How to Live by Faith

Chapter 6 begins with the often asked question by those who have come to understand that no one can be right with God by what they DO. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? (Rom. 6:1). The answer is “God forbid!” (Rom. 6:2). New Covenant Believers can access an aspect of redemption that Old Covenant Believers never could. Freedom from the power of sin.

At initial conversion, we were spiritually “baptized” into Jesus’ death and burial so we can experience the power of resurrection life everyday (Rom. 6:3-5). This is not referring to water baptism. This is referring to spiritual baptism. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). This refers to the act of the Holy Spirit spiritually immersing us into the death of Jesus Christ the moment we first Believed. Notice that this first immersion is a work of the Spirit, predicated on our Faith. This is where the Spirit of God “planted” us “together in the likeness of His (Jesus’) death” so we can “be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5). “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. For he who is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we Believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom. 6:6-8). This is referring to living a christian life right here on earth! The rest of the 6th chapter of Romans makes that clear. At initial conversion, our “old man” died when Jesus died. Paul is talking about the sin nature and its power in our lives. The power of the Holy Spirit that quickened His mortal body can quicken my mortal body (Rom. 6:4,11; 8:11). This plainly tells us that the way, and only way, to be free from the dominance of sinful habits and desires is by the working of the Holy Spirit. The flesh (mortal body) does not have to be dominated by the sin nature (Rom. 6:11). And remember, the flesh is not the sin nature. The flesh is simply what makes us a human being. The flesh is your body that has a mind, will and emotions. The flesh is not evil. It is neutral, so to speak. It can either be yielded to God for righteousness, or to the sin nature for unrighteousness (Rom. 6:12-13). Evil desires of sin may appeal to your flesh. That is how the sin nature and the flesh work hand in hand for evil purposes. But your body, the “flesh” is not evil. To continue experiencing this freedom (which means that this freedom isn’t automatically operating in a Christian’s life after conversion) a Believer has to do something.

The doing that is a Believer’s duty is to “yield” (surrend their whole life to His will) themself “unto God, as those who are alive from the dead” (Rom. 6:13, 12:1-2). Being yielded to God is a matter of your willpower. This is what you have the ability in your flesh to do in order to live a holy life. You have to submit your will to God on a continuing basis. You have to consecrate (dedicate) your life to Him and His will. The act of continually (not just once) yielding your entire life to serve your Redeemer. You have to turn over your desires and your plan for your life to Him and be willing to follow His Son wherever He leads you. This allows the grace of God, through the internal working of the Holy Spirit within us, to equip a Believer with the “newness of life” so that “sin shall not have dominion over” you (Rom. 6:4,14). The “work” has already been accomplished by Jesus so that a Believer can live a victorious life. You don’t have to get busy trying to receive it. Just BELIEVE, TRUST, RELY and DEPEND (PLACE YOUR FAITH) in what Jesus has already done for you. The only way to access this power and freedom, is by the only way God could make it universally available to everyone at anytime, FAITH. God’s solution for His people to walk above the power of sin is readily accessible and available to all who will just Believe what He has done was the solution, and THE ONLY SOLUTION.

Yielding yourself unto God His Way eventually moves you past just the aspect of overcoming sin. It moves you into the realm of love. As the Holy Spirit moves the power of sin aside, He simultaneously replaces that space in your heart with the love of God. This is the only Way that Believers can love God and others, the Way that they should. Your focus is shifted from yourself and your problems to the needs of others. I have tried to love my neighbor as myself in my own strength, because I knew it was the right thing to do. But, this wasn’t with the Love of God constraining me. It was only coming out of a head knowledge that I was supposed to do this. Now, by the grace of God, we can all have God put His love in our hearts on a continuing (not a one time event) basis. That is what John was saying when he said, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is OF God; and every one who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that WE might live THROUGH HIM” (1 John 4:7-9). The ONLY WAY to love our neighbor as ourself, is by yielding ourselves to God. You can “play” Christian and practice religion if you want. But the only way to be SEEN as perfect (not because you actually are) before God, is to quit trying to attain your own righteousness. My friend, practicing morality and trying to be a good person won’t cut it with God. You have to surrender your WHOLE life to your Heavenly Father and follow His Son. The story of the religious rich man questioning Jesus about eternal life says EXACTLY that (Matt. 19:16-26). When he was told eternal life is given to those who don’t trust in what they do, or what they have, he went away sad. The cost of being a disciple to attain Jesus’ perfect righteousness as his own righteousness, was more than the rich man would pay. Is that the case for you?

Why don’t all Believers walk everyday in this “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4, John 10:10)? Don’t all Believers have Faith in God? The blunt answer is no. Not exclusive Faith that God can reward with this empowerment of grace. And we will discuss why that is,when we discuss “Counterfeit Solutions”. Many believers aren’t trusting, relying and depending (excercising Faith) in God and His Solution. They may think they are. I used to think I was. I regularly asked God to help me overcome sinful habits and thoughts. I would ask God for His Spirit’s help so that I wouldn’t commit acts of sin. But I was not Believing and looking at my situation as God had explained it in His Word. I had a false mindset and pattern of thinking that was contrary to God’s system and order of redemptive victory, AND DIDN’T REALIZE IT! I lived in that condition for most of my life. But by the grace of God, no more! And God willing, if any of you reading this, are not living your Christian life full of the Holy Spirit’s desires and power, free from the dominance of the sin nature, this information will help you to BELIEVE God correctly! To look at your life and situation with sin according to His Truth. Remember, redemption and receiving the benefits of this redemption is predicated on your BELIEVING. “But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have OBEYED FROM THE HEART THAT FORM OF DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Being THEN MADE FREE FROM SIN, you became SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Rom. 6:17-18). What doctrine you believe determines if you, a Believer, live free from sin’s control or remain a slave to it.