Up till this point in Paul’s letter his focus has been on justification (Forgiveness of our sin through Christ’s death and resurrection), but now in the next three chapters (6-8) Paul wants his readers to know that you don’t need to stop there! In fact, the next three chapters points to life after salvation, leaning towards sanctification! While justification is when we pass through Christ from death to life, sanctification is the process the Holy Spirit leads us through in restoring us to the image of God.
I tend to get frustrated with preachers who don’t preach the whole message of holiness. While most preachers stop at salvation, like Paul, I want people to know there’s more. Yes, when you experience salvation you receive the opportunity to experience the gift of heaven; but why stop at eating half the pie when God desires you to have the whole thing!
Up to this point Paul has indicated that we need to do something about the sin in our life. In chapter 6 Paul encourages us to eradicate the power of sin in our life!
Romans 6:6-8 (NLT) 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.
The Do Not’s
Continuing through the chapter, Paul includes a list of things to avoid in your new justified, regenerated, and adopted by God life.
Romans 6:12-13 (NLT) 12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.
- let sin control the what you live
- give in to sinful desires
- let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin
- give yourselves completely to God
Free From The Power of Sin
As Paul indicates, the only thing sin pays you is death, but you have to keep reading… The free gift of God is eternal life…keep reading…through Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:22-23 (NLT) 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
You’ll notice, especially through Chapter 6, that Paul continues to go back and forth between what we do vs. what God does. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, ” May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
He doesn’t want just one point along your spiritual journey, he wants the whole journey! He doesn’t want us to be satisfied with the status quo or be fulfilled with just getting by. Through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, God want’s you to truly be “more then conquerors” and break the bondage/pull of sin in your life.
Sanctification is allowing God to move in your life in such a way that you don’t have to be slave to sin anymore. Scripture is very clear that you don’t get to make yourself clean. That’s God’s job!