July 12, 2012
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures… They are they which testify of Me. “John 5: 39
Author: Bob Moses
Commentary on Romans
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Rom: 6: 1
This verse leads us back to Chapter 5 verse 18—19 “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Also Ch. 5, Vs. 21: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul states in Ch. 6, Vs.2 “God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” The point that Paul is trying to make is, that simply because we are no longer accountable regarding sin, as new creatures, having been quickened by the Holy Spirit, under the Grace of God; does not give us the liberty to continue in sin, in our daily lives. Just because we are a forgiven people does not permit us to continue living in our sinful nature. Thus the statement; “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? This in and of itself is foolishness. Nevertheless, there are many who take the posture that since sin is no longer held to our account, this allows free reign to sin, assuming that we will not be held accountable. This is what Paul is condemning. The fact that we may sin and be forgiven, does not give license to deliberate sinfulness. Nevertheless, take special note of Paul’s statement here on verse 2: “How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” This does not erase the possibility that even a Christian may sin. Lord knows that we do. The emphasis is on the fact that we do not live in sin any longer. We now have a higher consciousness, a new spiritual awareness in which we now walk (Ref. 6: 4) and have departed from living in sin. However, we sometimes stumble and must repent and seek the forgiveness of God for that sin. Therefore we do not allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies. (Ref. 6: 12)
These next few verses are paramount to one of the basics of Southern Baptist, and that particular tenant upon which they rest. First we shall quote from the Scripture and then attempt to qualify the meaning therein as interpreted by the household of Baptist.
Romans: 6; Vs. 3—10: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For it we have been planted (baptized as Christ was, under water; that the sin of the previous life was symbolically washed away) together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection (a full body resurrection)”. This is where the Baptist get their namesake, as they follow the method of baptism (full body submersion in water) from John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For He that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him; Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead; dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that he died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God”.
This brings us back to our previous analogy. If we take on the mantle of death via baptism, through the death of Our Lord, we now walk in newness of life and are partakers of His freedom from sin. Therefore, if we are dead in Christ, through His death and burial; we also reap the benefits of life through Him, in His resurrection from the dead, and death has no more dominion over our spiritual being. Therefore, the old Baptist adage holds true. Live twice and die once, or live once and die twice. What this means is that to live twice one must first be born into this life as a person, of human heritage or a natural birth; and then to experience a spiritual birth which is obtained by those who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour. This is where we get the term “born again”, some refer to us, as those, “born again’er’s. We are born twice, once natural and once spiritual thus we only die once meaning the natural or physical death because the Spirit lives on forever and never dies. Then to live once, and die twice means that to be born naturally, and not accept Christ, one will die a second time at the Great White Throne Judgment, prophesied yet, for the future. Thus, to live twice, is to experience both a natural and spiritual birth, and only die naturally in the flesh. Whereas to live once, naturally, and not spiritually, means to die a second time, in the spirit, at the Judgment Seat of God.
We must now continue the discourse of Paul verses 11—13 of Chapter 6. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instrument of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God”. Moving on to verse 14—15; “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Let us skip to verse 23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
These last few verses echo our comments from both the former and the latter paragraphs. We cannot sin, with the expectation of forgiveness; if we sin willfully. Knowledge of sin came about by the law, but now that we know what saith the law, we can no longer claim ignorance. So what is this law, demanded by God? Simply put, moral cognizance and common sense. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Honor thy father and mother, Be not covetous toward thy brother, honor his wife and children. Do not steal or kill or hold grievousness against your fellow man.
Plainly and simply, it is just old fashioned goodness and righteousness. My friends this is not all that difficult. One does not have to be a theologian in Biblical Science to understand God’s Holy Word. One only needs to be receptive of His calling, accept His salvation and willingness to accept His Lordship within our lives. Acknowledge that He is indeed the Son of God, the Messiah, who lived on this earth, died for our sins and rose from the dead. Do His bidding, and obey His terms, for our own personal, eternal salvation. Then make every effort to be good and do right. Does this satisfy all His requirements? No! It is nevertheless a start in the right direction and secures our eternal passage into His heavenly kingdom. Which will allow us to; “grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. II Peter 3: 18 Amen!!