NO LONGER SLAVES, 17.05.19
God’s Best Secret, Andrew Murray, Whitaker,1998
Thru-The-Bible Commentary Series, Romans, Chapters 1-8, J. Vernon McGee, Thomas Nelson, 1991.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? May it never be! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom.6:1,2). Interesting question, isn’t it? Especially when we hear believers quoting this, while many continue living in sin . . …
The question asked in the first verse is answered in the second. No discussion needed there. “In these words we have the deep spiritual truth that our death to sin in Christ delivers us from its power, so that we no longer can or need to live in it. The secret of true and full holiness is to live, by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit, with the knowledge that you are dead to sin” (Murray, 1998, p.205). We still have our carnal sin nature; however our desire to please the Father and to be like the Son deadens the desire to sin, enabling us, by the Holy Spirit’s power in us, to no longer actively live in sin. Of course, living this out, requires first and foremost, a true heart’s desire to do so; and secondly, active, daily surrender (take up your cross and follow Him). Then, the obvious question becomes: “Were those who purported
to be believers, really converted into believers, if they continue living in sin?”
“Or do you not know that all of us who were immersed into Messiah Yeshua were immersed into His death?” (Rom.6:3). Baptism symbolizes one’s submission to being dead to sin in Christ, assuming the new identity in Christ, which repositions one, for He has “raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua—”(Eph.2:6) enabling by the Spirit’s transforming power, to walk in the footsteps of Yeshua, walking in that same resurrection power, “For if we have become joined together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also will be joined together in His resurrection—” (Rom.6:5). “So that we no longer need to be in bondage to sin. But remember only as the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death a reality within us will we know – not by force of argument or conviction, but in the reality of the power of a divine life – that we are indeed dead to sin. It only requires the continual living in Christ Jesus” (Murray, 1998, p.205). Believers can no longer afford to coast along, quoting God’s Word, without actually living it out, walking in it daily, claiming God’s Grace to fill in the gaps – not when by His Word, and by His Holy Spirit, He has made it possible to live in it.
Since “knowing our old man was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be done away with, so we no longer serve sin”(Rom.6:6), we can now walk in freedom: “Union with Christ in His death and resurrection means that He is now our Lord and our Master. He gives us freedom, but that freedom is not license” (J. Vernon McGee, p.104). “For he who has died has been freed from sin” (Rom.6:7); now that only manifests as real if we have actually crucified flesh, and not merely given it lip service. Then we can walk in true freedom. If we want to claim likeness to Him, we do not retain license to sin/do as we please. “Now if we have died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him. We know that Messiah, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies; death no longer is master over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” (Rom.6:8-10). “Only as we know that we are dead with Him can we live with Him” (Murray, 1998, p. 207). The extent to which we are surrendered is the extent to which we are dead with Him.
“So also continually count yourselves both dead to sin and alive to God in Messiah Yeshua” (Rom.6:11). These words “are a call to bold and confident faith. . . . give us a divine assurance of what we actually are and have in Christ – not as a truth that our minds can master and take hold of, but as a reality that the Holy Spirit will reveal within us. In His power, we accept our death with Christ on the cross as the power of our daily lives” (Murray, 1998, p.207). It is when we fully make that commitment to surrender every aspect of self/life to Him that we may experience this revelation. If this heart desire has not yet been attained, all one need do is ask for it: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will
be opened”(Matt.7:7,8); and when we ask in accordance with God’s Word, we know we will have it.
“Therefore do not let sin rule in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts” (Rom.6:12). Paul is saying that the true believer has a choice; and thus should choose not to allow sin to have the upper hand any longer; that we “not present our members [note that these “members” may represent your mind, or limbs, hands, feet, etc.] instruments [as “instruments”, they can be tools for serving the Kingdom/honouring God, or they can be tools for hedonistic pleasure] of unrighteousness to sin, but present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom.6:13), “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom.6:14); and by God’s provision (His grace), we no longer are in bondage to sin, but instead have the freedom to follow Christ.
“All of Romans 6 is a wonderful revelation of the deep meaning of its opening words: “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (v.2). Everything depends on our acceptance of the divine assurance that if we died with Christ, we have the power to live for God, just as Christ who died now lives for God” (Murray, 1998, p.207). Choose this day Who you will follow, and no longer be a slave to sin.
© 2015, revised 2017, 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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