Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
September 26, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<254> Thesis: Our experience of God's reality is directly tied to the problematical issue of "faith". Introduction: As we have been considering Paul's teaching about how to be disentangled from the bondage to sin, we have noted that the "big" issue is that one to which we referred last week as "the compelling unity". We are entangled in sin by the compelling unity that we have with Adam, and we are disentangled from sin by the compelling unity that we have with Christ. Paul's argument has been that Christ is not the only one Who died to sin. All those who have been regenerated by the Spirit of God have been "baptized" into Christ to the degree that they also died to sin. In our study last week we re-considered the impact that "justification" makes to this issue. Paul had said, at the end of 6:6 that we should henceforth not serve sin because ("for") "he that is dead is justified from the sin" (6:7). Paul brought the justification issue into the mix because of the impact it has upon the most crucial issue involved in "sinning": the issue of "love for another". We said last week that it is at the point of "love" that we cease from sin. And we said that it is at the point of understanding our "justification from sin" that we begin to enter into "love". So, it is in the relational realm of reality that "justification" (God's willingness to simply put our sins beyond His judicial considerations) sponsors the "love" that denies potency to temptation and smothers any bondage that we might feel in respect to sin. Now, this evening we are actually going to begin another paragraph -- verses 8-10 -- as we continue to examine Paul's teaching. In this paragraph, we are introduced to another of the crucial issues involved in "sinning": the issue of "faith". Verse eight begins with the assumption that we have now managed to get a grip on the reality of our death with Christ. Then it immediately introduces the next most potent matter: "we believe...". It is this issue to which we will turn our attention this evening.