This guest post by Ray Hawk considers the concept of being free from sin.
Are you free from sin? Paul quotes from Psalms 14:1-3, “No one is righteous – not even one person” (Romans 3:10). Shortly thereafter he says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In Romans 6 Paul states, “So, through immersion we were buried with him into death. Christ was raised from death through the glory of the Father. In the same way, we will live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4). Most rejoice, as did the eunuch shortly after baptism, because we have been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:10, 19). All our past sins are gone and forgotten (Hebrews 10:17). But then, too soon we sin! John tells us very plainly, “If we say, ‘We have no sin!’ then we are only fooling ourselves. The truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). The next verse tells us to confess our sins “then God will forgive us.” There seems to be a period of time between our sin and being forgiven. If one is “in” sin and God cannot fellowship sin, then during that period of time, are we not OUT OF FELLOWSHIP with God?With these
With these thoughts it becomes very discouraging to the Christian when he repeats an act multiple times, asking God’s forgiveness for each. How can he possibly be saved when he disappoints the Father over and over? What if, during one of those periods between committing the sin and asking for forgiveness, one dies? Isn’t he unforgiven? Isn’t he still in his sins? Isn’t he damned? Is our only assurance in being truly saved we must die a Christian martyr’s death or with a prayer on our lips? Some are troubled with such questions. Some have given up, thinking it is impossible to meet those conditions.We often quote Romans 6:3-4 to emphasize the necessity of immersion. However, many fail to look at verse 2 where Paul asked, “How could we live in sin anymore?
We often quote Romans 6:3-4 to emphasize the necessity of immersion. However, many fail to look at verse 2 where Paul asked, “How could we live in sin anymore? WE DIED TO IT!” We fail to see that as the born again, “sinful self” (“flesh”) died with Jesus on the cross and we buried what was DEAD (Romans 6:6)! The “body of sin” has lost “its power” or been “DESTROYED.” Then, verse 7 announces, “A person who DIES has been SET FREE from sin.” He reiterates in verse 11, “In the same way, think of yourselves as being DEAD to sin, but ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.” Verse 14 states, “For sin SHALL NOT be master over you, for you are NOT UNDER LAW, but UNDER GRACE.” In verse 18 Paul concludes, “And, after you were SET FREE FROM SIN, you became SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.” He repeats, “But NOW that you have been SET FREE from sin, you are SLAVES TO GOD.” (Verse 22).If you are “in Christ” you are free from sin. You may not be perfect, but you are kept clean by the blood of Jesus. Some believe the New Testament is no different from the Old. It just has newer laws. Under the Old, innocent animals had to be continually sacrificed because they could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). So, with each sin there was a specific kind of sacrifice. Over and over they were offered without a permanent cleansing. One is not
If you are “in Christ” you are free from sin. You may not be perfect, but you are kept clean by the blood of Jesus. Some believe the New Testament is no different from the Old. It just has newer laws. Under the Old, innocent animals had to be continually sacrificed because they could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). So, with each sin there was a specific kind of sacrifice. Over and over they were offered without a permanent cleansing. One is not justified by law (Galatians 2:16). Jesus offered himself once. To be added to his saved ones is to receive a cleansing once for all (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14). Notice verse 17, “I will completely forget about their sins and their wrongs.” Also notice, “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39 NKJV).
The New Testament is the Good News about Jesus and how his blood keeps us pure. No wonder Paul envisioned himself under the Law, “I am a miserable man. Who will help me escape this body of death!? Thank God, I can escape through Jesus Christ, our Lord. . . .So, there is NO CONDEMNATION NOW for those people who are IN CHRIST JESUS. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has SET ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. . . However, you are not being controlled by human nature; you are being controlled by the Spirit – if it is true that God’s Spirit LIVES IN YOU.” (Romans 7:24-25, 8:1-2, 9).
ARE YOU FREE?
Ray Hawk is a retired gospel preacher living in Jackson, Tennessee.