Sin No Longer Reigns
- Date: May 1, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7)
- From Put On Christ
I want to transition from this particular theological position of "already", that we are already perfect in Christ. We are already the sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs, but not unto glorification. Not yet. So, in the process of this dynamic we call sanctification, we're legally sinless, blameless before God, and yet, literally, we're still experiencing the dynamic of warring with the sin that is in our members. And, this sin that periodically manifests itself, there is no longer-and you might want to get this in your notes-there is no longer the absolute reign of sin, but there is still the activity of sin. There is no longer the absolute reign of sin, but there is the activity of sin. Romans 7 speaks of that very clearly, doesn't it, in the passages that we're all very familiar with. Let's turn to Romans 7 quickly here and take a look at it. Many of us find ourselves in this dilemma. Many teachers over the years have said, "Romans 7 is really Paul before he was converted." Not so! It doesn't take long to see that this is not the cry of a non-converted man. It would completely fly in the face of what Paul is speaking of in Romans 6 and 8.
Paul said, "When I was free from righteousness, it had no place in me." I didn't wake up and say, "Boy, I hope I don't do something righteous today." This is a man that's tasted the goodness of God, the grace of God, who has been tutored by the Word of God. He has a heart and a desire to do the Word of God. He knows that the Word of God is true and holy and just; and yet finds himself not fulfilling it at all times. He's a man that cries out and says in Romans 7:14-18, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do [the things] that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." I can't fight it in the flesh. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3) So he said, "I can't do this in the flesh. There is no way. I want to keep the Word, but there is nothing in me that allows me to do it. I have no strength to perform that which I know I should be doing, and I consent to the law that it's good." Chapter 7, verse 20, "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." A lot of people like to use that as a cop-out, "Well, this isn't me. This is sin in me." No, that's Gnosticism. First John 3:7 says, "…he that doeth righteousness is righteous." So we see the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit in our lives. Obedience unto Christ is always, always the way we can understand whether the grace of God to justification is working in our lives.
Remember, we talked about justification, those of us that are justified in Christ. It means "just as though we had never sinned." That is what justification is. I stand pure before God. I stand innocent before God. We said another way to look at that is "just as if I always obeyed." We thought that was another great way of looking at that. Or, as Jesus said, "I do always those things that please the [Father]" (John 8:29). As long as we remain in Jesus, that is how Father see us. That is our legal position. But some would have us believe that the legal position is all that matters, and if we'll focus on that, then we won't have to contend with this daily warfare. We'll just pretend that it's not there. Paul didn't teach that doctrine. He taught to war against this. He taught to crucify the flesh. He taught to deny ourselves. So he goes on here and he says in Romans 7, verse 23, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [This is not an unregenerated man.] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The unregenerated man has no desire to live any way but in the flesh to fulfill that natural character of who he is.