Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 9
Thesis: The reality that determines our "success" in living for God is our "justification".
Introduction: In our last study we considered Paul's declaration that the "old man", which is the former "spirit" that is responsible for behavior by the body, was effectively separated from its dominion over that body by the crucifixion of Christ. He, by crucifixion, was separated from His body so that that body was no longer His to direct. The straight-line logic, then, is that since "our old man" was similarly crucified, "he" is no longer in dominion over our bodies.
The hang up here is precisely this: Christ's body was spatially separated from His Spirit so that, until resurrection, that body was actually, and totally, incapacitated, but our bodies are not separated from that former spirit within in the same manner. If they were, the vast majority of the New Testament would not need to exist: sin would simply be impossible for us to commit just as it is ultimately our destiny to be thusly free.
Therefore, we have a serious need to both understand and embrace the current methodology of Life. It is "by faith". This means it is not by actual physical realities, especially the reality of the separation of the body from its empowering spirit. Rather it is "by faith" as we embrace a set of genuine realities, the first of which is the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our bodies as a new source of power to direct our bodies' behaviors.
Since the interim methodology is "faith", there are, at a minimum, two most fundamental issues involved: one, actual Truth understood; and, two, deliberate "believing" at the point of contention. This means that there will always be a focus upon "knowing this" and there will always be a deliberate decision to trust in what is "known". Thus, there is Romans 6:6 and its "knowing" and Romans 6:9 and its "knowing" and Romans 6:11 and its "reckoning".
July 10, 2016
- I. Paul's Current Focus: Justification.
- A. In 6:6 Paul declares the co-crucifixion of "our old man" with Christ so that his link to our bodies is broken, and then concludes that we are to no longer serve "The Sin".
- B. Then, in 6:7 he says "For...", meaning that he is going to explain our freedom from service to "The Sin".
- C. Thus, we conclude that 6:7 is a kind of pivotal truth that is a kind of make-it-or-break-it reality.
- a. This means that we really need to understand what Paul wrote.
- b. It also means that we cannot trust either the Authorized Version or the NASB translators because neither translate as though they have understood Paul's words.
- 1. Both the Authorized Version and the NASB fail miserably in translating using the word "freed" and the omission of the definite article preceding "sin".
- a. The word translated "freed" is used in 36 verses in the New Testament (some of which have more than one occurrence in them); in 34 of them the word is translated "justify" (or a variation thereof); in one of them it is translated "be righteous"; and in 6:7 it is completely severed from its meaning by the use of "freed" [even in Romans it is used in 14 verses and consistently translated "justify" except in 6:7].
- b. The omission of the definite article severs our understanding from the fact that Paul is consistent in the larger context in calling Adam's race-perverting action "The Sin".
- 2. The only rationale for this failure is that the translators did not understand Paul.
- c. Therefore, it is our task to seek to understand why Paul said, "The one who died has been justified from The Sin".
- 1. At stake is the entire principle of "Life" in this present world.
- a. In Adam, the principle of experience is simply "autopilot behavior" doing whatever the lusts of the flesh and of the mind put forward with sufficient motivation from the perverse spirit within.
- b. In Christ, the principle of "Life" is a combination of "knowing" and "believing" set forth by the Spirit of Christ within.
- 2. Knowing and believing are, in this statement, centered upon "justification" from "The Sin".
- a. The issue of "The Sin" is the issue of whether one is "in Adam" or "in Christ" as competing heads over their progeny.
- b. Therefore "being justified from" what Adam established is critical.
- 1) Justification is not the actual changes that have been put in place "by faith".
- a) Adam instilled the fear of death in all of his progeny leading them into the abiding bondage of fear, and the Gospel breaks that fear with the promise of eternal life.
- b) Adam opened the door of dominion over his progeny to Satan and he installed a "spirit" in Adam's progeny that is rooted substantively upon The Disbelief so that they naturally do the lusts of the flesh and of the mind, and Christ installed His "Spirit' in His progeny Who works as The Disbelief is set aside and "faith" is embraced.
- 2) Justification is, rather, an actual change in the mind of God so that He literally refuses to impute "sins" to His people.
- a) At issue is one truth: God has set aside His robes of Judgeship in respect to His people and clothed Himself with the robes of Fatherhood.
- b) This is a mental issue that instigates deliberate activities by God, the main one being that He refuses to condemn His children.
- 3) Thus, what Paul is saying is that it is critical for believers to actually believe that God is "for us" in the sense of Romans 8:30-31 where "justification" is pivotal.
- II. Paul's Point.
- A. The only requirement for a person to be "justified from The Sin" is for that person to have "died".
- 1. Physical death actually breaks Adam's hold over his progeny.
- 2. Since physical death actually imposes the former life upon the one who dies, it is not something to look forward to.
- B. But Paul's entire point throughout this context is that one can "die" without "dying"; he/she can be united with Christ in His death so that one is really "dead" but not physically so.
- C. What Paul is saying is that, once dead, a person possesses such a relationship with God that He refuses to respond "justly" to that person and acts in "wise grace" instead.