Monday, April 24, 2023

2023.04.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 6:11

Read Romans 6:11

Questions from the Scripture text: What phrase relates our action in Romans 6:11 to Christ’s action in Romans 6:10? How should we account ourselves with relation to sin? How should we account ourselves to God? In Whom are we to account ourselves this way? What does this say about the way by which we are able to do this? What does this say about the purpose for which we are able to do this?

How are Christians to think about their lives, in relation to their sin?  Romans 6:11 looks forward to the sermon in the midweek meeting. In this verse of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Christians are to concur with God’s justifying declaration about themselves and its impact upon their new nature.

The key to changing the way that we live is to change the way that we think. Before we get to the “letting and presenting” of Romans 6:12-13, there must first be the “reckoning” (imputing) of Romans 6:11. Just as in the saving work of God justification is the origin of all sanctification, so also in the serving work of the Christian properly conducting ourselves must originate in properly considering ourselves.

“Likewise.” Why has the Spirit carefully reminded us about the complete, definitive, permanent end to Christ’s death? Because what has happened in Christ’s resurrection (Romans 6:9-10) is the pattern for how we are to consider ourselves (Romans 6:11). The word means “thusly” or “in the same manner.” 

Just as a permanent transition has been made with Christ, we are to acknowledge and assert that in Christ, we also are permanently transitioned. Jesus went from placing Himself under sin’s claim in His death to living under God’s claim forever in His resurrection. “Likewise” our permanent transition is one from sin to God.

“Account yourselves.” Impute. It’s the same word as when the Lord justifies us. Make a definitive, determined judgment. Just as God definitively declared us guilty in Adam. Just as God definitively declares us righteous in Jesus Christ, we must definitively declare ourselves dead to sin. 

Unlike God, our declarations do not determine reality. Rather, we have a duty to declare what He has determined. We have a duty to acknowledge and assert what He has already declared. Our judgments must concur with His judgments. There is an unacceptable arrogance in a defeatism that disagrees with God’s verdict. The Christian does not have the prerogative to consider himself to be continuing under sin’s power. God’s judgment must form the basis of how we consider ourselves (Romans 6:11) and thereby the basis of how we conduct ourselves (Romans 6:12-13).

“Dead to sin on the one hand.” There can be no “alive to God” without “dead to sin.” It is a double verdict. If you cannot have wealth and God as co-masters, then you certainly cannot have sin and God as co-masters! The old life is ended. It is a former life. It does not bleed over into the current one. That which remains from it is not a part of our nature but something that afflicts our new nature. 

Our new self grows, just as Jesus Himself increased in wisdom and favor with God and men. We are dead to sin once for all, but we are alive to God more and more forever. The key to expressing this new nature more and more (Romans 6:12-13) is to acknowledge and assert (Romans 6:11) that the old has gone, and the new has come.

“in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Finally, we no longer consider ourselves in ourselves. Believers have been brought out of ourselves and into union with our Lord Jesus Christ. Personally: in union with His person; this is not only the strength of a new reality but the joy of a new relationship. Powerfully: since we are in union with Him, we now live by the strength of Him Who brought us into that union by His Spirit in the first place. Purposefully: for His praise in Whom we are able to live this way. cf. Colossians 3:1–4.

What must precede the actual walking in newness of life? What way, specifically, of considering ourselves?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for the reality of Your justifying us through faith in Christ Jesus, so that we may walk in newness of life. Grant that, by Your Spirit, we would concur with Your judgment, in Christ Jesus, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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