Reformers Unanimous Essay Report:
Question: What does this chapter mean for the new believer?
Answer: In this chapter Paul is speaking about how sin and grace relate to one another. He starts off by refuting the idea by some that, since the more sin there is, the more grace is needed to cover that sin, and since more grace is a good thing, we ought to sin more so that there can be more grace [v,1-2]. In the following verses he refutes this by showing that a Christian is to be dead to sin, i.e. that sin no longer governs, or influences, or has anything to do with his life anymore, because he is now a new creation in Christ. And just as Christ died, was buried, and rose again, he (the Christian) died to sin, and was raised again with a new life [v.3-5]. Paul continues to tell how that the 'old man' (our sin nature, or the natural man) is crucified with Christ, and because of that we are no longer servants to sin and are free from it [v.6-7]. Christ died once to sin, so death or sin no longer have dominion over Him, this truth being relfected in the Christian [v.8-11]. Since sin no longer reigns over the Christian, he no longer has to submit to it's fleshly lusts, but can now yield (that is, surrender) to God, instead of to sin, and this is possible because he is under grace, and not under the law [v.12-14]. However, just because we are under grace, and not law, does not give us a license to sin, because we are the servants of whomever or whatever we submit to, be it sin (which leads to death), or obedience to God (which produces righteousness) [v.15-16]. Now that the Christian is free from sin, he can now serve God, and ought to serve Him with the same vigor as he did when he was the servant of sin [v.17-20]. Finally, the fruit or wages of sin (what a man earns for commiting acts of unrighteousness) is death, not just physical non-existence, but also eternal, spiritual separation from God, being tormented as well. However, when a man receives Christ as Saviour, having realized his own sinfulness before a holy God, and having repented (that is, a change of mind, a turning away from, relinquishment of a preactice) of that sin, God gives to him the gift (something that cannot be earned, unlike sin) of eternal life with Him, free from the penalty, power, and practice of sin forever [v.21-23].
Conclusion: I, as a Christian, am no longer enslaved to sin/the flesh, having to do it's every bidding, but instead have the freedom to serve God with a willing heart. This ought to encourage me to strive each day in fightin this flesh and its wordly lusts, and through the power of the Holy Ghost, I can have victory over the world.
• 09/08/10 •