Series - Romans

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.

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Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 1)

The first issue we explored from Paul’s letter to the Romans was the meaning and message of the gospel—in Romans 1-5.

In this study, I want to offer a reminder of Paul’s message about choices and behaviors of those who are following God because of the gospel. Romans 6-8 moves from the issues of salvation to the issues of transformation of a believer—since God’s purpose in salvation wasn’t simply to change where we go when we die, but how we live in the “here and now.”

Paul taught in the middle section of the Epistle to the Romans that believers are to be transformed because they have completed their old life, died, and now have a new life to live.

Let’s start by admitting the obvious: ”Death changes many things.” Finally, we don’t have to pay taxes anymore when we die. People can send whatever bill they want to us—and not only are we not going to pay it, no one expects us to do so. Death makes our old obligations null and void. That may sound so obvious that it is really stupid, but the fact is that the center section of Romans was dedicated to that single idea: When you surrendered to Jesus—you “died” as your own master and turned your life and direction over to Jesus, so you don’t have the same obligations you had before to serve self and sin.

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“Paid In Full!” A Study of Romans 1-5 (Part 3)

For time’s sake, I want to skim a few verses through the next chapters to help us grasp a fuller description of the gospel message. Drop your eyes down into chapter two for a moment. Do you see the first three verses? They make the argument:

The Gospel is a message that shows “living by conscience” won’t fix my sin problem.

We’ve all heard it. “I do the best I can. I hope God will see that I was a good man.” Look at what Paul wrote:

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? (Romans 2:1-3)

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“Paid In Full!” A Study of Romans 1-5 (Part 2)

(Read Part 1)

The Gospel Is a Message that Makes Clear the Problem of God’s Judgment

The message about Jesus isn’t just uncomfortable because it rests on a Personal God and a risen Savior, but also because the Bible makes clear that the relationship between God and man is currently, on the whole, not a good one. Paul wrote it this way:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (NIV, Rom. 1:18-25)

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“Paid In Full!” A Study of Romans 1-5 (Part 1)

For thirty years they struggled in that little house on the corner. They raised five children in a house barely large enough for two. Its halls heard the daily squabbles of rambunctious children, the tussle of trying to get ready for school in one bathroom. It seemed for years there was constant fighting for counter space at the single little bathroom sink, just as there was incessant poking of one another and squealing as the lunch assembly line was launched in the tiny kitchen nearby every school day. Now the towel snapping “battle lines” had long ceased, and each child graduated, married and headed out into life. The old house held only the two of them now—just as the place had done where it all had started many years earlier.

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