Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Enemy of Sanctification (Part II)

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:4-6)

As the widow is free to be married to another, thus may the believer be given in marriage to Christ upon the death of his old man. This death to the condemnation of the law has been accomplished by the body of Christ. As Christ hung upon the cross, He embodied the sins of mankind as II Corinthians 5:21 teaches, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” In the giving of His body for the sins of mankind, the Lord delivered all who will believe from the condemnation of the law as Colossians 2:14 declares, “ Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” The verb married means to be or to become. The believer literally stops being for the old man and becomes the property of his new Master, Jesus Christ. The purpose of serving the risen Lord is so that the fruit of good works might glorify God. The word for motions in verse five literally means sufferings or passions. These passions are the passions of sin. The fruit of the flesh always consists of wicked passions, and the end result is always death, death to self and death to others. Being led about by the flesh's passions and reasonings never benefited anyone. The verb delivered is the exact same word translated destroyed in 6:6. Paul is restating the fact that the power of the old man has been put down. The first that in verse six is being used as a relative pronoun to refer back to the condemnation of the old man under the law. This condemnation has been accomplished in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; and the believer is delivered from the old man; therefore, such things are now dead. The second that is used to state the purpose or the result of the deliverance. The purpose is so that the believer can now serve God in the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit. The Lord's Spirit is the one that brings forth fruits of righteousness, not the believer. When a Christian believes that he himself is the one who performs pleasing works before God, he has slipped back into a mindset of self-righteousness and attempts to live the Christian life in the “...oldness of the letter.”

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