I am not sure about you but I find Paul’s teaching a little complex at times when it comes to sin, law and righteousness. I realize very clearly that I have been justified by faith through the death and resurrection of Jesus. I also understand that I am no longer living in the ‘realm of Adam’ and that I now live in the ‘realm of grace’ or, more precisely, the ‘realm of Jesus’. In this realm, sin does not mix. Why then do I still struggle with sin when I am supposed to be alive in the Spirit and dead to sin? I guess that it has much to do with the spiritual battle that we find ourselves in. Let us remember that we are at war … at war with sin and the advocates of sin. But it is not all that bad!
We need to always keep things in context. We need to always remember the whole picture and not just concentrate on snippets. The jig saw puzzle must be seen in its entirety if we are to witness the completed picture. Let us remember the great truth that we are already justified in the sight of God. Jesus took our sins onto Himself. He was our ransom. As we stand in front of God He sees us as righteous because we have been ‘justified’! Nevertheless, because of what we know … because we know that this justification was secured at such a price … because we now have a great love for Jesus … we desire to live our lives in a way that brings joy and glory to Him and His Father. And this is where the tension now arises … sin is still within our grasp because of the liberty and freedom we now enjoy as free men and women!
In this next section of Paul’s letter, there has been great debate down through the millennia as to what Paul really means. Bible commentators disagree and have argued amongst each other as to what Paul is really getting at. One thing is for sure, and that is, Paul is really trying very hard to have us understand without any measure of doubt that salvation is not possible by any attempt of following the Law. We fail again and again. Salvation is by grace alone! Pastor Ernest will take us into this very interesting section of Scripture this morning. Notwithstanding this great truth, we need to be walking this path together in pursuing to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord … we need to be helping one another through the trials and temptations of life. It is not easy going but with what we know we can confidently spur each other on to righteousness in our service of our glorious King!