Our Power Over Sin.

We have just finished the section of Romans that laid out the doctrine of justification, or positional sanctification, in great detail. Chapters 6-7 deal with practical sanctification, or how Christians are set apart and become holy. Romans 5:15 and 5:20 give some context for what Paul begins in chapter 6. God's grace overwhelms the power of sin when it works our salvation. This same grace is the divine source of our sanctification and the reason we can have success in becoming more like Christ.

How do we progress in reflecting the likeness of God? Hebrews 12:1-2, 5 show that deeper knowledge produces greater discernment.

This new section is introduced by questions in Romans 6:1-2 and 6:15. Three main verbs in verses 1-15 punctuate 3 sections.

  • "Know" (Romans 6:3, 6)
  • "Consider" (Romans 6:11)
  • "Present" (Romans 6:13)

A gap often exists between what someone knows of the Bible and what they live out practically. This section answers the question, How do I put into action what I learn? It is a glorious agony, and we need to rehearse this process constantly.

The family of Christ is made up of people at varying degrees of maturity, but every believer struggles against temptations to sin. We may tire of the battle, but once we are born again, we do not live under the full power of sin anymore! The same grace that saves also sustains us.

There is a toy shop in the basement of the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada. In it are bins of toys at varying degrees of completion – yet all of them are for sale and, in fact, do sell! The art hall in Florence, Italy, that houses Michelangelo's David statue also displays many sculptures that the artist never finished. There is value even in unfinished work. Don't be discouraged if you are not perfected in Christ-likeness yet! Progress takes time!

The good news is that we are already dead to sin when we are born again. Over time, our lives should show that we win more battles than we lose.

We will study the following outline in detail starting next week:

  • Comprehend
  • Consider
  • Conform

Application Points

  • Are you reading God's Word personally?
  • Are you studying the Bible with another believer?
  • Are you discouraged by your rate of Christian growth, or frustrated by that of another believer? There is value even in unfinished work. Be patient: no one is perfected in Christ-likeness instantly! Progressive sanctification takes time!
  • Are you making progress? Can you see areas in your life that have become more sanctified since your salvation? Are you progressively winning more battles over temptation?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • 2 Peter 3:18 – A command to grow in grace and knowledge.
  • 1 John 3:1-3 – One day, the sanctification process will be complete.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Free from Guilt and Free from Sin” by Don and Jaree Hall

Dark, the stain I cannot hide,
Stain of sin, my guilt to prove.
Guilt my own, and foolish pride,
Pride, the reason for my sin.

Light of God came shining down;
Son of God, my soul to win,
Laid aside His heav’nly crown,
Paid the price for all my sin.

Wash me in the Savior’s blood;
Make me pure without, within.
Cleanse my heart and set me free,
Free from guilt and free from sin,
Free from guilt and free from sin.

Love of God that lights my way,
Love displayed on Calvary;
Lamb of God my soul to save
Gave His life to set me free!

Gone, the darkness, come the Light;
Gone, the night, the day begins.
Gone, the wrong, my soul made right,
Free from guilt and free from sin.

Quotes to Ponder

"Churches are not to be cul-de-sacs but thoroughfares."