This week, we continued in the “Oil & Water” series. We have been studying 8 specific stark contrasts between the Old Covenant of the Law and the New Covenant of God’s Grace. This week’s study was:
6) OLD COVENANT: Obeying law did nothing to give power to overcome sin. It made no one holy, just or good.
NEW COVENANT: Sin has no dominion over the believer (Romans 6:14). Consciousness of righteousness in Christ IS the power to overcome (Romans 4:6).
We did a verse-by-verse study of the first half of the sixth chapter of Romans in order to illustrate this point. First of all, in the first couple verses it talks about being dead to sin. What does it mean to be dead to sin? Does it mean you no longer sin? Perhaps you’ve been led to believe that, but if that were the definition, no one on earth could claim to be dead to sin. Being dead to sin means that you no longer live for sinful ways. Your life is not guided by sinful desires.
We must also remember that when we become “born-again” we are no longer firstly a physical being. We are spirit – alive in Him. You are spirit. You have a soul (mind, will and emotions), and you live in a body. When you are born-again, you are alive in spirit and, therefore, dead to sin. You can’t be alive in both. Many have used even this definition to try and make people feel that maybe they were never saved if they sin, but that is not the way to look at it. You ARE spirit and you are saved. Your flesh will always desire sinful things – some blatant and some that just simply fall short of God’s best. Your soul is what is being constantly renewed. Remember that last week we looked at a scripture in Hebrews 10 that pointed out that we have been made perfect (spirit) and are continually being made holy (soul).
In later verses in Romans 6, Paul begins using an illustration based on slavery and freedom. Before we knew Christ, we were slaves to sin and, if you put it together with many other illustrations he used, slaves to the law. Understand that, as a slave, the only way out of slavery was death. Jesus died to the slavery of sin and the law for us. We are resurrected with Him. Remember, if we died with Him at the cross, we also were buried with Him and resurrected with Him – the complete package. We are no longer, by the spirit, slaves to sin. We died to that. Now we are alive in Him!
Verse 11 tells us to count ourselves dead to sin. That is a big part of this. When you received the gift of salvation, God counted you dead to sin, but you must count yourself dead to sin or you will continue to live like a sinner – and a dead, smelly one at that! The only way we will be confident in counting ourselves dead to sin is by having faith in His work and not faith in OUR works.
Then Paul does on to remind us not to let sin reign in our lives and make our bodies instruments of evil. What is defining what you do and controlling your decisions? That is what is reigning in your life. Realize that you are going to sin, but do not let sin rule over you. You are no longer its slave, and it is no longer your master. It will try to rule you if you let it, but don’t let it. When you allow yourself to feel condemned when you sin instead of running to God for forgiveness, you let sin reign.
Finally, in verse 14 he says that sin shall not be your master if you are under grace and not under law. So, by examining what he said, he is also saying that, if you are under law, sin will be your master. It is the grace of God alone that empowers your to RULE OVER sin. Law will not allow you to do so. You will remain a slave. Receive that grace and get revelation knowledge of the fact that you ARE righteous in Christ.