Title: Angelic Conflict part 281: Defeater of death - ROM 5:12-21; 8:1-11; 1CO 3:1-3; 2:9-12; JOH 16:12-16.
Justification of life reveals that justification is not only justification in regard to sin or the removal from the ledger of our debts, but also a life to be lived out or walked in time. Our position in Christ, our understanding of it, and our faith in it will result in a reigning life.
Roman's is an amazing book.
The first two and a half chapters set forth the sinful state of the Adamic race.
We are all, whether Jew or Gentile, under the formidable sentence of death which was passed upon the race when Adam sinned. There is not one ray of light in the dark picture that is painted for us.
ROM 3:9 we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Following this terrible indictment there is the glad announcement that God came down in Jesus Christ in order to accomplish our redemption.
In the end of chapter 3 Christ is set forth as dying for us on the cross, accomplishing the double work of satisfying the holiness and righteousness of God and of redeeming and justifying the sinner who believes the Word of God about the Lord Jesus Christ.
ROM 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
ROM 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
ROM 3:30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
This brings us into the fourth chapter where we find the justified man living in freedom, apart from the law of Moses or the ordinances of the Jewish faith.
ROM 4:25 He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
The fifth chapter shows us the fruits of this justification: we have peace with God, we have access by faith, we stand in grace, we rejoice in hope, we glory in tribulations, we abound in love, reign in life, and we are given the Holy Spirit.
ROM 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
ROM 5:2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
ROM 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
ROM 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
ROM 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The contrast is then presented between our former union with Adam and our present union with Christ. Just as all evil flowed from our inheritance from Adam so the very life of God is imparted to us through our union with Christ and we are seen by God as being as perfect as the Lord Jesus Christ.
In chapter 6 there immediately arises the issue of sin and the possibility of OSN control of the soul. Since I am a sinner am I hopeless to have the OSN dominating my new life?
ROM 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
ROM 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
ROM 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
This charge is repudiated and it is seen that our union in Christ is planned by God for the purpose of bringing practical holiness to our daily lives or living in our righteousness. We are brought to the place where we are identified with Christ and pass through the experience of death, burial and resurrection with Him, as well as union with Him in His whole eternal plan for us. In the sixth chapter we are crucified with Christ and raised from the dead. It is for this reason that we are called to holiness, meaning living unto Him.
ROM 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,
ROM 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
ROM 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
So ok, the issue is solved, under grace, receiving freely all my assets from God I will live in righteousness and the members of my body will be instruments of righteousness. But then comes a big problem for us all. Our experience does not actually match up with our desire.
But the believer who has passed through all of these wonderful experiences finds that his mind accepts these truths theologically but that in practice the horrible motions of sin are still with him.
Even though he knows himself to be crucified with Christ, he recognizes that he cannot have unmixed, perfect good in this life, and he is tempted to despair.
The great conflict of the seventh chapter of Romans is the conflict of the believer who has advanced enough to truly desire to do what God has commanded him to do but experiences the warfare between his base nature in Adam and the new creature that is in Christ.
ROM 7:15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
ROM 7:16 But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good.
ROM 7:17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me.
ROM 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
ROM 7:19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.
ROM 7:20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
ROM 7:21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.
ROM 7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
ROM 7:23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
It is the recognition, which first comes to us with a feeling of great heaviness, that we are not going to have divine perfection while we are in this life and at times we think that it will completely impossible for us to live the plan of God at all.
And just then, the Holy Spirit brings us to peace at the end of that struggle and we enter into the triumph of the eighth chapter.
ROM 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
ROM 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
ROM 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
All of this has been a steady, orderly progression of thought, and I am now sure that the writer of the epistle does not return at this point to a consideration of the contrast between the unsaved and the saved, between those who are dead in trespasses and sins and those who are alive in Christ. That contrast exists, and is taught in many other places, but we are confronted with something different and greater at this point.
The heart of this passage can be stated as follows. You are in Christ; you have been redeemed; you have been justified; you have seen yourself as joined to Christ; you have known in your minds the truths of your high position in Christ. But practically speaking you know that, at times, your condition falls below that which your position calls for, and when it does you can be sure that you are in death, not in fellowship with God, and after the flesh. We must be sure to understand that death in this passage does not refer to physical death, or the second death, or the sin unto death.
walking death = loss of the life given by Christ which is dedicated to God and blessed in Him on earth. Living existence of a born again believer that is on a lower level than the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
We all experience this temporarily from time to time, but unfortunately, for the believer who is seeking after the flesh, he is carnal as a lifestyle and therefore walking in this death.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
Every Christian will experience moments of dryness; every Christian will get out of fellowship from time to time. But God does not want us to continue to live away from Him. If we do He will not leave us, but He will draw close with divine discipline from His perfect love. He does not want us to fall into despair because of defeat or to remain as babes without growing up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
His passionate desire is to empower us through His word and His Spirit to reign in this life.
to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up [pleroo = to fully influence, e.g. full of joy, full of sorrow] to all the fullness of God.
Being strengthened with power in the inner man through the Holy Spirit, Christ dwelling in your heart, being rooted and grounded in love, breadth, length, height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ is to have a heart full of the fullness of God as one might have a heart filled with great joy. And in that vein of thought, when you have more capacity for joy, can you not be filled with more joy than you used to be? And that capacity goes in the other direction on the what fills my soul spectrum. I can be filled with sorrow and with more capacity for sorrow I can be filled with more sorrow.
It's been said that the best defense is a great offense. You constantly have the opposition on their heels. Their defense in constantly on the field and growing tired. Your own defense is energized by the momentum of winning. We are told to avoid the sin and evil that is our potential to do, but we are also told to run the race that is before us with vigor; to reach ahead towards the prize of the upward call in Christ.
The best way of avoiding death is in coming to know the full and royal life that God has for us in His Son.
1CO 2:9 "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him."
1CO 2:10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1CO 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
1CO 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God
The things given to us by God as presented in the word of God are revealed by GHS and fulfilled in our lives through Him.
This revelation and fulfillment are not seen, heard, or known in the same fashion as the eye sees, ear hears, or the heart knows. Divine revelation comes through God the Holy Spirit. He bears witness with our divine Christ given spirit as to the bottomless abyss which Adam took us in our fall and the heights of the new life in Christ. God the HS in His supernatural way takes the word of God as it is heard or read and makes it understandable, and in the same way He gives us the power to apply it. If we choose this spiritual life with Him as our priority in life then we will walk with Him to our destination.
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Salvation is a deliverance from something, sin and death, as well as a deliverance to something, life and peace.