Understanding What Christ Did: The Book of Romans – part 3

In the second part of this series, Unified By Faith, we continued to examine the apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Rome, (now known as the Biblical book of Romans). In the section of the letter that we looked at, Paul was explaining the centerpiece of God’s salvation through Christ – that is, having faith in who Jesus is, (the Son of God) and what He did.

Having a better understanding of what it is that you are having faith in, always strengthens faith. So today, we will look at the section of Paul’s letter that brings a greater clarity to what Jesus did and what it meant.

First and foremost, God sent Jesus so that He could undo the sin of Adam and point you heavenward: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men– Rom. 5:12 NKJV

But the free gift is not like offense. For if by one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:15 – 17. NKJV

…as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 5:21 NKJV

Through God’s clemency and grace, He struck down your Adam-derived death sentence through the free gift of Jesus Christ; and the suspension of your sentence is eternal.

Well, if Jesus has already done all this work for us, are we then free to sin at will?

Shall we continue to sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!

How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. Rom. 6:1 – 4. NKJV

…our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Rom. 6:6, 7. NKJV

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey its lusts…but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. Rom. 6:10 – 14. NKJV

Jesus died for all of our sins for all time, and those who receive Him have, at that very moment, total access to that transformation of righteousness – literally becoming new men and women in Christ.

As a new creature in Christ, we are asked to walk as best we can, in a new way, God’s way – being doers of the word and not hearers only. (James 1:22)

However, the flesh will not give up on its cravings; and there will be moments when we are weak-willed and give into them. Yet we can always tap into the resurrection power of Christ to help us stand in opposition to sin, to keep our transgressions to a minimum; because God promises us that He will always provide a way out of our predicaments. (1 Cor. 10:13) When we do slip, we can turn to God with confession and repentance…

God wants us as far away from sin as possible because He knows that it is so destructive:

Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Rom. 6:15, 16. NKJV

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 6:23 NKJV

God has a much higher road prepared for you to walk on:

…you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to one another – to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. Rom. 7:4 NKJV

Paul goes on to write about how the law itself is not bad, and that its job is to show us our sin – so that we could see the need for our salvation. He uses his own personal struggles with sin to emphasize his point:

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Rom. 7:14, 15. ESV

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Rom. 7:17, 18. ESV

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. Rom. 7:21 ESV

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Rom. 7:24, 25. NKJV

We can see then that the Mosaic Law was intended to be a spiritual standard, wherein one’s total obedience to it would guarantee a 100% righteous state before God.

However, there is a continual war within us – between our spirit, which can and wants to obey the law, and the Adam-sin-tainted flesh, which relishes rebellion against the same.

God is showing us His mercy, in bringing to us one of His mightiest spiritual warriors, and revealing to us Paul’s struggles with his own humanity. Our loving Father in heaven is showing us the need to apply mercy and compassion to everyone, ourselves as well, and lay condemnation aside.

God knows about our internal tug-of-war. Even when we seek to be in obedience and advance His kingdom, the voice of Satan is ever-present in our flesh, trying to convince us to do otherwise.

When we do slip and fall, we gain nothing by condemning ourselves. (Remember how Jesus refused to condemn the adulteress?) We have only lost a skirmish, not the entire battle. Christ is at the helm; and the lost skirmish is wiped out through our confession and repentance that connects us with His blood of redemption.

Indeed, Jesus leads us to victory in the battle: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Rom. 8:1 – 4. NASB

What a God! What a Son! See the word ‘now’ in the beginning of that scripture? God has already freed those from the condemnation of sin who received Christ and placed their faith in His death and resurrection. And that condemnation has been removed for every transgression we have committed or ever will commit, as long as we try to do our best to walk in the spirit and emulate Jesus.

We have actually met all of the Law through the efforts of Jesus on our behalf; and we walk presently in the new found freedom of God’s new and final covenant – through Christ. Moreover, Christ Himself empowers us to live that spirit-filled life. We only have to exercise our free will to make the right choices:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom. 8:5, 6. NKJV

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile towards God, for it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8:7, 8. ESV

In other words, when we set our minds on going after the ways of the world, we rebel against God, and death is the guaranteed outcome. Praise God that He showers those who choose Him and His ways, through His Son, with His love, mercy, and grace for all eternity:

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of God, he is not His.

And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Rom. 8:9 – 11. NKJV

For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. for you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba Father.”

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Rom. 8:13 – 17. NKJV

When you accept Christ, you are filled with the Holy Spirit – cloaking you with the righteousness of Jesus, which wipes all of your sins off of the heavenly ledger. And, you become adopted sons and daughters – bathed in love and joy, along with a little suffering as well, because the enemy will now declare ‘open season’ on you, as he tries to tear you away from the arms of your Savior.

However, what did Jesus tell us? “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27, 28. NKJV

That’s what Christ did…

Goodnight and God bless.