Vol.XIV No.IV Pg.4
June 1977

Paul, To The Romans (6-10)

Robert F. Turner

WHAT PAUL SAID TO THE ROMANS is my bite-size, direct statement digest of that important letter. Introduction and Ch. 1-5 were published in Plain Talk, Vol. 14, No. 3. We continue from chapter 6 in this issue. RFT


Should this make us less concerned about sin in our daily lives? No indeed'. True Christians are dead to sin in intent and purpose. Christ gave His life, was buried, and was resurrected to live unto God. When we were baptized into Christ we declared our old manner of life to be dead and buried. Shall a "dead" man continue to be active? Having rejected our old manner of life, we must carry out our intent to live unto God.

We are no longer under the curse of a system of law, so that a single sin condemns us. That bondage has been removed through Christ's death and the forgiveness it made possible. But we can still bind ourselves in a life of sin. You once yielded your members unto sin, and grew worse and worse. Now exert that same free agency to serve righteousness, and grow more holy, living unto God. By sinning you earn eternal death; but serve righteousness, and God sill give you eternal life through Christ.

You see, it was not the law that was to blame for our former condition; it was our sinful conduct. Our former manner of living was to give in to appetites of the flesh. We were bound, as if by marriage, to this "old man." But we (i.e., our "old man" of the flesh) died (when we died figuratively in baptism); so that now we (our "new man" of the spirit) are free to be married to a new and better life. Being joined to Christ we can, like Him, bring forth fruit to God.

However, it would be a mistake to think that the flesh no longer has sinful appetites, or that man's spirit (apart from forgiveness in Christ) could prevail. (I, myself, must struggle to keep my body in subjection to my will; nor do I consider myself to have attained unto the perfection in Christ toward which strive.) I sometimes do what I know (deep inside) I should not do. I do net always live up to the high standards I know to be right, and wish to follow. My spirit strives for a better life, but my flesh is weak. I am torn by this inner struggle. If I had only law and my own conduct for my hope, I would be most miserable. But I do not trust in my own strength. My spirit is so given to Christ that I can trust slim.

Remember what I said about serving God from the heart or spirit of man? Law alone brings only deep despair; not because the law is weak, but because man is weak. But when Christ died as an offering for sin, so that God can justly forgive, He made it possible for those who sincerely trust and strive to serve Him, to attain unto rightwiseness before God. Yes, God sees the heart. To be carnally minded is death, now as ever. But through Christ the spiritually minded have life and peace.

To be truly spiritually minded one must enthrone the Spirit of God in one's heart. Such enthronement will be evidenced in the intent and manner (continued next page)