, but the man or woman attempting right standing with God through their righteousness is actually seen as filthy in God's eyes.
Ultimately, through our faith, in His blood,…

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him, we are declared righteous, which gives us access to grace, which empowers us to stand against evil through God's power (Romans 5:1,2).
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Another concept we discussed regarding grace is the fact that there wasn't enough sin to exhaust God's grace. I qualify that in a moment, but first, I want to point out what I believe to be important.
The above scripture speaks about the fact that God's Law caused sin to increase. It should be understood that God's Law's represent boundaries that aren't to be transgressed, and when they are, sin is increased. In actuality, it could be said that sin's existence and the entirety of Satan's kingdom was built upon the transgression of God's Law:
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
This act of disobedience resulted in an atmospheric shift, where Satan became the prince of this world and man became enslaved to the bondage of sin; sin is a power "in the air," and Satan has power over his kingdom of death. There was quite some time; we aren't sure how long, where there was no Law of God (speaking of the 10 commandments and overall instruction to Israel).
However, as the passage says, "...the law entered, that the offence might abound..." In actuality, the Law gives power to sin, 1 Corinthians 15:56-- The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
How does the Law give strength to sin?
The Law identifies the boundaries of God; however, man, especially in his fallen state, is incapable of keeping God's Law; therefore, boundaries are crossed, and sin is increased/ strengthened. But, "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"
Ultimately, this process is meant to bring humanity to the place where they realize their righteousness is incapable of making them right, and only God's righteousness will work.
Depending upon how a Christian chooses to live his life, will determine which power will reign over him,…

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
We ended by discussing the concept of personification- the ascribing of human like characteristics to inanimate objects. In this passage sin and grace are seen as monarchs or kings ruling (reigning) over the citizens of their kingdoms.


The Problem

Whenever we discuss God's Word, we typically refer to it as the Gospel. The word Gospel literally means good news however it is important for us to remember that while things started right between man and God in the garden that quickly changed.

Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

So with these 3 passages of scripture is revealed all the heartache that man has ever experienced. All the addiction...all the abuse sexual, physical and verbal...all the broken homes...all the anger and hate are the result of the fall of Adam. All this heartache and pain is the result of this choice, and a choice remains today...whom will you serve? From whose tree will you take and eat your fruit?

There are people who legitimately want to do right in life, but they cannot find the strength to overcome the sinful lives that they have always been connected to. There are people in this institution...maybe even in this class today who have tried to live for Jesus on the outside. You went to church, you prayed, you wanted to do right, but sin was more powerful than your will. And now you look back and ask, “Why? Why did I do that...whatever that is. Why could I not have just said no?"

It is important that we uncover the reason behind this mystery. For thousands of years, the Devil has been destroying human lives. For thousands of years, the Devil has been destroying Christian lives. If we do not unlock the truth from the scriptures on why this happens, then we could very well become one of his statistics.

We have to understand how sin works, but more importantly we have to understand how God deals with the sin problem. So let's take a look at the Romans 5:12 verse again. This time we will review it through the Young's Literal Translation:

Romans 5:12 because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin;

There is a crucial point that must be made early on in the study of the book of Romans...especially Romans Ch. 6. The point I speak of is the concept of sin as a noun rather than a verb. In the previous verse, I highlighted two portions of the scripture because I wanted to make a couple of points:

  (1). "the sin" The use of "the" means something specific. In the Greek language, there is something called the definite article. In English, the definite article would be translated as "The". The Definite article is used with nouns and to describe specificity. In other words, in the Greek language the word sin right here and 16 more times starting in Romans 5:20 through all of chapter 6 is a noun in the Greek language, and it is speaking of the entity or power of sin, which came into the human race through the one man Adam. However, the source was ultimately  from "The Evil One".

  (2) for that all did sin(YLT); for that all have sinned:(KJV). I used both the YLT and the KJV here. But the point I wanted to make is that in this part of the passage, the word sin is being used as a verb rather than a noun.

For quite some time, we have been caught up in sin as a verb. In other words, we have focused on what people do in their lives wrong. Now, listen to me carefully our behavior as Christians is of great significance. Truthfully, the way we act is the fruit of our lives or what we are producing in our Christianity. However, I don't know about you, but there have been times that I have wanted to make the right decisions...even as a Christian, but have found what I wanted to do was not what I ended up doing. Instead, what I did not want to do is what I ended up doing (Romans 7:19). If you are thinking to yourself…man you are talking about me. Don’t be disheartened because the great Apostle Paul experienced the same thing that most Christians are struggling with today. The plan today is to dig into what God revealed to him through the Spirit about victory.

Once again, I do not want to be misunderstood here. The fruit we produce is a direct reflection on the God we serve. But if we want to produce the right fruit, we have to have the right root. Therefore, when we consider the idea of sin as a noun versus a verb, the idea could be that sin as a noun is the root...and sin as a verb is the fruit.

With that concept established let's re-consider the 3 verses we read in the beginning.

  (1) In the first verse, we are told that man was originally created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).  And John tells us: 1 John 1:5...that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. So when man was originally created, he was without sin.

  (2) But then, through the fall, he took sin into himself (Genesis 3:6).

  (3) But it's even worse because all of humanity has come forth from the loins of Adam (Romans 5:12). In other words, besides Jesus, every human being that has walked upon the face of this earth was born of Adam. Furthermore, through this natural birth, we received an infected DNA...if you will. We were born the first time into sin. And through that birth and our association with Adam, we are born with a sinful nature...the noun of sin...the root of sin...the power of sin, which drives humanity to commit acts of sin.

Sin reigns as king

Romans 5:20-21 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The first part that I highlighted in this passage did is not the focus of the point I am trying to get across, but as I was writing the notes, I felt as though the Lord wanted me to explain this part of the passage. It says where sin abounded grace did much more abound. At first glance the idea could just simply be said that there is more grace than there is sin, but I studied behind a Greek scholar who explained that the idea was somewhat analogous to the sun and the earth.

The analogy flows this way. The sun generates its energy, which is cast towards the earth. However, the swath or area of energy produced by the sun is much greater than what the earth utilizes. As a matter of fact, the majority of the sun's energy moves past the earth and is lost in outer space. There is not enough earth to exhaust the energy of the sun. And God wants me to tell you today that there is not enough sin to exhaust the grace that Jesus purchased through the shedding of His precious blood. The Devil has spent all his time trying to convince you that you sinned too bad to be forgiven, but God says there is not enough sin, nor is there any particular sin bad enough to exhaust my grace. God wants you to know that if you are in Christ, you are forgiven!

Back to the study…what I wanted us to focus on from this passage is the comparison and contrast of sin and grace reigning in the life of people. We have already spent a large amount of time discussing sin as a noun vs. a verb. Now, we need to understand that sin as a noun is actually being personified in this verse.

Personification- A literary technique that ascribes human qualities or characteristics to inanimate things.

So sin is given life in this passage and is described as "reigning" through death.

Reign- in the Greek means: king: to exercise kingly authority: to reign.

So sin, in the life of the unbeliever, is ruling and reigning as a king upon the throne of the individual's heart. But "in Christ" there is a transformation that takes place, which frees the person from the power of the sinful nature. In reality, one could say that through faith in the covenant that God provided, there is a change of citizenship. Actually, Colossians says:

Colossians 1:13-14 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

In Christ, we have been translated into a new sphere, environment, or kingdom... a new neighborhood...if you will permit to explain it that way. In this new environment that we are to live, grace...not sin reigns as king. Instead, of the power of sin having dominion over a person's life and causing them to partake in an ungodly lifestyle, the power of God, through the dispensing of grace gives supernatural strength to the believer to walk in victory over the forces of evil. If you attempt, when you leave this place to live for God and combat evil through your will, you will fail. However, if you learn who the Bible says you are in Christ, and you learn how the power of God operates in the lives of Christians, you will live victorious over the forces of evil. You will be light in the midst of darkness. You will be a soldier for the Kingdom of God. Whereas, before you were used as a pawn of Satan to wreak havoc and destruction in the lives of others, you will now be used by the creator of the universe to proclaim the Gospel message.

Before we move forward to the next section, there is one more definition that we must familiarize ourselves with.

Grace- a divine influence on the heart and it's reflection in the life.

This definition has had an enormous impact on my walk with God. One morning, as I was studying the scriptures, I looked up the definition to grace in the Strong's Greek Concordance and this is what my eyes beheld. Previous to this morning, my only understanding of the word grace was that it was God's unmerited favor. Let me be clear: grace is also God's unmerited favor. In other words, a person cannot earn grace through any meritorious work on his own part rather grace has been purchased for humanity through the shedding of the precious blood of Jesus.

However, the definition of grace in the Greek carries with it the connotation of power. To be exact, it carries with it the connotation of supernatural power that performs an inside miracle. Grace changes the inside of man. An internal transformation takes place in the person that is “In Christ”. Look at the definition again...the influence is divine- that means it is from God. Secondly, the divine influence works on the heart of man...the supernatural work of God is changing the spirit and soul of the believer- the inner man. The heart, in this case, does not describe the muscle in our chest that pumps our blood. Instead, it is speaking of our spiritual person who is now connected to God through salvation. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of this very thing 500 years before Jesus ever came:

Ezekiel 36:25-27 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The solution

So we have discussed the problem of sin rather extensively. We have established the fact that sin must be viewed as more than just a verb. In other words, there is a principle of sin or power behind sin that is the driving force from evil that compels humanity to sin against God. Sin has power behind it. And in the life of the believer, we must ask ourselves, “Why is this person, if he is a Christian, still in the grip of sin?" Now, I need to make sure we are on the same page here…I am not teaching sinless perfection. Jesus alone lived and died without spot or blemish. But what I am saying…and will not shrink back from is that living our Christian lives in chronic failure is not normal Christianity. Now, when we ask the question again, “Why are some believers still living in the grip of sin…living under chronic sin…unable to get out of the grip of its claws?”  To be truthful in some cases people are not truly saved. In other cases, the people love God; however, they ignore God's conviction about their lifestyles and their conscience becomes seared. However, most of the time believers simply do not understand how sin or victory works in God’s Kingdom- I say this from experience. But the plan today is to dig deep and reveal God's solution to the problem of sin.

Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in [the] sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The first part of the passage is referring back to what we previously spoke of regarding the fact that there is an over abundant supply of grace to deal with the amount of sin that exists.

Paul was often accused by his opposition [the circumcision/ Judaizers] of teaching that it was alright to sin because there was an overabundance of grace available to sinners. They were misinterpreting what Paul was saying. Therefore, Paul had a habit of addressing their confusion by asking and answering questions like this in the letter before the problem ever arose.

So the idea is not...shall we continue to commit acts of sin so that God's grace will be there to forgive us. Instead, the idea is...should we continue on in this relationship with the sinful nature...where we allow sin to rule, reign, and dominate our lives? It is almost as if you could imagine yourself on the couch hanging out with sin. You’re in a relationship with "him". Your surfing through the channels, and "he" tells you where to go...what to put your eyes upon...what to allow into your mind...what you should  allow to influence your actions, and you obey "him" because you are still residing in "his" kingdom. Now, you have to remember that Paul is asking this question to believers. And the answer he offers to the question is this: 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

I want you to understand that for the majority of the rest of this teaching, we will be discussing the process on how it is that a person is dead to sin. This is absolutely crucial to the believer's victory. Paul says that we are dead to [the] why would we continue to live in relationship with [the] sin? One answer to this mystery is that many times people (Christians) simply do not understand what it is that Paul is speaking of here.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

The first aspect of this passage that I want to discuss has to do with what I just stated...many people just do not know. The word Know used by Paul here agnoeo in the Greek. This word, in the Greek language has a 2 part meaning:


  (1) Ignorant

  (2) Disinclination

From the ignorant perspective, Paul would be addressing the church at Rome in this way, “Did you not know...hasn't anyone taken the time to explain these truths to you...are you ignorant of how your relationship with the power of sin was severed? Or are you disinclined ? The idea of the word disinclined- describes a person who is lacking interest or unwilling to travel in a certain direction.

So the question that begs to be asked is, which one are you? If you are a Christian who has struggled in the past with an inability to walk in victory over the power of sin, is it because you did not understand how to walk in victory, or is it because you refuse to go God's way?

Usually, with the disinclined part, there is more information that must be added to the story before a person can determine whether or not they are disinclined to go the way Paul is explaining. In a moment, we will break down exactly what he is saying the path way to victory is.

 However, let me use myself as an example of a Christian who struggled for quite some time with the power of sin. At this time of my life, I was ignorant of how to walk properly with God even though I had been a Christian for 12 years. I had been taught for several years that the process of victory over sin had to do with my performance...or my doing of things. In other words, if I was struggling with lust in my mind or a desire to drink, then the answer to my problem was that I was not spending enough time in prayer or I was not going to enough church services per week. Let me be clear, I believe very strongly in the importance of prayer, church attendance, and the study of the Word. And all those disciplines should lead me to the right path. They should lead me to putting my faith in the right object for victory over the power of sin. But I must it how much Bible I read that makes me right in the eyes of God? Is it how much church I attend that makes me right in the eyes of God? Is it how much I pray that makes me right in the eyes of God? The answer is unequivocally- No!

My right standing in the presence of God has been given to me based upon faith. Now, the next question that must be answered in what? The book of Romans also teaches us a concept called Justification by faith. In Romans 4:1-5, Paul asks the question about how Abraham found himself in right standing with God. The result of that part of the letter and the example of David, which follows explains that in both cases righteousness or justification or a lack of guilt...however you prefer to view it was spoken over these men's lives in relation to their faith.

Unfortunately, we do not have time to teach this here today, but I will send you on a treasure hunt...look up the following passages in regards to Abraham>>Galatians 3:8, John 8:56>>Genesis 22. Consider the progression...God knew that He would justify [declare righteous] the Gentiles by faith. Therefore, He preached the Gospel in advance to Abraham. Not only did He preach it...but He gave Abraham an illustration. According to John 8:58, Jesus said that Abraham could see Jesus’ day. The result of his ability to spiritually see was that he "rejoiced" this word in the Greek describes a person that is full of excitement and emotion. When do you propose that Abraham would have seen this day...what do you suppose he would have seen?

Both answers, I believe, can be found in Genesis 22. Now, before you read this chapter, I want you to focus on two facts: (1) the lad carried wood on his back (2) he climbed Mt. Moriah as a willing sacrifice in obedience to his Father. With all that said you figure out what Jehovah Jireh provided for Abraham that day. Furthermore, you figure out what God was showing Abraham what He would provide for humanity in the future.

I said all that to explain my previous answer...when I said unequivocally-No! It is not what I do, no matter how holy it looks, that makes me right in the eyes of God. The Bible just taught us that in Romans 4. Instead, what makes me right in the eyes of God is the fact that I have placed my faith in what God provided as the answer for humanities' sin, and the result is that I have been justified [declared innocent by God]. The result is that I have been given access to grace, which enables us to live right before God:

Romans 5:1-2 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Ultimately, the answer to the question we will find in Romans 6 will also answer what the object of our faith was in this passage, which allowed us to be seen as justified or righteous in the eyes of God. And also gives us access to this power source of grace for victorious Christian living.

Romans 6:2-3 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3-- Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

So we are still working with verses 2 and 3 of Romans chapter 6. Paul has told us that it would not be normal Christianity to continue on in a relationship with the sinful nature. Up to this point maybe I have not referred to [the sin] as the sinful nature, but going forward this is how we should view it. The sinful nature is what we received from our father Adam in our association with him in his fallen state as human beings. So in our first birth, we received a sinful nature from Adam. And Paul wants to know why we would continue that relationship. Unless...we did not know better or we were disinclined.

What he wanted to know from the Church of Rome and what the Holy Spirit would ask us in this room today is you know what happened to you when you were born again?

 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

First we have to start with the idea of the word baptism here. This word is not native to the English language. In other words, we created our word Baptism from the Greek word (Bapto) Baptw  or  (Baptizo)Baptizw. When we hear the word Baptism we automatically think of water. We think of water baptism because that is what our minds associate with this word. This is the only understanding we have of the word.

But in the Greek language where the word is derived, it does not always associate with water. As a matter of fact, the word water is nowhere to be found in the Greek text in this passage. Actually the Bible speaks of at least 3 different baptisms. Most Christians do not realize this, but here is the list:

   (1) Baptism into Christ. In this baptism, when the believer places his faith in Jesus' death on the cross as the payment for his guilt, he is baptized by the person of the Holy Spirit into the person of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:13) We are all baptized into Christ where we become part of His body.

   (2) Baptism into water. In this baptism, the pastor or John the Baptist baptized the believer into water, which beautifully represents this new birth we have received in Jesus, which took place through the first baptism into Christ. (Matt 3:11)

  (3) Baptism into the Spirit. John explained that in this baptism, Jesus is the baptizer (Matt 3:11). And He baptizes the believer...not into water...not into Himself, but He baptizes the believer into the person of the Holy Spirit. This is what The Pentecostals call the Baptism of the Holy Spirit...spoken of in Acts 1&2. It is a baptism of power for service.

But the baptism we are dealing with in this passage is the first baptism we mentioned…the baptism into Christ. The word itself describes immersion. In ancient Greek writings (this is relevant because this is how the word was used in the language the New Testament was written in) the word for baptism was used to describe: (1) an object being moved from one environment to another environment and through the process it's nature was changed. (2) dipping or immersion.

An example of the first occurrence was described like this: "he took the hot metal and Bapto  the metal into the water the result was that the hot metal was tempered." So we were baptized into Jesus Christ [we] were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:4-7 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness [we were associated w/Adam in our first birth we are associated with Jesus when we are born again] of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of [the]sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

So it is crucial that we understand what Paul is saying here. Paul is letting us know that in the mind of God, when we placed our faith in Christ, the "Old Man" we used to be...the alcoholic, drug dealer/ user, the adulterer,...died in Christ, was buried in Christ, and has been resurrected to a new life as a new man (Ephesians 4:22-24) in Christ.

...the body of [the]sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The meaning of the word serve here is to be a slave. Whether we knew it or not...whether we like it or not...before Jesus we were hopeless slaves to the sin nature. But hallelujah, through our association with Jesus on the cross, the old man we were has died and a new man has resurrected: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

So through this transformation that has taken place, we have been translated from darkness into light (Colossians 1:13), our relationship with the sinful nature is dead (Romans 6:1-6), and we have become partakers [to share or be an associate] of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4).

In this new environment that we live in, grace is king...not sin. Therefore, we are no longer under its control. However, whenever a Christian attempts to live for God through his will power, instead of God's grace, he is unsuccessful. Or when a Christian thinks that his right standing before God is built upon what he does rather than what Jesus did, he is living under law (Galatians 3:11) rather than grace, the result will be frustration rather than peace and liberty.

We are still under the subheading the solution. So far we have focused intently on what Jesus' part in all this. But it is important for us to understand that we do have a part. And our part is a very crucial cog in the "machinery" of victory. First, we must know the answer to victory. Remember what Paul asked the church in Rome...Romans 6:3 Know ye not,. If we do not know, we cannot properly believe. But once we know, we must not only believe, but we must reckon.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reckon- (logizomai) probably where we get the word logarithm from. It is a mathematical term in the Greek. The idea is to do the math, take inventory, but ultimately, it means to think upon.

Your new life in Christ has to be ordered every day with this information of reckoning in your mind especially in the environments that we have to live within in modern society today. Everywhere we turn evil is present. The world, under the influence of Satan, is constantly bombarding humanity with lies. And there is power behind the forces of evil to sway people to go in the wrong direction. But the born again believer who knows who he is "In Christ" reckons himself dead to the power of sin every day and in every circumstance.

When pornography is presented to me my "hard drive" says, "Dead to sin and alive to God." When drugs or alcohol present themselves to me, my "hard drive" says, "Dead to sin and alive to God." When improper sexual encounters present themselves to me, my "hard drive" says, "Dead to sin and alive to God." What do you mean by your hard drive? I really do not know much about computers, but I do know that they have a default position to which they resort. The default position is built into the hard drive. As sinners, our default position only knew sin. Therefore, when circumstances arose that were uncomfortable, we responded according to our default, which is typically behavior we learned from our father. And he learned it from his father before him, but ultimately this sinful default I am describing can be traced back to Adam...and from there to Satan. But that was our "old man" we are not him anymore. And we have to re- order our lives around the truth of God's Word and reckon ourselves dead to the power of sin and alive unto God. This is our new default.

Now, I must tell you that it is a is a journey towards this way of thinking because Satan is constantly trying to do CPR on our "old man" that has died in Christ.

 I am about to close with the last sub- point, but before I move forward, I have to make sure that you understand that this is to be the object of your faith [Jesus Christ and Him Crucified (1Cor.1:23)]. Why? Because the innocent [Jesus] died in place of the guilty [me & you]. When we keep our faith in the answer for our sin, we remain in right standing with God...not self- righteousness through our performance, but God's righteousness (Romans 3:21) through the performance of Jesus. When I am in right standing with God, I have access to grace (Romans 5:1-3) and as we have already learned, grace is a supernatural- inner power given by God that gives me the ability to accomplish His will in His strength rather than my own.

The Result

Romans 6:12-13 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

So we are back where we started. But now we have the answer how we can live life free from the tyranny of the king known as the sin. And the result is that we are living within the realm of a new Kingdom under the power of a new king...with a new purpose. ...13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Members= body parts

Instruments= weapons of warfare

When sin is king in a person's life they ultimately yield or give into sin. In this verse Paul says don't yield your members. Before we were born again, we yielded our members to the power of sin. In other words, we allowed our body parts to be used as weapons of warfare for the forces of evil. We allowed our feet to bring us places we should not have gone. We allowed our hands to take hold of things they should not have touched. We allowed our eyes to look upon things they should not have seen... Furthermore, the whole time, our actions were also causing negative and sometimes disastrous effects in the lives of other people around us. So whether we like it or not, we were being used as soldiers for sin.

But we are new creations now. We are no longer under the power and dominion of sin. And the Apostle Paul has exhorted the Christians in Rome and we also...present your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. God wants to use us as soldiers in His kingdom. He wants us to be light to a darkened world. He wants us to be witnesses to the truth. He wants us to leave a wake of righteousness behind us as we travel this journey of life bringing Jesus with us everywhere we go.