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Free From Sin's Dominion
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
Posted by: Sovereign Grace Baptist Church | more..
19,400+ views | 110+ clicks
When it comes to living the Christian life, there is perhaps no passage in God's Word more foundational to our understanding than Romans 6. One reason for this is due to the fact that this chapter addresses head on the danger of antinomianism. This is the teaching which says, "Since I am 'under grace' and no longer 'under law', then it doesn't matter how I live. Under grace I can sin all I want to." Many people in the visible church have bought into this lie. But in Romans 6 the self-deception of the antinomian is exposed, as we are told that a Christian can no longer live in sin since he has "died to sin" (6:1-2, 15-18).
Another reason however for the importance of Romans 6 is the certainty it brings to every Christian regarding the assurance of final salvation. Romans 6 sends a message to every believer in Christ that their salvation will be preserved and thus they will persevere to the very end. No true child of God will be finally and fatally lost. This means that despite how difficult and trying our sanctification may be, God will keep us to the end. And one of the great statements in Romans 6 which speaks directly to this issue is in verse 14: "For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
This declaration falls on the immediate heels of two great imperatives communicated in verses 12-13. First, we are called to oppose sin. Second, we are called to serve God. But what guarantee do we have that our opposition to sin and service to God will last? How can we be sure that we will not ultimately defect from God and re-enter our former bondage to sin? The answer to these troubling questions are summed up in Romans 6:14, where at the closing of God's command to fight sin and serve Him, we are given a sweet assuring promise regarding the stability and steadfastness of our sanctification. And in this promise there are two important indicatives concerning our relationship to both sin and God.
First, there is our assurance for persevering in sanctification. The opening words of Romans 6:14 declare: "For sin will have no dominion over you..." Right from the start we must understand two things about this statement. First of all, it is not an imperative. This is not a command where we're being told to do something. Second of all, this is not a promise of future reward pending our obedience to what we are commanded to do in verses 12-13. In other words, we must not take these words in verse 14 as either an exhortation or a consequence of what happens if we oppose sin and serve God. Rather, when we read, "For sin will have no dominion over you", this must be understood as a statement of assured fact for the believer in Christ. An assurance that he can and will effectively oppose sin and serve God since sin will have no dominion over [him]. Moreover, this is God's Word of assurance for His people that they will persevere in sanctification because they will never again be under the dominion of sin.
But affirming this truth raises a question: what does it mean to be under the dominion of sin? One reason for this question is due to the reality that sin still remains in our mortal bodies as Christians, and we still commit sin (6:12; cf. 7:14-24). So how then must we understand that sin will have no dominion over you? Again, what does it mean to be under the dominion of sin? The answer to this question takes us to Romans 3:9-18, where we're told that "both Jews and Greeks, are under sin." To be "under sin" is to be under sin's power, rule, and thus its dominion. But the kind of people described as under sin's dominion are not believers but unbelievers. They are in rebellion to God's law, blind to the things of God, with no inclination to seek God in a saving way, and full of corruption on a path of sinful misconduct (3:10-12). This is a person under the dominion of sin. But this is not a Christian!
A Christian has died to his old way of life under the enslaving power of sin (6:2). He no longer lives under sin's tyranny nor in sin's territory. Furthermore, what he was in Adam as a lost condemned sinner has died also. The "old self" is dead (6:6) and a new creation has been joined in spiritual union with Christ (6:3-5; cf. II Cor,5:17). Based on these gospel facts, is it any wonder that we are given such strong assurance - "for sin will have no dominion over you?" Be encouraged, Christian! Sin has lost its rule over you. It may fight to regain power but it will not prevail. United to Christ under the reign of His redeeming grace - this is where you live.
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