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Rev Johnny C Smith

Rev. Johnny C. Smith,
Pastor – Mount Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church

Sanctification With Reference to the Believer, Part I

In chapter 6 of the grand book of Romans, Paul has been discussing the “positional sanctification” of the believer; that is, his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.  In addition, Paul declared that the Roman Christians had died to sin through being spiritually united to Christ in His death (Romans 6:2).  Paul begins Romans chapter 7:1 by pointing out that the Law controls a man until he dies.  Paul illustrates the truth of the Law’s dominance of a man by looking at marriage in verses 2-3.  As long as a woman’s husband is alive, she is bound to her husband (v. 2).  Furthermore, if she marries again while the husband is yet alive, she is viewed as an adulteress.  However, a widow who marries again is not an adulteress (v. 3).

Now, in verses 4-6, Paul will apply his illustration of marriage to a believer and the Law.  As the believer has experienced death “by the body of Christ” (v. 4), that is, through identification with Him in His crucifixion, so the believer has died to the Law (v. 4).  Just as the wife is no longer bound to her husband when he dies, so is the believer no longer under the Law.  The believer is separated from the Law through the death of Christ on the cross.  As Christians, we belong to Christ, the One who was raised from the dead.  As a result of our union with Him, we are to live a fruitful life.

In verse 5, Paul went on to affirm the sinful conduct of the believer before he was saved.  Paul described the sinful passions of the believer’s body which led only to death.  When sin is the master, the outcome is only death (Romans 6:21).  As a result of being identified with Christ, the believer is dead to the Law (v. 6) and able now to serve in the newness of the Holy Spirit.

May God Bless!