Romans 6-8

Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 3)

Read the series so far.

Believers need to set aside their hunger for earned righteousness.

Sometimes we chase after inner desires. Other times, it isn’t lust that we serve, it is a list. Paul went back in Romans 7 to the death illustration he used in Romans 6, this time to move into the argument against living to serve religious lists and keep God happy:

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (NIV, Rom. 7:1-4)

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Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 2)

Using the death illustration (see Part 1), Paul taught that we can choose to allow God to transform our allegiance to following our desires and let Him work in us to engage a new life. Here, we’ll take apart what Paul wrote, because it has some “religious” terms that can lead us in the wrong way if we don’t carefully understand them.

First, Paul made clear in verse two that sin’s hold on us is changed because we have died as believers.

I feel alive, how about you? Who has died? Clearly what he said was that our surrender to Jesus Christ was like a “death” to self-direction, or at least that is what it was supposed to be. Let me illustrate: If I were to join military service this week, I would cease my ability to serve this congregation. I would cease making most all decisions in my life, and my days and nights would be surrendered to the military authorities to whom I gave charge of my life. I wouldn’t decide when I woke up in the morning, nor when I went to bed. My clothing, hairstyle and daily schedule would be entirely surrendered to their charge. I would eat what they told me to eat, when they told me to eat it. I would, in effect, “die” to self-choices. Paul made it clear that my commitment to Jesus was intended to be very much like that. Read more about Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 2)