1. Not used, won, or claimed
2. No longer possessed
One of the most devastating problems in our christian lives, families, churches, and our world today is that most evangelical christians have "lost" half of their salvation. Once we have believed in Jesus Christ and trusted in Him alone for our salvation we have new spiritual life created within us. (II Corinthians 5:17) That life is eternal. (John 10:27,28) We will always "possess" salvation from the Penalty of sin in Eternity. We will always "possess" salvation from the Power of sin in Daily Life. However, we may and often do fail to "claim" or "use" our salvation from the power of sin. In that sense it is lost to us. There are three reasons why we don't claim the "lost" half of salvation.
1. Ignorance "I didn't know I had it."
2. Discouragement "It doesn't work for me." (i.e. unbelief)
3. Sin "No God, I don't want it."
Most Evangelical Christians are clear on salvation from the penalty of sin in eternity. We often use the "Roman Road", a selection of verses from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Christians at Rome, to clearly outline God's plan of salvation.However, most Evangelical Christians are fuzzy on salvation from the power of sin in daily life. Is the Bible fuzzy on this topic? Are we condemned to be controlled by sin? If we read the Bible and pray every day, does it really keep sin away?
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13).
Salvation from the power of sin is referred to as sanctification or holiness in the New Testament. Sanctification is being separated or set apart to serve God. Holiness is the total uniqueness of God and of us as set apart to Him. The whole world is under the power of sin since the fall of Adam. Believers are not. We are holy - sanctified - separated to God. We are not merely saved sinners. We are Saints. Why doesn't it show? How do we get "victory" over sin?
A person who has experienced the new birth has the Spirit of God within them. (John 14:17, I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19,20) God will let them know when they do wrong. (Hebrews 12:6,7) But how do you do right? All real Christians have the same problem that the Apostle Paul relates in Romans 7:18, 19 and Galatians 5:17. We want to be obedient to God and do right but can't find the power within ourselves to resist sin and obey God. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Romans 7:18,19) "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17)
The natural reaction to this battle between the new (spiritual) nature and the old (fleshly) nature is to struggle to do right, fail miserably, pray and ask God's forgiveness and try, try again. This is the familiar cycle of struggle, failure, confession that many Christians are locked into. It is at this point of despair that the Christian's knowledge of, and faith in, the Word of God is critically important. It will make the difference between a life of sin, resignation and defeat, and a life of freedom, joy and peace.
So, what does God say? The "Roman Road" does not end when we call on Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Word of God is just as clear in Romans chapter 6, 7, and 8 on what happens next.In other words;
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:11) 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. (Romans 6:13) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1,2)
1. We should not continue in sin
2. Our old man (corrupt human nature) is executed with Jesus Christ and is broken so we don't have to sin any more.
3. We must count on the fact that, just as death is no threat to Christ because He was already killed and came back from the dead, so sin is no threat to us because we are dead to sin and alive to God through our death and resurrection with Jesus.
4. We should therefore not let sin control us or our body.
5. We should yield or submit to God's control.
The christian life is not a matter of victory or defeat. That would mean struggle or effort on our part. Our life is lived by grace through faith.(Ephesians 2:8,9) "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:" (Colossians 2:6) We receive new life by grace through faith alone and we live our new life by grace through faith alone. Every effort of ours is doomed to failure. Victory is the obedience of faith in His Word.
Lord, your heart goes out to every believer who feels imprisoned by sin. Help us to learn and believe that you have broken down our cell door and that when we stand and walk with you we are free to be your servants.
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