So I Can Serve Him

Romans 6:1-4 ESV

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

A lot of people these days have this false notion that our salvation is all about Jesus forgiving us our sins so that when we die we can go to heaven, and so we can escape the punishment of hell. For this is the way it is being presented widely these days. And so they think that once their sins are forgiven that their sins no longer matter to God, and so many of them are continuing in deliberate and habitual sin under the guise of God’s grace.

But God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to renounce (to say “No” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (see Titus 2:11-14; cf. Ephesians 2:10).

But the gospel of our salvation does not grant us the right to continue in deliberate and habitual sin under the guise of God’s grace. For God’s grace delivers us from our slavery to sin so we can live righteously in obedience to our Lord’s commands (New Covenant). So, we are not to continue in sin, making sin our practice, for if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Now, when this talks about our salvation, it is described as us being baptized into Christ’s death. This is not caused by water baptism. For you can go through the waters of baptism and never be crucified with Christ in death to sin. This is speaking of a spiritual baptism of the Spirit of God whereby we die with Christ to sin, and we are buried with him by baptism into death, and then we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him.

Romans 6:5-7 ESV

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”

Now when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), our old self is crucified with Christ so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin. For if we have died with Christ to sin we have been set free from our slavery to sin. So sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives. We are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions (v. 12). For Jesus set us free from our bondage to sin so that we could now serve him with our lives and walk in obedience to his commands.

Romans 6:15-16 ESV

“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

So, again, God’s grace does not give us the freedom to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin, making sin our practice. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, but if obedience is what we obey, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God (vv. 19,22). And so we need to take this to heart. Our salvation is NOT carte blanche to continue walking in sin. It is freedom from our slavery to sin so we can walk in righteousness and holiness in obedience to our Lord and to his word.

Romans 6:20-23 ESV

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I remember vividly the first time I really got this. For verse 23 here had always been a part of a collection of Scripture verses used in the presentation of what was called the gospel. And Romans 6:23 just followed right after Romans 3:23, which says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And then, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So it gives the impression that if we just receive this free gift of God, that we now have eternal life with God.

But if you go back to Romans 3, vv. 24-25 say this, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

So then we have to look at what redemption is. It has to do with God buying us back from our lives of slavery to sin and winning us back to him and to his righteousness and holiness. It involves us being rescued from what enslaved us so that we can now live for our Lord and honor him with our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It is about deliverance from our old lives of living in sin so that we can now live holy lives, pleasing to God.

And then we have to look at what faith is. Jesus Christ is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2), and this faith is not of our own doing, but it is gifted to us by God (Ephesians 2:8-10). And we can’t even come to faith unless God the Father draws us to Christ (John 6:44). And the word “faith” means to be persuaded. And since this faith comes from God and not from ourselves, then it is God who is persuading us. And he persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to follow him in obedience.

And then we have to take Romans 6:23 in the context of the whole of Romans 6 which keeps telling us that we are not to continue in sin for we died to sin so we would no longer be enslaved to sin so we are not to let sin reign in our bodies to where we obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, it will end in death, not in life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. And what is that gift? Death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness in the power of God. Please take this to heart.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]

Praise the “I AM!”

An Original Work / February 24, 2012

Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!

I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!

He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s