Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Victory in Christ - Intro and Part 1
In my life experience, one of the most important passages of Scripture has been Romans 6-8. I believe that most of us have at least one area in our lives where there are nagging temptations; areas where we have a hard time gaining victory. I believe this passage along with some parallel passages provide us with the truths that are essential to victory and to receive grace and forgiveness. Perhaps the thoughts and meditation that I will share on this passage will be helpful to you as well.
The key idea here is that we need to know and believe the truth about God and what He has done for us. Then we need to act on that truth as if it's really true because it is. And finally, we need to allow our feelings and emotions to follow. We normally act on our feelings, letting them lead rather than the truth.
What I'm going to do is provide the text to this passage beginning in Romans 5:19 and then after each section comment on it bringing in other passages as necessary to explain how I think these verses can help us to become the kind of men God would have us to be. Sin is a fierce foe and these thoughts are not meant to imply easy steps that immediately solve all of our temptation problems. But if you take time to think through these Scriptures and meditate on them, I think you will find them helpful in the battle.
All of the scripture texts are from the New King James Version.
Romans 5:19-8:3919 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Romans 5, Paul explains that Adam's sin was attributed to us because Adam was our representative. His decision to sin was counted as the decision of everyone in the human race and thus we all were made sinners at that point. We are sinners in our own right, but we were born sinners and guilty because of Adam's position as a representative of the race. In a similar way, Christ serves as a representative for all who are in Him. His obedience is counted as the obedience of His people. What we need to see here is that just as truly as we were made sinners by Adam's sin, those who are in Christ are made righteous through Christ. Often we think of the sin side as being more dominant than the righteousness side. Not so. In the passage just quoted, many were made sinners by one man's disobedience and many will be made righteous by another Man's obedience.
We also learn in this passage that the law entered so that the offense might abound. Romans 4:15 tells us that where there is no law, there is no transgression and 5:13 tells us that sin is not imputed against a person when there is no law. So God brought the law to people who were already sinners so that the offense might be increased. But, and that is an important 'but', where sin increased, God's grace increased all the more. The result is that just as sin reigns and is triumphant in the death that it causes, grace will reign and be triumphant unto eternal life. Sin cannot gain the upper hand over grace. Grace is always greater.
Principle 1: Sin abounds but grace abounds more!
Look for Part 2 here