“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” —Romans 6:12
As mentioned in an earlier article titled “Experiential Sanctification,” a general outline beginning with our text in Romans 6:12 until the end of Romans 8 might be this:
Romans 6:12-23 Surrender as a Bond Slave
Romans 7:1-25 Struggle of the Bond Slave
Romans 8:1-39 Spiritual Victory for the Bond Slave
Perhaps you’re not as familiar with the term bond slave; and that’s okay, because we’re going to cover that in an article yet to come.
The Greek word translated “therefore” in Romans 6:12 means “accordingly” or “consequently” or “for this reason” and is sometimes translated in the King James New Testament as “then” or “so.” It is used forty-five times in this epistle to the Roman Christians; and in this letter it is used to reinforce or strengthen what was just previously taught. Yet, I believe, from this point on in the remainder of this letter, we should also consider that the word “therefore” is reminding us of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as the apostle proclaimed at the beginning of the letter: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The Holy Spirit, in each section, sends us back to the truth of the Gospel of Christ; the power of God to save sinners. What is the gospel of which we are not ashamed?
The Simple, Yet Powerful Gospel of Christ
One divine look at the truth of the cross of Christ, by the quickening of the Holy Spirit, awakens the soul to the truth of our utter depravity apart from Christ; that we have no salvation in and of ourselves; and that only through trusting faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ are we saved unto everlasting life, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
What are the propositions one must believe of Christ in this simple, yet powerful gospel?
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
No descendent of fallen Adam could ever live righteously enough to stand before a holy God on behalf of sinful men. God’s plan of salvation came by eternal decree of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to send the Son to become a flesh and bone man, born of a virgin, made under the law, to fulfill the law completely in all righteousness as a man; yet, as a man, He never stopped being God: 100% man and 100% God;
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
…that at the appointed time, Jesus Christ suffered the penalty of God’s wrath upon the cross for the sins of His people given Him of the Father, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins, and being that sufficient and eternal Substitute for the elect; that He was pleasing to the heavenly Father in every way and died upon that tree of wood so that men could have eternal life who believed on Him. The penalty was paid completely by Christ at Calvary’s cross when He cried out, “It is finished.” Christ’s burial for three days and three nights revealed that He had truly died in His humanity and that He suffered an actual death.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Christ’s bodily resurrection after three days and nights in the grave revealed the certainty of God’s holy work in His Son. His resurrection proved that His claim to deity was true and sure; and that He was raised in the body He possessed through His birth, life and death proved that Jesus Christ was truly flesh and bone man.
The Ascension of Jesus Christ
After appearing forty days unto many disciples, Christ ascended to the right hand of Majesty on high, ruling and reigning His church through the abiding and indwelling Holy Spirit from His heavenly throne.
The Consummation of Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ has promised that He will return bodily, visibly and coming in the clouds unto the consummation of all things: in judgment unto life eternal with Christ for the redeemed to the praise of God’s glorious grace; and in judgment unto eternal condemnation of the wicked to the praise of God’s glorious justice.
The entirety of God’s revelation of Christ, and Him crucified, buried, risen, ascended, and returning is revealed in these sixty-six books that we call the Bible; and no amount of words uttered expressing these truths will ever sufficiently explain its infinite glory. Why? It is because God is infinitely glorious. This is why the salvation of a soul is a miracle by God’s grace alone through the preaching of the gospel. Mankind is frail and fallen, and though restored, redeemed and reconciled to God, every word uttered for Christ’s sake must come by the infinite power of the Holy Spirit to raise that dead sinner unto life everlasting.
That’s the gospel folks. I could have made it shorter by merely reading 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; or I could have made it longer by reading Genesis 1:1 all the way through to Revelation 22:21, for the Lord Jesus Christ did say, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Yet, without the Spirit of Christ upon me, empowering me to write these words, or the Spirit of Christ quickening you to read these words, all my words are vain and empty; incomprehensible at best and utter foolishness at worse.
Jesus Christ, in His person and work, cannot be separated one from another. The gospel, the good news, is who Jesus Christ is (His person) and what He has done (His work), and therefore, as Paul was a bond slave (a servant in the KJV) of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1), Paul was also a bond slave of Christ’s gospel.
Because the gospel contains no less than the infinitely glorious truth of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, therefore, by the gospel of Christ, my desire is to not let sin rule in my mortal body; because the gospel is that precious to me in its saving grace, my desire is to not obey the lusts of sin; and because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, therefore, I rejoice that I am not left to my own frailty to overcome sin, but instead, lean victoriously on the grace of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What sayest thou to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.
Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 6:12-23, “Being Made Free from Sin,” on November 15, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.
Read the previous article in this series, “Reckoned Dead” (Romans 6:11).