Volume. XXIV, No. 8
Sunday, 23 August 2009


Are You walking in Newness of Life? (Rom 6:1-4)


Introduction:

One of the most wonderful truths and promises of the Christian gospel is that once a person is saved by grace, he is forever saved – he cannot lose his salvation (Jn 5:24, 10:29, 17:6,11; Rom 8:35-39; Heb 12:2). Some call this the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints, and others call it the Eternal Security of Believers. Unfortunately this wonderful truth and biblical promise has been grossly abused by some to employ as a “license” to sin, since they knew they can never lose their salvation, regardless of their post-conversion testimony. Others even propagate a false teaching that one does not need to “repent” or turn from his sinful lifestyles, vices and habitual sins, but it is just enough to simply “believe”. While it is true that no one can ever earn his own salvation by works or by good deeds, for a person is justified by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8,9), it is God’s design and desire for every Christian to live in newness of life in His Son once he is soundly converted, and no longer walk in the ways of Gentiles. For, every born again Christian had been dead in sin in Adam, but having been converted by the grace of God, he is now dead to sin in Christ and should walk in newness of life in Jesus Christ! Therefore, it is essential that every Christian realizes that he is called to glorify Christ by living for Him as the chief end and not to indulge himself in selfish and fleshly lust by abusing God’s faithful promise to save His chosen people until the end based on the finished work of Christ. We shall now consider a passage which explicitly explains this biblical truth based on the first four verses of the sixth chapter of Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

You were dead in Sin in Adam (Rom 6:1)

In the opening verse in Romans chapter six, Apostle Paul writes: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Note the first phrase, “what shall we say then,” is a transition-expression and a debater\'s phrase. The use of this phrase points to Paul\'s training in the Rabbinical schools, where questions were propounded and the students encouraged to debate, objections being suddenly interposed and answered (Marvin Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies). And by saying, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound,” it implies that Apostle Paul had anticipated such a question being asked by those who saw grace as a “license to sin” as he opens his argument with a rhetorical question in the first verse which, according to the Greek grammar construction, indicates the writer expects a negative answer from his readers.

The word "continue in sin" in NT Greek is epimeno (epimenwmen) which means remain, abide, continue or tarry, is a present tense verb which describes one who is habitually or persistently sinning. Marvin Vincent says, “The verb means primarily to remain or abide at or with, as 1Cor 16:8; Phil 1:24; and secondarily, to persevere, as Rom 11:23; Col 1:23. So better here, persist.” There is no doubt that some Christians during Paul’s days regarded grace as a “license to sin” and continued to live in sinful lifestyles even after their conversion. They assumed that since that they were saved by grace, they could continue to live in sin, and all that they had to do was to “believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ and that there was no need to turn from their evil ways, vices and questionable lifestyles. Their attitude was simply this: “I’m free in Jesus—I can do what I want to do" or “free remain in my sinful or immoral lifestyle”. We must not be mistaken to conclude that Paul is suggesting that God would be reluctant to forgive a Christian of his sin (1 Jn 1:9); rather, he is arguing against those who presume that a sinning Christian actually magnifies the grace of God, which in fact puts Christ in open shame (Heb 6:6). At any rate, if a professing Christian (ie. one who claims to be a Christian) who has no regard of the consequence of his habitual sin and continues to live in sinful lifestyle without any sense of remorse or penitence, this may raise a big question mark whether he is genuinely saved in the first place. For the Scripture clearly commands one to repent (Matt 4:17; Lk 13:3; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 8:22, 17:30) and the word “repent” (metanoew) means a change of mind which issues in regret and in change of conduct, and a true evangelical repentance would always bear fruits worthy of repentance (Lk 3:8; Col 1:6; Phil 1:11; 1 Thess 1:6-8). is stronger than are indicative mood presupposes an acquaintance with the moral nature of baptism, and a consequent absurdity in the idea of persisting in sin (Marvin Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies). What is so absurd is that fact that some Christians actually assume that it is perfectly alright for them to live in sin or continue in sin having professed their faith in Jesus Christ and identified with Christ in His death (v.3) in the spiritual baptism as Paul explains in 1Co 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptize into one body…”. This verse also clarifies that Apostle Paul is not referring to spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit (see also: Matt 3:11; 1 Cor 10:2; Acts 1:5; Rom 8:9-11; Col 2:11,12; Tit 3:5;) and not water baptism.   ignorant which ye

Ps Weng

 

In short, God’s people should never presume Christ’s grace as a “license to sin” nor mislead any unconverted soul to believe that evangelical repentance has no significance in the work of salvation, for the Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin (Jn 16:8). To this illogical, unbiblical and misleading conclusion, Apostle Paul rebutted in verses two to four of Romans chapter six.

You are dead to sin in Jesus Christ (Rom 6:2,3)

Answering to his own rhetorical question posed in verse one, Apostle Paul writes “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” The phrase "God forbid" (mh genoito) in verse two literally means “May it never be”. A loose rendition in our modern English simply means "that is absolutely absurd!" Matthew Poole says, “This phrase is frequent with the apostle, when he is speaking of any absurdity: see Rom 3:4,6,31.” And the expression “Know ye not” or agnoete (h agnoeite)

Therefore, God desires us to know that we are not only identified with Christ in His death through baptism of the Holy Spirit, but we are also no longer under the dominion of sin. Rom 6:9 says, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” For every born again Christian is given a new nature by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 5:17) to resist sin (v.14) to live unto God (v.10) through Jesus Christ (v.11). Apostle Paul also urged his readers not to let sin “reign” their mortal body (v.12a) by obeying the lust thereof (v.12b), which is incompatible with our new nature. Thus, it is presumptuous and brazenly audacious for anyone to assume that he can continue to sin or live in sinful lifestyle because he is saved by grace (v.14).

You are to walk in newness of Life in Christ (Rom 6:4)

Having argued that we were once dead in trespasses and sins (Rom 6:1; Eph 2:1) and are dead to sin (Rom 6:2) because we were baptized into Christ’s death (Rom 6:3), Apostle Paul concludes that we should also walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). What does it means to walk in newness of life?

To walk in newness of life means that a Christian should no longer engage in the old sinful habits, lifestyles and occupations which were displeasing to God by walking not as other Gentiles walk (Eph 4:17). Apostle Paul gives us a list of examples in Ephesians chapter 4:17-32, which includes, but is not limited to: putting off the vanity of their mind (Eph 4:17b); putting off former conversation of the old man (Eph 4:22a); being renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph 4:23a); putting on the new man (Eph 4:24a); putting away lying [ie. and other sins] (Eph 4:25a); being angry but not sinning [ie. righteous anger and selfish and carnal anger] (Eph 4:25); letting him that stole steal no more [ie. not to sin some more] (Eph 4:28a); letting no corrupt communication out of your mouth (Eph 4:29a); grieving not the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30a);  Letting all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away (Eph 4:31a); and being kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (Eph 4:32a) [cf. Col 3:1-13 and Gal 5:16-26].

Without a doubt, there is not a slightest indication that the Apostle hints at the fact that a born again Christian should continue in sin, nor does he imply in any fashion that repentance is unnecessary in the work of salvation. Arguably, it would be another gospel which Apostle Paul clearly condemns (Gal 1:6-9), if one goes out to mislead others that all they need to do is to “believe” without genuine evangelical repentance.

In Conclusion:

It is important to acknowledge that we were once dead in trespasses and sins in the first Adam (Rom 5:12-14) and now dead to sin in the second Adam (Rom 5:15-21) and should walk in newness of life in Jesus Christ. Our chief end here on earth is not to satisfy our fleshly desire and enjoy ourselves while we live on earth – a carnal delusion and a sly deception of Satan. Our chief end is to glorify God in whatever we do (1Cor 10:31) and enjoy Him now and forever as laid out by the Westminster divines: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever” (WCF Shorter Catechism #1). May God help us.


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Sis Lydia Fan

Please note: Sunday School Teachers’ Training Course this evening commences at 7:00 pm.

There is no Fellowship Lunch next Sunday. Only “Coffee & Cookies”.

All members are expected to attend next Saturday’s Annual Congregational Meeting. This will commence at 7:30 pm sharp.

 

Looking Ahead

Christmas Concert: Sat, 5 Dec 2009

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Dn David Yeo (Adl); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Pt Aug); Bros Christanto Budiman & Jason Tan (Adl); Sisters Marion Chan (Melb/Adl), Sam Heah (Adl), Iris Surman (Melb), & Mag Yu (S’pore/Shanghai); & all others who arrived safely at their destinations.

Church activities: BBK Class; Choir Practice/Rehearsals; AFG Meeting; Senior Citizens’ Fellowship Meeting; Session Meeting; Sunday School Teachers’ Training; Sparks4Christ; Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Activity.

Laos Missions: God’s guidance, protection & provision for Dn David Yeo

Daily mercies, protection, and guidance

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi, Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Rev Stephen Choi & ministry- Phnom Penh & Kandal Province); Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - family & ministry in Vientiane (Laos) & Siem Pang (Cambodia).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

IBPFM (USA) - For missionaries & funds

Pastor & Sis Ki - ministry in New Life BPC, London.

Pastor Weng & family & ministry

Journey mercies: Mrs Helen Heah & family; Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Adl); Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (Barcelona); Sisters Sooi Chin Gong (Perth)& Iris Surman (Tas); & others travelling.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng

God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos.

Australian B-P Churches - for unity of doctrine & fellowship

Sunday School Teachers’ Training Course – for course attendants.

Bro Jason Tan & Sis Tabitha Heah - wedding preparations.

Sis Mag Yu - encouragement & guidance with work (Shanghai)

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063