Romans 6:2 (KJV)
“God Forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
The first two words in this verse tells us his answer to the question that was presented in Romans 6:1. Looking at this verse we can see that his first statement is a very emotional one and then he asks a very calculated and rational question.
When Paul asked the question “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” he is actually presenting the declaration of impossibility. Let me explain it this way.
What Paul is actually saying is that it is actually impossible for a Child of God to sustain the same relationship with the “sin nature” or evil nature that he had before God Saved him. You have those who believe in the “sin a little bit every day” religion which says that we as Children of God sin just as much as the unbelievers do, and this is totally Hog Wash. Why do I say this? Because we as Children of God now that we are Saved have a new nature, this nature is the Characteristics of God.
Please understand this, even tho we have our new nature which is the Characteristic of God, we still have the evil nature or sin nature in us at the same time. This is why Paul has treated this subject with such emotion and firmness.
Christians & Sin
We as Christians are dead to sin. Because of God’s supernatural Grace, even tho he has left the sin nature in us, has separated us from it. Before Salvation this sin nature is the master of every individual that has ever been born, other than Jesus Christ. After Salvation the believer is the master of the sin nature. Stay with me on this and you will begin to understand why Paul has taught us this on a very in-depth level. Many, many Christians do not understand this. When we begin to see this Truth we begin to realize that we have isolated the problem and now have a permanent solution or remedy for it.
Now, we have the question of “why does God leave this sin nature in us?” The answer is that he leaves this evil nature in us as a disciplinary measure. Let me explain.
When a sinner comes to Christ he is a New Creation in Christ Jesus. At this time the “sin nature” or evil nature gets extinguished like a fire that has had water thrown on it. So now that the fire is out, or in this case the power of the “sin nature” has been extinguished, there are still coal embers in there that are still burning. As long as no fuel is poured on these embers they just sit there not causing any trouble.
But, the moment you sin, put fuel on those embers, out of control you go. Most of the time, worse than before you were Saved.
Now God leaves these embers in us so that we can see and know the danger of the “sin nature” that resides in us and keeps us on our face before God and looking to Jesus Christ for guidance and strength and trusting in Him knowing that only His Strength is strong enough to help us be the overcomer expected of us. During this process we will learn about the Holy Spirit and His workings in our lives by His Leading and Guidance.
Before I go any further I need to address some erroneous teachings that are going on in some circles that if not addressed now will cause further problems with those who are new to the Word of God… Some circles are teaching “sinless perfection.” This actually comes from those who do not really understand Sanctification the way Paul actually taught it. How do I know? Let me give you an example.
A very well known Evangelist and teacher of mine explained it to me this way. Some years ago a friend of his who happens to be one of the greatest Bible Scholars known today who happens to now be with the Lord, was discussing this very issue with some of the Leaders in a major Pentecostal Denomination that happened to be teaching “sinless perfection,” and the funny thing is, this Bible Scholar was a member of that particular Denomination and was rebutting this error.
My teacher was saying that these people that were teaching the “sinless perfection” doctrine should have known better than to be going up against this man whom had a vast knowledge of Scripture. It wasn’t but a few minutes into the discussion that this Bible Scholar had proved his point to the extent that his opponent, who was incidentally “Perfect,” lost his temper. The mans associates had to restrain him so that he would not actually physically attack him in such a violent fit of rage.
So much for “sinless perfection.”
I’m not saying this to hurt anyone’s feelings but I want to dispel the idea that man can be perfect. There has only been one man perfect on this earth and that Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. What I am saying is that anyone who happens to be perfect on this earth doesn’t need a Savior.
At the very moment a sinner comes to Christ he is “Washed, Sanctified, & Justified” (1 Cor. 6:11). Immediately after Salvation, Sanctification happens, which is a Work of Grace from God. To clarify this, one cannot be Justified unless he has been washed perfectly clean through Sanctification.
So, when we as sinners come to Christ we receive a “Standing” in Him (Christ) which never changes. But, our “State” is a whole nether story. Our “State” will change almost by the hour. This is what is called “Progressive Sanctification.” Progressive Sanctification is a process whereby the Holy Spirit is constantly working to bring our “State” up to God’s “Standing.” This is a life long process and will not stop until we are presented faultless before God and His Glory, (Jude vs. 24).
Also reading 1 Thess. 5:23 we can see where Paul is talking about “Progressive Sanctification”:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJV)
This is such a great victory that has been given to us by Jesus Christ. This proclamation has been issued by God for us to be set free from the sin nature and its slavery. Paul goes through this and teaches us this in Romans Chapter 7. Lets look at what he said:
Romans 7:14-15 (KJV)
Contrary to what some teach, this is not Paul speaking before he was saved. No unsaved person would make this type of statement. Sinners love sin, they may hate the results of sin, but they love the acts of sin. Paul knew he was Saved, but he didn’t understand why he sinned after his Salvation. Like many Christians today, Paul tried to not sin by his own strength. However, human endeavor will never overcome sin.
Paul, in this Chapter 6 of Romans is bringing out this Truth that enables the Believer to have constant victory over the indwelling of the sin nature. But, the moment we sin, that ugly evil nature the “sin nature” rears it ugly head and takes back the throne by dethroning the Lord Jesus Christ.
Even tho at times we will succumb to the “sin nature” the fact is we do not have to do so. And in fact, we wont if we understand our position in Christ Jesus…. NO!!!! this does not teach sinless perfection. For sinless perfection cannot be attained this side of the Resurrection. What this does teach us tho is how we can have consistent victory over sin…
These are some very cold and hard facts but true to the word of God and its teaching on the subject. Stay tuned for Romans 6:3 in our next lesson.