Romans 6* Believers must die to sin, and live to God. (1,2) This isurged by their Christian baptism and union with Christ. (3-10)They are made alive to God. (11-15) And are freed from thedominion of sin. (16-20) The end of sin is death, and ofholiness everlasting life. (21-23)1,2 The apostle is very full in pressing the necessity ofholiness. He does not explain away the free grace of the gospel,but he shows that connexion between justification and holinessare inseparable. Let the thought be abhorred, of continuing insin that grace may abound. True believers are dead to sin,therefore they ought not to follow it. No man can at the sametime be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to bedead unto sin, thinks he may live in it. 3-10 Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and beingas it were buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and ofrising to walk with God in newness of life. Unholy professorsmay have had the outward sign of a death unto sin, and a newbirth unto righteousness, but they never passed from the familyof Satan to that of God. The corrupt nature, called the old man,because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified withChrist, in every true believer, by the grace derived from thecross. It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yetstruggles for life, and even for victory. But the whole body ofsin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must bedone away, so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin,but live to God, and find happiness in his service. 11-15 The strongest motives against sin, and to enforceholiness, are here stated. Being made free from the reign ofsin, alive unto God, and having the prospect of eternal life, itbecomes believers to be greatly concerned to advance thereto.But, as unholy lusts are not quite rooted out in this life, itmust be the care of the Christian to resist their motions,earnestly striving, that, through Divine grace, they may notprevail in this mortal state. Let the thought that this statewill soon be at an end, encourage the true Christian, as to themotions of lusts, which so often perplex and distress him. Letus present all our powers to God, as weapons or tools ready forthe warfare, and work of righteousness, in his service. There isstrength in the covenant of grace for us. Sin shall not havedominion. God's promises to us are more powerful and effectualfor mortifying sin, than our promises to God. Sin may strugglein a real believer, and create him a great deal of trouble, butit shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall notrule over him. Shall any take occasion from this encouragingdoctrine to allow themselves in the practice of any sin? Far besuch abominable thoughts, so contrary to the perfections of God,and the design of his gospel, so opposed to being under grace.What can be a stronger motive against sin than the love ofChrist? Shall we sin against so much goodness, and such love? 16-20 Every man is the servant of the master to whose commandshe yields himself; whether it be the sinful dispositions of hisheart, in actions which lead to death, or the new and spiritualobedience implanted by regeneration. The apostle rejoiced nowthey obeyed from the heart the gospel, into which they weredelivered as into a mould. As the same metal becomes a newvessel, when melted and recast in another mould, so the believerhas become a new creature. And there is great difference in theliberty of mind and spirit, so opposite to the state of slavery,which the true Christian has in the service of his rightfulLord, whom he is enabled to consider as his Father, and himselfas his son and heir, by the adoption of grace. The dominion ofsin consists in being willingly slaves thereto, not in beingharassed by it as a hated power, struggling for victory. Thosewho now are the servants of God, once were the slaves of sin. 21-23 The pleasure and profit of sin do not deserve to becalled fruit. Sinners are but ploughing iniquity, sowing vanity,and reaping the same. Shame came into the world with sin, and isstill the certain effect of it. The end of sin is death. Thoughthe way may seem pleasant and inviting, yet it will bebitterness in the latter end. From this condemnation thebeliever is set at liberty, when made free from sin. If thefruit is unto holiness, if there is an active principle of trueand growing grace, the end will be everlasting life; a veryhappy end! Though the way is up-hill, though it is narrow,thorny, and beset, yet everlasting life at the end of it issure. The gift of God is eternal life. And this gift is throughJesus Christ our Lord. Christ purchased it, prepared it,prepares us for it, preserves us to it; he is the All in all inour salvation.
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