Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Victory in Christ - Part 9

This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ. You can find the first installment here.

5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

When we were in the flesh.” When was that? This is an important phrase that I want us to keep track of as we go along, especially when we get to chapter 8. It looks to me when we get into verse 6 with the “but now” beginning to that sentence, being in the flesh was our state before we came to Christ, while we were still in our sins. At that time, verse 5 tells us, the law aroused sinful passions in us that worked in the members of our body to bear fruit to death. This is in contrast to what we just saw in the preceding verse that now we are married to Christ and bear fruit for God.

But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by. As mentioned earlier when we died with Christ, we died to the law. The law held us in its grip and sinful passions were awakened and brought fruit for death. Before this, we were “in the flesh”. Now we are said to be “in the Spirit”.

Now that we are not under the law anymore, we serve in a new way. This way he calls the newness of the Spirit as in comparison to the old way of the letter. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church to tell them that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). This is a contrast he discusses in several places in Scripture. Romans chapter 8 will discuss this newness of the Spirit in greater detail. So let's go on.

Principle 11: We serve now with the Spirit being the motivator of our actions rather than the external command of the law.

Part 10 will be posted on Tuesday, December 3.

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