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Chapter 52 - Some results of salvation

Sunday School - Part II  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Parte 2 - THE JUDGMENT OF THE SIN NATURE

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II. THE JUDGMENT OF THE SIN NATURE

A second very important benefit of the death of Christ relates His death to the judgment of the believer’s sin nature (). Justification, we saw, will be seen in a life of holiness; and the basis for that life of holiness, like the basis for justification, is the death of Christ.In the preceding chapter Paul used that startling phrase “the gift of righteousness” (). This raises the question of . If righteousness is a gift, then would it not be better to continue in sin in order that grace may increasingly be seen? If salvation were by works, this question would never be raised, since one would have to keep on doing good works in order to merit salvation. But if salvation is by grace, then cannot one sin as much as he pleases and will this not actually display grace all the more? Paul answers the question with an emphatic no. He gives two reasons that the justified person will not continue in sin.
Romans 5:17 NIV
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Romans 6:1 NIV
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

A. The Judgment Frees Us from the Domain of Sin ()

1. Its accomplishment (). Being joined to the death and resurrection of Christ is that which actually accomplishes our transference from the domain of the old life to that of the new life. Death to sin becomes, then, not a hope, but a reality, because Christ died to sin once and we were joined to Him in that death by baptism.
Romans 6:2–4 ESV
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.
ESV2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.
Death means separation, not extinction. So death to sin in this paragraph means separation from its domain or realm, but not the extinction of its presence. Baptism means association or identification with someone or something. Here it refers to our identification with Christ in His death so that we have been separated from the power of sin. Baptism cannot refer here to a ceremony or even a sacrament, but rather to a relational union to the Lord (similar to the Israelites being relationally united to Moses in the crossing of the Red Sea, ). Ritual or water baptism illustrates this union but cannot accomplish it. Thus this baptism unites us to Christ’s death unto sin (separation from its domain), to His burial (to demonstrate conclusively that His death was actual), and to His resurrection (to give us newness of life).
1 Corinthians 10:2 ESV
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
2. Its accompaniments (). Identification with Christ in His death unto sin brings (a) a uniting with Him in resurrection life (v. 5), (b) an annulling of the old self (v. 6), and (c) a freeing from the mastery of sin (v. 7). The future tense in verse 5 indicates what must inevitably occur (as in ). Thus it refers to our resurrection to new spiritual living, not our future physical resurrection. The old man in relates to our place in the old creation under the sway of sin and death. Though removed from its domain, the old order still seeks to dominate through the old man () as it tries to express itself, using the body as a vehicle of sin (which is likely the meaning of “body of sin”). For a similar and instructive use of “destroyed” or “done away with” in , see , which relates the death of Christ to destroying Satan’s power.
Romans 6:5–10 ESV
5 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. 6 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. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
1 Corinthians 10:2 ESV
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
Romans 6:5–10 ESV
5 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. 6 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. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
Galatians 6:5 ESV
5 For each will have to bear his own load.
Romans 6:6 ESV
6 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.
Ephesians 4:22 ESV
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Romans 6:6 ESV
6 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.
Hebrews 2:14 ESV
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

B. The Judgment Frees Us from the Dominion of Sin ()

Romans 6:11–14 ESV
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Now Paul appeals to believers to be free from the dominion of sin on the basis of Christ’s death unto sin. The appeal involves reckoning (v. 11), refusing (v. 12), and presenting (v. 13). Reckoning or considering means to calculate, to add up the truth of the facts presented in verses 1–10 and then act accordingly. In addition we must refuse to obey the evil desires of sin, and present ourselves, including all the members of our bodies, to God for His use. These phrases all appeal for a decisive and urgent break with the old life.
Godet put all these ideas together well when he wrote:
The Christian’s breaking with sin is undoubtedly gradual in its realization, but absolute and conclusive in its principle. As, in order to break really with an old friend whose evil influence is felt, half measures are insufficient, and the only efficacious means is a frank explanation, followed by a complete rupture which remains like a barrier raised beforehand against every new solicitation; so to break with sin there is needed a decisive and radical act, a divine deed taking possession of the soul, and interposing henceforth between the will of the believer and sin (). This divine deed necessarily works through the action of faith in the sacrifice of Christ.
Galatians 6:14 ESV
14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

III. THE BASIS FOR THE BELIEVER’S FAMILY FELLOWSHIP

No passage is more basic for understanding the believer’s family fellowship than . In it John lays down vital principles for daily Christian living, and this fellowship is based on the death of Christ (v. 7). Thus another benefit of His death is that it provides for enjoyment of fellowship within the family of God.
1 John 1:5–10 ESV
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
That this passage refers to family fellowship, not initial justification, seems clear from the reoccurrence of the pronouns “we” and “us” eighteen times in the six verses. Also 2:1 continues the subject and addresses it clearly to believers. Salvation, of course, brings a perfect, complete, and eternal forgiveness (), but Christians sin and therefore need continual forgiveness in order to enjoy fellowship within the family relationships. Some have denied that this is necessary, claiming that since Christians are already forgiven, they need not ask for what they already have.2 But believers do need to forgive and to ask for forgiveness (see ; ; ; ).
Ephesians 1:7 ESV
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Luke 11:4 ESV
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
2 Corinthians 2:10 ESV
10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
What are the conditions for enjoying family fellowship? They are two: conforming to the standard of light and confessing sin. God is light—an impossible standard for anyone in a mortal body to meet, so it is good that that is not the requirement. The requirement is that we walk in the light. This places us in the same moral realm as the Father so we can share fellowship. The requirement is tailored to every believer, for no matter what his or her state of maturity, he receives some light from the Word to which he must respond. As he responds, then more light comes and with it more response. So fellowship grows as that circle of light expands.
1 John 1:5–10 ESV
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Ephesians 1:7 ESV
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Luke 11:4 ESV
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
2 Corinthians 2:10 ESV
10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Acts 19:18a ESV
18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.
James 5:16 ESV
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
1 John 2:1–2 ESV
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Of course, response does not always follow. Sin enters and confession is needed to restore fellowship. What is confession? It is saying the same thing about sin as God does. It is having the same perspective on that sin as God does. This must include more than simply rehearsing the sin, for God’s perspective would also include forsaking that sin. Therefore, to confess includes an attitude of forsaking that sin.
Private confession to God is always necessary to restore fellowship. What about public confession as well? That depends. There are scriptural examples of public confession ( gives a general exhortation and specific example). Public sin would normally require public confession. Years ago I was discussing this matter of public confession with an elderly saint. He gave me two worthwhile guidelines to govern public confession. (1) Be sure God is prompting you to confess publicly. Satan, emotions, or public pressure can also urge you to do something that might not be of the Lord. (2) Before you say anything, ask whether or not it will edify those who hear, for all things in the public assembly should be done to edify.
James 5:16 ESV
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Acts 19:18a ESV
18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.
When we confess to the Father, He is reliable and righteous to forgive and to restore us to family fellowship. This is true whether or not we feel it to be so. And notice that He does this because of the death of Christ who was the propitiation for our sins ().
1 John 2:1–2 ESV
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
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