A Vital Truth – Growing In Grace

But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were taught, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. Romans 6:17-18

Romans 6:17-18

Old or New
A believer must know and understand the nature of his new life in Christ and apply it, and he must understand the nature of his old sinful life to oppose it. Man is born with an old sin-nature, which means he is physically alive but spiritually dead. In Ephesians 2 Paul tells us that everyone is born dead in their sins, which means they are physically alive but spiritually dead. It means that the essence of their being is rooted in an old sin-nature. They have no link to God, because they have not yet trusted in Christ as their Saviour and been given a new, born-again spirit.

Dead or Alive
In Romans 6 Paul describes the condition of the natural man.. the unbeliever, who is dead in his sin, and he reminds the Roman believers that they were like this before they were saved. He looks back to their pre-salvation life and reminds them: at one time you also were servants and slaves of sin. Before salvation they were enslaved by the old sin-nature – they were in bondage to sin and slaves of sin, but after salvation, they were given a new nature and became servants of Christ – with a new life and a born-again spirit.

Sins or Sin-Nature
Sin in this verse does not refer to the actual acts of sinning, which are specific sins we actually commit, whether in the body or mind. Sin is anything we do that is performed in our own strength and apart from God. The word ‘sin’  in Romans 6 refers to the inner being of man – the old sin-nature within man, that everyone inherits from Adam. An unbeliever has only one way to function – through the old sin-nature, which makes every human being a servant to sin and incapable of pleasing God.

Slaves of Righteousness
But Paul reminds the Christians in Rome that although they used to be slaves of sin and serve the sin-nature they were born with, they believed the gospel of grace, trusted Christ and obeyed from the heart. They obeyed all Paul taught them about how to live as a Christian. They paid attention to the new spirit of Christ they received at rebirth, which set them free from slavery to sin and made them slaves to righteousness.

Spirit, not Flesh
Paul explains that by trusting Christ we have now become servants of righteousness. We have been set from sin and from serving the fleshly old sin-nature because we are born from above. Now we are serving the spirit and not the flesh. Now we are servants of the new nature in Christ rather than the old sin-nature, and these verses contrast an unbeliever’s former relationship as slaves of sin with a believer’s new relationship to their new life-in-Christ, which we all receive at salvation and which has made us all servants of righteousness.

Death or Life
A slave of sin functions through the old sin-nature, while a slave of righteousness functions through the new life in Christ. A servant of sin relates to the old sin-nature, while a servant of righteousness relates to the new life in Christ. The old sin-nature is in servitude to sin and functions under the law of sin and death, while the new life in Christ is in servitude to righteousness and functions under the law of Christ – the Spirit of life.

Law of Sin and Death
The unbeliever can only function as a slave of sin, which is automatically and uniquely under the law of sin and death from physical birth. Whether an unbeliever does good works or evil actions – whether he shows kindnesses or behaves wickedly, all he does emanates from the old sin-nature. The unbeliever is dead in sins (i.e. he has no relationship to God) but he is alive to sin (i.e. he functions under the law of sin). The believer is dead TO sins (i.e. he has a relationship to God) and he is alive to God (i.e. he functions under the law of Christ).

Law or Grace
The believer has only two ways to function – either as a slave to sin or as a servant of Christ. He has two ways to live his Christian life – either under law or under grace. A believer has two choices – he can either submit to the evil enticements of the sin-nature, or he lives his life through the new life in Christ. And the believer is empowered to live his life this way, by virtue of what Christ did on the cross – because we are now free from sin. Remember the nature that we ‘feed’ is the one that will grow.

Lifelong Influence
Now, this is vital.. at salvation, connection with the sin-nature was severed, but sin’s influence remains throughout our life. Although severed, the sin-nature doesn’t disappear when an unbeliever is saved, although as believers we are empowered to function apart from it. The sin-nature does not cease its demands on a believer when he receives his new nature. The connection with the sin-nature is severed but the influence of the sin-nature remains throughout our life. However, the more we starve sin by submitting to the new life in Christ, the more our new nature will grow.

Inner Conflict
At salvation the believer also receives the permanent presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, causing two sets of demands to have an influence on a believer’s life. The spirit makes demands because we are now servants of righteousness, but the severed sin-nature also makes demands, by enticing us back into slavery to sin. A believer should respond to the spirit but may respond to the sin-nature – often causing inner conflict and confusion. But choices must be made and in Galatians 5, Paul gives the prescription:- Walk by means of the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians.5:16

Opposing Forces
The lust of the flesh does not refer to any physical activity of sin, (which is the fruit of sin). It refers to the inner nature and origin of sin, (which is the root of sin). The new nature in Christ (the spirit of righteousness) is able to cancel out the activity of the old nature, but the choice remains with the believer, and so an inner conflict begins to rage: for the flesh has a strong desire against the spirit, and the spirit has a strong desire against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:17

Submission to the Spirit
From rebirth, ALL believers start to have this inner conflict with these two actively opposing forces, and so a believer must learn to walk by means of his new born again spirit, and this can only be done through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Only as he submits to the leading and guiding of the Spirit in his life will his new born-again spirit be empowered to live in newness of life. To understand that this inner conflict is a normal part of the spiritual growth of a believer is an important step toward learning to walk in spirit and truth rather than walking in the flesh.


Bible References

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

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

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.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

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

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.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Revelation 20

20 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

The Gospel of Luke – Film – Visual Bible in HD Very Rare Version

Verse of the Day