Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4
Thesis: The "bottom line" in "Christianity" is that it actually "works".
Introduction: In our studies of this second half of Romans 6 we have seen that a major reason for allowing grace to actually be grace in our thinking is that we live in an exacting creation that ultimately visits one's actions upon the one taking action. Every action produces its own "fruit" and that "fruit" ultimately comes back upon the one taking the action.
In the verses before us this evening, Paul is focused upon a particular fact: the issue is not "freedom", but "shame". Once we get this reality clearly in mind, we will focus, not upon whether, or not, we are "slaves", but upon whether, or not, our actions will ultimately prove to be effectual or a total waste.
September 18, 2016
- I. Paul's Question.
- A. In the context, Paul's call is for a presentation, out of "faith", of the members of our bodies to The God so that He may have instruments available to Him to produce The Righteousness in our actual world.
- 1. The Righteousness is that righteousness that exists exclusively in the domain of "faith".
- 2. This "Righteousness" is "the righteousness of The God" which He exercises for the benefit of those who "believe" Him -- externally, by His movements in their outer world, and internally, by His movements in their inner heart/mind world.
- B. In that light, Paul addresses the false issue: "freedom".
- C. Then he takes the false issue of "freedom" to its real-world result: "shame".
- 1. His declaration of "freedom".
- a. When you were "slaves" to The Sin...
- 1) When you were living in "the fear of death"...
- 2) When you were living under the dominion of that "spirit that works in the sons of The Disbelief"...
- 3) When your life was characterized by "fears" and slavery to a "spirit" whose entire purpose is to produce behavior that would come back upon you in a destructive way, you were "free".
- b. This declaration of "freedom" does not mean several things.
- 1) It does not mean that the "free" have special powers of self-determination.
- 2) It does not mean that the "free" are, in any sense, able to make their lives pleasant.
- 3) It does not mean that the "free" are going to escape either the short term consequences of their behavior or the long term consequence of being subjected to the Justice and Condemnation of God.
- c. This declaration of "freedom" only means one dominant thing: The Righteousness had no dominion over you; you were "free" from its influence and impact in behavior.
- 2. His conclusion: what you did with your "freedom" has resulted in shame.
- D. Then, The Question.
- 1. What was the personal outcome of your "freedom"?
- a. You bore "fruit": this is inevitable with those who are yet physically alive.
- b. You are now ashamed of that fruit: you see it for its total ineffectiveness.
- 1) "Shame" is a feeling that results from being shown to be a fool by the complete frustration of the "wisdom" of the fool.
- 2) You can now see just how ineffectual your "wisdom" was.
- 2. What is the progressive and ultimate outcome of that "freedom"?
- a. The progressive outcome of "the fruit of fools" is "death" as an incremental spiral into the alienation that marks it for what it is.
- b. The ultimate outcome of that "fruit" is "Death" as the final rejection by God of those who persisted in their alienation from Him.
- 3. The actual issue: the pride of functional capacity is the pride of a "fool" and its result is either "death" or "shame", and ultimately both if not remedied.
- II. Paul's Declaration.
- A. The "freedom" issue has been subjugated to it proper place.
- 1. True "freedom" is not the ability to do whatever one pleases at any given time; it is, rather, the escape from the dominion of the fear and spirit of The Sin.
- 2. The issue of "freedom" is now the ability to act "as a slave to The God".
- B. The omnipresent issue of "fruit" as the creator of the future by way of "repercussions upon repercussions" is retained.
- 1. This "fruit" moves us in the direction of "sanctification".
- 2. This "fruit" moves us into the experience of Eternal Life as both a present, partial reality and a future undiminished reality.