Part 1 - Paul's Key to the Liberated Life
What Christian doesn't want the liberated life? What if you could know that the biblical key is found in Paul's letter to the Romans, chapters six - eight. I've persisted and searched for years, and these pages in Romans 6-8 are well worn!
I think now, at 75, as never before, I'm seeing more clearly what Paul is saying. So I'm writing this for those who are hungry to know Paul's key to the liberated life.
I take it that we are born-again know God's Spirit within (Rom. 5:5). We confessed we were sinners, in our guilty and lost condition, and accepted "peace with God" through Christ, who was "set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood" and "Raised again for our justification" (Rom. 3:25; 4:25; 5:1,5,10).
Now with that being fact, we come now to the practical question of Rom. 6:1, it's never gone out of date. So what do we do, then? "Shall we sin to our heart’s content and see how far we can exploit the grace of God? What a ghastly thought!. " So Paul begins to explain himself, lets follow along.
PAUL GOES DEEP
Paul starts by taking for granted that his readers have a deeper spiritual understanding than most of us today had at our new birth. "Don't you know," he asks, "Or have you forgotten that all of us who were immersed into union with Jesus, the Anointed One, were immersed into union with his death?"
Water baptism, our being immersed under the waters and lifted up again… is a symbol of the fact that when Jesus died on the cross and was buried in the tomb, by faith WE DIED, WERE BURIED, and then were RAISED WITH HIM (Rom. 6:3,4). That’s what water baptism means.
And as the Holy Spirit entered the resurrected body of Jesus, which represented all ours, the same Spirit has entered us, delivering us from Satan, whose sin nature had entered our bodies and taken us over at the Fall (Rom. 6:5,6).
So then, we have died in Christ's death to the indwelling and operation of Satan's nature in us: we are "dead to sin" (Rom. 6:7-11). Sin, however, isn't dead to us as an operating power in our world, and thus we experience its pressures on us.
But in our bodies we have died to its false claims to be still dwelling in us and thus expressing selfishness ... being concerned excessively or exclusively, for oneself or one's own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others.
Equally, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is dwelling in us and living His quality of other-love by us. Where once we expressed selfishness always looking to satisfy my needs and wants, we now are expressers of God's holy nature (1 Jn. 4:4,6).
"You, my children, who belong to God have already defeated this spirit, because the one who lives in you is far stronger than the anti-Christ in the world. The agents of the anti-christ are children of the world, they speak the world’s language and the world, of course, pays attention to what they say. "
"We are God’s children and only the man who knows God hears our message; what we say means nothing to the man who is not himself a child of God. This gives us a ready means of distinguishing the true from the false."
“So,” Paul says, “Christ settled the sin question once for all” (Rom. 6:9,10), “we now reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God” (Rom. 6:11). Because of this truth, we no longer yield ourselves to selfishly putting our own interests before those of others. Now we yield to God’s other-love, His nature in us and through us.
Now the question is does it really work out in our lives?
Stay tuned, more to come.