Thursday, December 4, 2008

Newness of Life

As most of you are aware, I am currently teaching expositionally the Book of Romans each mid-week at GSJ. I must admit, this is my first time teaching this great book in my almost 11 years of pastoral ministry. Needless to say, it’s always good to explore, expound and engage in the fundamental truths of the Christian Faith. We are in the 6th chapter where Paul continues to write on the subject of justification by faith while explaining in specific details its application to daily living. In the previous chapters, much was said about man’s sin and God’s provision of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. Now Paul seeks to explain our obligation to live a sanctified life in light of our new position in Christ.

Notice what Paul says in the opening verses:

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)


With the aforementioned thought in mind, allow me to share an excerpt of Warren Wiersbe’s treatment of the 4th verse in particular. This I believe will best explain in a nutshell our study of this marvelous passage.


“Historians agree that the mode of baptism in the early church was immersion. The believer was "buried" in the water and brought up again as a picture of death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism by immersion (which is the illustration Paul is using in Romans 6) pictures the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. It is an outward symbol of an inward experience. Paul is not saying that their immersion in water put them "into Jesus Christ," for that was accomplished by the Spirit when they believed. Their immersion was a picture of what the Spirit did: the Holy Spirit identified them with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. This means that the believer has a new relationship to sin. He is "dead to sin." If a drunk dies, he can no longer be tempted by alcohol because his body is dead to all physical senses. He cannot see the alcohol, smell it, taste it, or desire it. In Jesus Christ we have died to sin so that we no longer want to "continue in sin." But we are not only dead to sin; we are also alive in Christ. We have been raised from the dead and now walk in the power of His resurrection. We walk in "newness of life" because we share His life. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).” - Pause for Power

14 comments:

HALLELUJAH said...

Pastor McGhee,

Excellent post. I am diligently seeking my properly new standing that I now have in Christ JESUS. In my Heart of Hearts I truly feel that I have been set apart for HIS use.

Studying the book of Romans has surgically performed a cataract operation spiritually for me; I now see my salvation in whole new light.

I look forward to bible study and securely putting my seat belt/spirit on and taking the ride of a life time.


GOD Bless~~~

Ronald said...

Provocative post, it will be interesting to see the correlation of this passage with the immediate context of chapter seven of Romans in its entirety.

NLT Romans 7:14 The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. 15 I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. 18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. 19 When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. 21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God's law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Just thinking out loud,

Ron

Pastor Rev. Ray E. Owens said...

Doc,

As usual your studies in Romans have been a blessing to me. Thanks for sharing with us in part what GSJ receives in full.

Rev. Barney said...

Move your bible study to Tuesdays so I can come!!!!! I find it very helpful to have you blog about about Romans since I too am teaching through this book.

I have read it for my own personal reading but never for teaching until now.

Question, what is teaching? Answer, learning twice.

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

McGhee, can I come to your church each and every mid-week so that I can sit at your feet? Doc you are a great preacher!!!!

Lance

Anonymous said...

Pastor McGhee,

Great post! Galatians 2:17-21; But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18. For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21. I do not set aside the grace of God for then Christ died in vain.

Paul strongly rejects that being justified by faith actually made Jews sinners, thus painting Christ as a promoter of sin. The Law itself convicts that person of being a transgressor. The law itself is not sinful, its purpose is to convince individuals of their personal spiritual deadness in sin outside of faith in Christ.


Blessing.....

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Revun! You are a great preacher/teacher!! Again you have blessed us with the tremendous gift that God has given you!!

Vietta P's two cents said...

Hallelujah!!! I never get tired of this story. I vividly remember my baptism by immersion. I love telling my born again experience to all who will listen. Even at my tender young age I realized the outward demonstration of my baptism was a real inward committment to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My belief of His death, burial, and ressurection is a reality literally and also in the depths of my heart.

Thank you Pastor McGhee for sharing this wonderful post as I once again reflect and become more aware of my "Newness of Life".
Be blessed

Mother

Shanita Waters said...

Hi Pastor! Romans is one of my favorite books of the bible second only to Genesis.I hope you're able to post more of your teachings on the book. I would be very interested in reading them.

The portion of scripture you posted today was all memory verses from my old church. My old pastor insisted that everyone that was school age and older could recite and explain that particular text. your post brought back some memories.

Clinton Smith said...

I'm catching up! Wow! Great mind!

Fitts said...

As usual Dr. McGhee, your commitment to excellence is obvious. Keep up the good work!

DeAntwan

Rev P No said...

Thank you for your wonderful words about my blog Pastor McGhee. I was wonderful reading your post. I can tell God has made you a pillar of truth. Very SOUND message! Hope to hear from you soon.

Rickey Harvey said...

Reverend....
I tried to respond to you on my Blog, but it went to Owens...Im just glad the Lord has made a way for us to connect.. I tried connecting with you via phone, but you just gave me such a cold shoulder... Its something about the Big Boys.. they wont let little guys in their circle.. If you should ever get room for another little guy, I would be delighted to fill that spot... Thus, I hope things are going well for you.. in South Bend... "Where I used to preach" when I had "Friends" there... LOL....

things are wonderful here in Rochester... I have a group who loves me.. and My wife and I love them even more.. Please keep me in your prayer...and seriously.. Lets connect!

Rickey

Rickey Harvey said...

let me know if this message goes to Dr. McGhee.... trying to respond to you.. but for looks like its not happening...

Rickey