When the Body Lines up with The Faith
Romans 4:1-3 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Last week we visited the Old Testament character Abraham with the view of justification on the forefront of our minds. Once again, justification is that declaration of righteousness spoken over a person's life in response to their belief/ faith. With regards to Abraham, the Bible says that he believed God, resulting in God placing into his "account" righteousness ... Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
And based upon his new standing of righteousness with God because of his belief/ faith, God justified or declared him as righteous: Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that the object of Abraham's faith was the promised seed that would come and the sacrifice he would offer. This is why Paul says: 1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Because Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the long awaited fulfillment of the promised New Covenant, at least that's what Jesus said: 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:this is my body, which is broken for you:this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood:this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
The word testament here is diatheke and means contract, arrangement, or covenant. What we must understand is that God has made an arrangement with man. In this arrangement, God is willing to meet man on these terms. The terms were first laid out in the Old Covenant through the symbolism of Israel's wanderings, tabernacle, sacrifices, and festivals just to name a few, but all those types and shadows have found their fulfillment in Jesus and His sacrifice upon the cross.
Ultimately, the arrangement allows man, in his fallen state, to have his sin dealt with at the cross on Jesus. This is God's way, this is God's plan, and He will never, ever meet man any other way. Once the man, woman, or child is willing to humble themselves by recognizing their sin (failure) towards God and repent (willingness to believe God and His way and willingness to turn from our own way), then God will see our circumstance fresh and anew; for a transaction has transpired where our guilt was laid upon the savior, and in return, we were clothed with His righteousness (Galatians 3:27).
Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We touched on this two classes ago, when we discussed the root of this word for reckon in the Greek logizomai, which is a mathematical term ultimately meaning to think upon; furthermore, it's factual in nature. For instance, when you do the math of your checkbook, you arrive at a factual conclusion. From there, a person is supposed to live their lives, financially, according to that truth.
In reference to this passage, the math says that Jesus' work was accomplished, our faith in Him caused a spiritual miracle to transform the inside of our hearts, and if we'll live our lives in this faith, we will not only go to heaven, but we will also have victory over the power of sin because Jesus has power over all principalities and powers, and our faith in Him and His finished work, empowers us with grace.
Before moving forward, an extremely important biblical concept called identification must be dealt with here. Typically, when we consider Jesus' sacrifice, we think of the substitutionary work of our Lord. In other words, we contemplate how He died in our stead; however, identification is the contemplation where one sees, more importantly, believes the gospel by identifying his "old man" on the cross and in the tomb, and his "new man" resurrected in Christ.
The believer void of this truth cannot perpetually walk in the forgiveness of God, because he sees his identity connected to his past instead of the cross of the Christ.
Last week we took the time to review the scriptures regarding Abraham's faith; we proved from the text that even though Abraham existed 2,000 years before Jesus was ever born, his faith was in the seed (Jesus) and the sacrifice (cross); therefore, his faith was in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The result of Abraham's and David's (we weren't able to cover his) proper faith was: v3 counted, v4 reckoned, v5 counted, v6 imputeth, v7 impute, all these words being translated from the Greek word Logizomai, which as pointed out is the word used in: Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The points to be made are: (1) the word is based upon facts not feelings; (2) the word means to think upon; (3) in Romans four, the words translated for Logizomai all refer to God thinking upon a man as righteous because of his faith in Christ and His sacrifice; (4) in verse 11, the believer is being instructed to think about himself what God thinks about him.
What does God think about the believer who has placed and keeps his faith in the eternal plan of God, which was foreordained before the foundations of the earth (1 Peter 1:18)? He thinks upon that man, woman, or child as righteous-- period!
Therefore, proper faith will result in the believer "faithing" (a walk of persistent believing) the same thing, "I'm righteous because I'm clothed with the righteous one. This is my identity. The past is gone. The new has come, and the 'new man,'in Christ isn't guilty !"
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you:for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Through the previous teachings we have learned that God has only had one plan-- the giving of His Son for the forgiveness of sin. Man's response to God's plan through faith results in righteousness, or a position of right standing before God. In this new position of righteousness, God sees the believer this way, in God's eyes, the guilty has been made righteous through the sacrificial payment of the righteous one (Jesus). Through this transaction, Jesus bore man's sin, and the "faithing" man received His (Jesus') righteousness, resulting in God's justice being satisfied "In the day you eat thereof surely you will die."
Because the "faithing" man woman or child is now seen as righteous because God's justice has been satisfied in that individuals life because they have responded through faith obedience to God's plan, God sees them, thinks upon them, and declares them as JUSTIFIED/ RIGHTEOUS!!
Now, in verse 11 of this Romans passage, we see this word we previously discussed again. Covering Romans four, we pointed out all the various English words, which had as their root Logizomai, meaning to think upon based upon the facts. The context of all those occurrences, once again, was that God was thinking upon the sinner as righteous because of their faith obedience in the obedient work (cross) of the righteous one. God says your RIGHTEOUS!!-- if you're in Christ!
Now, in verse 11, the word is telling all those righteous believers to start believing the same thing about themselves. In chapter four God says, "Righteous;" now, in verse 11, God says start believing what I believe about you based upon My Word instead of believing what your enemy says about you based upon your behavior or performance.
It must be understood that proper faith will produce proper Christian performance. When a believer understands that they're righteousness is a gift given by God in response to faith in the finished work of Jesus, there is now unfettered access into the presence of God, producing the desire for holy living, producing the power for holy living, producing the desire for Christian duty (if you don't like that one you better check yourself at the Christian door), producing a flow of grace, an "infusion" of the Holy Spirit for persistent and consistent Christian service.
That's the next part of the last verse we were reviewing: ... Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God...
When the word "therefore" is used in the text, it's drawing the reader back to what was previously spoken. In this case the context, reaches back to:
Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The context here reaches back to the personification of sin vs. grace, which one is reigning as king on the hearts of individuals?
Now, that we've been told we were born again from the dead, and that sin's power was broken through the cross, we are charged to not let sin reign as a king in our members or body parts. In other words, we've been told that God sees the believer as righteous. We've been told that God expects us to see ourselves hidden in the righteous of Christ; and now we're being told to quit letting sin reign in our lives to the point where it affects our "members" or body parts.
In other words, quit letting your eyes cause you to sin; quit letting your feet carry you places you shouldn't go; quit letting your hands put things in your mouth, and we'll just stop there. Sin's power was broken, so start living like it. Quit being used as an instrument of unrighteousness; and instead, allow God to use your body parts as instruments of righteousness.
The word instruments in the Greek literally means: instruments of warfare. In essence, when we allow sin to reign as a king upon our hearts and manifest itself through our body parts, we are acting as weapons for the kingdom of darkness instead of being used as weapons for the kingdom of light.
Paul reiterates the reason why: For sin shall not have dominion over you:for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
The words "dominion over" here are translated from Kyreiuo which is from the same root as kyrios; the word used of Jesus when He is referred to as Lord, so in this passage, we are told that we know longer having to allow sin to reign as a king in our lives, because sin is not our Lord! Hallelujah! Jesus is our Lord! He translated us from the kingdom of darkness, where the Law had us bound because we were guilty, to the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13), where grace is king in our lives.