Tag Archive: sin

Sin Condemned by Christ

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” Romans 8:3 

Preaching Christ CrucifiedThe law was weak through the flesh. This is not to say that the commands of God are weak in and of themselves. These commandments come from God and are holy, just and good (Romans 7:12). Then, how is the law weak? Apart from its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the law is weak because it could not save men; and not only was it incapable of saving men, but it also condemned them; “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Romans 7:11). When we were unsaved, unbelieving sinners, the commandments of the law condemned us and killed us; that’s how the law was our schoolmaster leading us to Christ, because the law left us with no hope except that it be found in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, [Jesus Christ], born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4, ESV);sending Him forth “in the likeness of sinful flesh” because Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He lived a holy and perfectly righteous life as a man, though He was also very God, and fulfilled the law completely and obediently as a man; and as that perfect man, having flesh and blood as a human, offered His soul as the perfect, atoning Sacrifice upon a Roman criminal’s cross. He suffered the shameful condemnation of a holy God for the condemnation rightly due you and I; and because He was sinless, through His Sacrifice, He “condemned sin in the flesh.”  

Jesus Christ bled and died to buy my pardon, to buy your pardon; and as for those who are yet unsaved, natural, sinful men, this gospel grants saving faith for sinners to repent of sin; to turn to God; to believe and trust in Christ’s atoning work for salvation and eternal life. THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD! 

By His sacrifice, Christ condemns sin in all flesh. Though we are not condemned, the sin “that dwelleth in [us] (that is, in [our] flesh,)” (Romans 7:18), is condemned by Christ; and by His righteous life and perfect sacrifice as flesh and bone man, Jesus Christ in the flesh, stands as the height of all goodness, righteousness and holiness among all men, and therefore, justly condemns sin in all men, including those who have rejected Him and turned from God. For in Christ’s fulfillment of the law, He elevated the law to a geater majesty, and therefore its weakness to save men, as well as its condmenation of men apart from the grace of God in Christ Jesus, further magnifies the just damnation of sinful cavilers and Christ rejectors.

Hebrews 10:5-17 is an excellent parallel passage for the perfect sacrifice of Christ: 

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 8:1-10,Walking After the Spirit,” on December 20, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, “No Condemnation from Christ” (Romans 8:1, 2).

My Reality: Hating My Actions

“Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”Romans 7:17, 18

Preaching Christ CrucifiedThis is a truth that reminds us that we must not forget from where it was we came, and also with what we have been previously taught. Although I am dead to the law and resurrected unto Christ, the law is unchanging as a standard of God, which is made even more visible and apparent through the perfect obedience and righteousness of Christ, wherein the law has been fulfilled. As my saved soul has been declared justified, having my sins imputed to Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sins, and having Christ’s righteousness accounted to me, I still have mortal flesh because I amsold under sin” (Romans 7:14, remember— present tense). Understanding this, the apostle reminds you and I, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”

Does that remove my culpability before God, my accountability with God, and responsibility to God? No. In fact, the use of the first person pronoun indicates quite the contrary; Paul does not want to remove from himself the responsibility, accountability or culpability. Furthermore, he absolutely cannot and neither can I; nor can any one who is saved by God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

Although I have been “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:24, 25), and have been “buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,” I should also “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), so that I should no longer obey the sinful lusts of the flesh (Romans 6:12): and although I desire to walk pleasing to God (Romans 7:18), I fail miserably to even keep the least of His commandments (Romans 7:15-20). Why?

The reason why is because the righteousness of the law, which is revealed through Christ, fulfilled by Christ, and exemplified in Christ, can never be completely attained by me because of the soiled corruptions of my flesh, because of my mortal person as a descendent of fallen Adam. Through the illumination of the holy Son of God in human flesh, in His utter perfection as a man, even my humility is full of pride compared with His. Though I believe that no man is deserving of the least of God’s attentions or the smallest kindness in His affections, and that every man is deserving of only eternal death because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and yet, having become a recipient of God’s grace, that truth should humble me to the dust, for I can do nothing to attain or maintain the humility of Christ.

Does this truth leave me in despair? It will not, as we will find as we continue through the scriptures presented in this blessed letter. Yet, alerting us to this truth, it will make the reality of clinging to the Cross, embracing grace, and cleaving to Christ a more firm foundation in the truths of scripture by the grace and mercy of God’s Spirit….

The apostle expresses his inability to act righteously in verse 18, “how to perform that which is good I find not,” as an obvious truth because he has just explained in verse 17 and previously that his own performance is sinful, “sin dwelleth in me.” As our righteousness rests wholly upon the holy, imputed righteousness of Christ, the good works that spring forth in actuality, must spring forth from gospel truth, by gospel grace, through gospel faith. The truth of this reality actually exalts and magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ while amplifying God’s grace. This truth will enfold more and more through this epistle.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,My Reality: Hating Sin.”

DogeCoinMy Doge Address is: D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i

 

My Reality: Hating Sin

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.”Romans 7:15, 16

Preaching Christ CrucifiedLet’s begin looking at this text from the last part of Romans 7:16 first; that is, with regard to consenting to the good of the law, or rather, agreeing with the law that it is good.

The unsaved sinner doesn’t “consent with the law that it is good.”  He violently disagrees with the law and suppresses God’s truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Because the unsaved sinner hates God (Romans 1:30), he hates the law of God because it comes from God and is holy, just and good (Psalm 78:1; Romans 7:12).

Well, is this then the “carnal Christian”? Is this about the doctrine that suggests that someone is saved; yet, he still walks in open carnality and willful sin? The first part of Romans 7:16 should put that to rest, because there is recognition of conviction that the saved life doesn’t live up to the law: “If then I do that which I would not…”  In other words, the verse says, “If I do that which I do not want to do, do not wish to do, do not desire to do, I agree that the law is good because it reveals to me that I actually have sinned; that I have done wrong; that my actions were not glorifying to God; that what I has not met His holy standard in the law!” That does not sound like someone who is blissfully ignorant of sin and sin’s reproach against God.

No. Since there is recognition of sin, and that there is a struggle between the standard of the law and the weakness in the flesh, that is great evidence that such a one is saved; not as one that is unsaved or one who is walking in willful disobedience. Clearly, the first part of Romans 7:16 supports the view of a person whose will is set on doing what the law requires, but fails.

Paraphrasing Romans 7:15 we might say, “I want to please God, but I don’t.  I want to walk righteously but I fail. I want to keep from sinning but I sin despite my best efforts.”  Does that sound like the unsaved? No way. The only reason the unsaved will do “righteously” is because they are selfishly concerned with the reprisals of their sin. These are the cries of a maturing Christian, or at least of a mature Christian, such as the apostle Paul.  The mature Christian recognizes sin for what it is: an offense to God.

I didn’t stop being a human being (“carnal, sold under sin” according to Romans 7:14).  Sin continues to be a very present reality, everyday, all the time. This is why Christ’s righteousness is IMPUTED to me and my sin is IMPUTED to Him. That is reality. Yet, the power of salvation presents a dynamic truth in the life of a Christian because the Christian life is not stagnant.  It grows in grace, is strengthened in faith, and is conforming to the image of Christ for God’s glory. Therefore, sin is loathsome to me; sin is hated by me; my sin offends me because it offends my God.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,Carnal, Sold Under Sin.”

DogeCoinMy Doge Address is:
D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i

 

My Reality: Carnal, Sold under Sin

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”Romans 7:14

Preaching Christ CrucifiedAs mentioned in the last article, there is a shift from the use of the past tense to the present tense: “…the law is spiritual… I am carnal.”  Not only do I believe that this verse is key to unlocking the truth in the verses to follow, but that the tenses used in this verse are a key to unlocking the truth in the verse itself.

It can be troubling to many to consider the words of the apostle; yet, if we think about it critically and seriously for a moment, especially in light of what we have already seen in scripture, it makes sense. First, he recaps what he has already taught concerning the law in Romans 7:1-13 by telling his readers that “the law is spiritual.” The law must be spiritual because it is “holy” (Romans 7:12); and every commandment in the law is “holy, and just, and good” because the law comes from God, who is holy, just and good; and that the law has been “ordained to life” (Romans 7:10). Therefore, although I am dead to the law and raised to newness of life in Christ, “I am carnal,” says Paul, “sold under sin.”

The controversy begins, I believe, because of the word “carnal.” The Greek word σαρχ (sarx, meaning flesh), and σαρκινος (sarkinos, meaning carnal, fleshly, flesh-like, coming from the same Greek root, sarx), may convey many things. Often we tend to think of flesh in terms of sin; yet, it has other meanings such as ethnicity or heritage (Romans 1:3).  It speaks of the body itself (Romans 2:28). Flesh may even refer to a spiritual truth, as understood by the Lord’s words the day after feeding the multitudes, “For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). The same goes for the word “carnal.” It has several meanings; and those meanings will be derived from its context. For example in Romans 8:7, we see the term “carnal mind” as being the enemy of God.

So, what is Paul speaking of when he says that he is “carnal, sold under sin”? He’s merely speaking of his depraved humanity as a descendent of sinful, disobedient Adam. Do you remember when we defined ourselves as a “living soul” at the time that we have been saved? A soul is what I am. Yet, I have a nature. You and I have a nature as human beings (I am carnal). The nature that you and I possess, however, is sinful and suffers the effects of sin: we grow old; we get sick; we have diseases; we die. Until that day when we are glorified at the return of Christ, that doesn’t go away.“I am carnal,” is Paul expressing, at that very moment in time when he is dictating his epistle to Tertius, that he has sinful flesh because he has been “sold under sin,” past tense. His present condition is a result of what has happened in the past when Adam plunged the entire human race into corruption, selling his birthright for the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.

Romans 7 is part and parcel of the sanctification of the Christian life expressed in Romans 6-8. There is a difference between the godless reprobate of Romans 1:18-3:20 and the justified sinner saved by grace through faith of Romans 3:21-5:21.  There is, likewise, a difference between the godless reprobate of Romans 1:18-3:20 and the sinner being sanctified by God’s grace in Romans 6:1-8:39.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,The Struggle of the Bondslave.”

DogeCoinMy Doge Address is: D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i

 

The Struggle of the Bond Slave

Preaching Christ CrucifiedAs we examined the Scriptures from Romans 6 several weeks ago, the Holy Spirit illuminated to us that we, as sinners saved by grace, are no longer under bondage to sin. In the past several lessons we have examined the Scripture portion from Romans 7:1-13, which taught us that we are not under bondage to the law. Can we sin freely and openly disregarding the law? No. Does forcing the observance of the law upon myself and others make me more righteous? Absolutely not.

The freedom of bondage from both sin and law presents a struggle since the sinner that is saved by grace has been changed, made alive in Christ; nevertheless, he is not yet glorified. The struggle exists, and must exist, because it moves us to embrace grace and not let go; to cling to the Cross of Calvary; to cleave to Jesus Christ and no one else; it presses us to trust in and depend upon the Master, leaning upon His everlasting arms.

Over these next few weeks, as we bring Romans 7 to a close, we will look at four primary points in our struggles as the Lord’s bond slave:

  1. My Reality
  2. My Wrestlings
  3. My Wretchedness
  4. My Redemption

I’m using “My” in the headings because we ought to see this as individual Christians; it needs to be personal. It must be intimate. Even in the writing of this letter, the apostle seems to treat this as a very intimate and personal matter. Not only does Paul shift from his use of “you” in Romans 6 to “we” in Romans 7:1-6, but he also shifts to “I” in Romans 7:7.  I believe that we should as well.

And having built upon what we have already learned through this tremendous epistle, I pray that we come away from this with the blessed simplicity that God intended us to have by it.  Yes, the past one hundred years has brought a controversy to the text, and the irony is that, because of what this teaches, it will be very apparent to us why the controversy exists.

In the text ahead, the apostle Paul makes a noticeable change from speaking in past tense (Romans 7:1-13) to speaking in present tense (Romans 7:14-25).  That is important to note; in fact, critical for our understanding because without recognizing that, we will not understand Romans 7:14. If we do not understand Romans 7:14, we will miss the truth of this text to follow; if we miss the truth here, our Christianity will lack life, power, and victory.

Now, there are three possible views taken concerning Romans 7:14-25:

  • One says that Paul is speaking as if he were a natural, unsaved, unregenerate man;
  • Another says that Paul is speaking of a “carnal Christian” that has not yet been brought into the glorious and victorious life of Romans 8; and finally,
  • The last view states that Paul is speaking in the present tense as a mature believer.

I believe it is the third view that is most consistent with the context of the overall and continuous flow of the letter, especially when considering all that we have learned from the preceding portions since Romans 1:1.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,The Restrictions of the Law” (Romans 7:10-13).

DogeCoinMy Doge Address is: D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i

 
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