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Lesson 3: Free From Sin's Penalty and Power 1

                                               Chapter 3
Free from Sin’s Penalty and Power - Part 1

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” - Galatians 6:7-8

Into the Kingdom of Grace

The bent of a man’s life must be in the Spirit of God or he is not saved. If he sows to his flesh, he shall of his flesh reap corruption. We read in Romans 8:5, “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;” and in verse 6, “To be carnally [or fleshly] minded is death”-which is spiritual death (the second death in hell) according to Romans 6:23; 8:6. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8). So if the bent of a man’s life is after the flesh, then he is not of God. He pleases not God, but only himself. On the other hand, if the bent of a man’s life is after the Spirit, then he minds the things of the Spirit, and “to be spiritually minded is life and peace” in Christ (Rom 8:6).

The Word of God plainly declares in so many places that when God saves a sinner in Christ, giving him a new heart and nature, He takes him entirely out of the realm of sin (the rule, reign and kingdom of sin), and brings him into the kingdom of grace. He puts the redeemed and saved sinner under the reign of grace. To prove this, let’s go to the law and the testimony of God’s Word: Colossians 1:13-”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Here we find the apostle Paul telling these Colossian believers that they, who once belonged to the power and the kingdom of darkness (of the devil and of hell), have been translated (or transferred) from that kingdom and put into the kingdom of Christ under the reign of His grace. So they no longer are under the power or dominion of the kingdom of sin and darkness, but they are now under the power and dominion of the kingdom of light, heaven and grace, which has freely been given to them by the sovereign God in Christ.

Again, writing to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul says about Christians: “Our conversation [or citizenship] is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). He does not say that our citizenship is going to be there, but that it is in heaven now. We are a colony of heaven living in this world, but our citizenship has already taken place by the grace of God in salvation, worked in us by the Holy Spirit. And we find this same truth in Ephesians 2:19-Believers are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” In other words, there has been a complete change in our position. We have changed our kingdoms once and for ever, so we are no longer in the territory of sin; and because we are no longer under the governing power of sin, sin no longer controls our destiny.

Before becoming a child of God by the new birth, we were united to Adam. Because we belonged to Adam and his fallen race, all the consequences of his sin and actions have come upon us. But if we are saved, we are no longer in Adam; we are now in Christ. There are only two possibilities for every person alive today-you are either in Adam or in Christ-this is the whole message of Romans 5:18-21. Listen as we go into it: “As by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation [the reign of sin in Adam] even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life [the reign of grace in Christ]. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners [the reign of sin in Adam], so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous[the reign of grace in Christ].” And in verse 17, “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one [the reign of sin in Adam]; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ [the reign of grace in Christ].”

Free from the Power of Sin

This is what we are saying: The Gospel of the grace of God sets the poor, captive sinner free! He is free from the power, as well as the penalty of sin, because he is now in Christ and His kingdom. You see, the true Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom 1:16). The word “power” comes from the Greek word “Dunamis” from which we get our word dynamite. Yes, this dynamite of the true Gospel sets us free from sin to walk in newness of life in Christ. When we stand before God as poor, helpless, lost sinners, hearing our doom read from the courts of heaven-”The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Eze 18:20)-and we bow to this judgment, knowing and acknowledging that we are hell-deserving sinners, then when we hear the preaching of the Gospel-the good news of deliverance through the blood of Christ-and it comes home to our soul by the Holy Spirit, we desire and cry after this free gift of God in Christ. By faith we see in Christ and His Gospel a full salvation of deliverance from sin and all its power, and we are made to trust and praise Him for such deliverance, which is for time and eternity.

My friend, what good is a gospel, if it is not good news of deliverance in Christ? or if it does not set us free from that which holds, binds and reigns over us, damning our souls to hell? The true Gospel sets men free from the tyranny of sin and breaks its power. It does not say, “Come on down the aisle, give me your hand and try me for a day, a week or a month, and see how you’re going to make out, then if you cannot hold out, you can always go back and be a `carnal Christian’”- No! that’s not the offer of the true Gospel! The command of the Gospel is this: Come to God as a repenting, believing sinner, lay down your arms of rebellion against Him; then when you come (by the power of the Holy Spirit working in you), with a hatred for sin and a desire after the Lord Jesus Christ-desiring to know Him in His fullness, to know His power and deliverance, and to bow to His Kingship-my friend, this is grace; and in this grace, God gives you a salvation that will not let you go back to Satan’s kingdom. God’s salvation will not let you go back under the reign of sin any more; for you see, this Gospel and this grace holds, keeps, and delivers you for time and for eternity, giving you grace and power by the indwelling Holy Spirit to be a conquering one, an overcoming one in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Reign of Grace

Now by the same Gospel that delivers us from the reign of sin, assuring us from the Word of God that our sins are forgiven, we are transferred to and put under the reign of grace and all that that means in terms of power. For the reign of grace is a very powerful reign; it is guaranteed to produce certain results. Consider the following questions: Did not the reign of sin produce certain results? Did it not cause death to pass upon us? Did it not cause us to sin, and make us hate, swear, blaspheme, murder, lie, cheat, steal, covet, envy and bear false witness against our neighbor?-to do that which would bring down the wrath of God upon us? Did it not make us drown our convictions and turn straight to hell? Sure it did, because it reigned over us! It was powerful-a monarch on the throne of the heart-and we had to obey. So in the same way grace will reign over every child of God-”Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom 5:20). Yes, if the power and dominion of sin guarantees certain results, the reign and rule of grace guarantees more certain results! And these results are that my full and final salvation is absolutely certain. It guarantees that all the dynamite and tremendous power of the reign of grace is upon me and working in me, and will bring me home at last in the presence of God, to a state of absolute perfection in glorification.

This then being the purpose of the Gospel-to break the reigning power of sin and to enthrone the reigning power of grace-shall we be “carnal” Christians and the flesh remain in the saddle? No! The whole object of the grace of God given to us in the Gospel is to destroy sin with all its works and all that belongs to it (which will be completed in the morning of the resurrection!). For Romans 6:14 tells us, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Why? Because grace is infinitely more powerful. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound; and this is the Gospel the Bible declares! This is the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ that breaks the power of sin, sets us free, and reigns in us, so we can walk in the pathway of righteousness and true holiness. Any other gospel is not the true Gospel, but a perverted gospel! Therefore, if you are living in sin, hiding under a false profession, making excuses for sin, and if sin’s power was not broken when you say you believed, then I say to you, based upon the authority of God’s Word, you’re lost and know nothing of the power of the true Gospel of Christ!

Impossible to Continue in Sin

Again, this brings us to Romans 6:2: “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” We cannot. Why? Because that word “live” means “to continue and abide.” We see from this that in view of our position (under the reign of grace ), it is impossible that we should continue to live a life of sin! See I John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” This profound statement means that whosoever is born of God does not go on in a life of sin; he does not practice it habitually. He cannot go on under the reign of sin because His seed remaineth in him-that is, the new life of grace in Christ. John is not saying that a man born of God can never commit an individual act of sin, for if this were the meaning of the verse, there would be none in heaven, or any Christian on earth today. No, he is saying that such a person cannot go on abiding in the realm of sin. Notice the word “cannot”-it is impossible. Our Lord said concerning this: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.” So put together all of these verses, and you will see clearly that it is impossible for a Christian to live in sin, because such a man is under the power and in the realm of this mighty force called grace. Because the saved soul is under the influence and the power of Christ, he cannot continue where he was before; grace makes it impossible.

Now, I am certainly not saying that the Bible teaches sinless perfection, or that our sin nature can be eradicated in this life. For God’s people still have sin in the flesh, according to Romans 8:10. What God’s Word is saying is that as sin reigned unto death before God saved us, now grace reigns through righteousness; and greater is the Holy Spirit Who is in us to cause grace to abound in us than he who is without (that is, Satan) to cause sin to abound in us. The Lord further says in John 8: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (v 36)-that’s an absolute freedom where the Son is concerned, for He came to give us life, and that life to be more abundant in Himself.

This is the true gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus, of which Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom 1:16). And this Gospel not only makes salvation possible, but it gives all that is needful for keeping us from here to eternity! So unto us who are saved by the true Gospel and grace of Christ, Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”; for praise our gracious God, we now can and will walk after the Spirit, by His grace!

Study Questions:  Lesson 3

First please read chapter 3 in the text.

“He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap everlasting life” - Galatians 6:8

Into the Kingdom of Grace; pages 16 - 17

1.   “When God saves a sinner…, He takes him entirely out of the realm of sin and brings him into the kingdom of grace.” In other words: the gospel of the grace of God sets the poor, captive sinner free! He is free from the power of sin, as well as its penalty, because he is now in Christ and in His kingdom.

      To prove this, five verses from God’s Word are mentioned in the book. Write the reference and key point (in your own words) of each of these five verses.

2.   a.   Briefly explain the difference between being united to Adam and united to Christ.

      b.   Can a person be united to both? Why?

The Reign of Grace; pages 18 - 19

3.   After one’s sins are forgiven, sin no longer reigns supreme in one’s life. He is transferred to be under a new and different reign.

      a.   What are the results of the old reign of sin?

      b.   What is the new and different reign that comes when we put our trust completely in Christ?

      c.   What are its results?

Impossible to Continue in Sin; pages 19 - 20

4.   1 John 3:9 is a profound statement, and one that can be easily misunderstood.

              “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

      a.   In your own words, what is the correct meaning of this verse as given in the book?

      b.   Making It Personal:  How does this verse apply to you personally?

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