Destroying the Body of Sin Through Death: The Link Between the Death & Resurrection of Lazarus & the Death & Resurrection of Jesus

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle of the apostle Paul written unto the saints of Rome. More specifically today’s passage is found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament epistle. “Know ye not, brethren, (For I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to huer husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:1-6).

 

            “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful” (Romans 7:7-13).

 

            “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. II fend then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched men that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:14-25).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find perhaps one of the most profound descriptions of the struggle with sin in this mortal being of flesh. If you take the time to read the epistle written by the apostle Paul you will find that one of the very core thoughts contained within it is the undeniable struggle within our physical flesh and among our members with sin. Of course know that we don’t need the epistle written unto the Romans to inform us of the struggle we have within ourselves and among our members with sin for if we have been alive within and upon the earth for any amount of time it is quite obvious that there is something at war within us. There is absolutely no denying the tremendous truth that there is this constant conflict within the members of our physical body as it’s as if there are two competing forces that are vying for control within our hearts, within our minds and within our souls. I have been alive upon this earth for nearly four decades and I can tell you with absolute certainty there has been a tremendous struggle within my flesh throughout the years. As early as I can remember I have been struggling with the sinful nature that is present within my physical members as sin seeks to dominate and control every fiber and area of my being. If we are being truly honest with ourselves we must needs acknowledge the tremendous truth that sin doesn’t simply desire to be dominating and controlling factor within our hearts and lives but it desires to be THE dominating and controlling factor within our hearts and lives. There is absolutely no denying the tremendous truth that there is something hidden within us that lies beneath the surface—something which others cannot see with the natural eyes nor be aware of with the natural senses.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this portion of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly aware of the fact that each and every one of us on this earth have wrestled and struggled with the sin nature within our flesh. What’s more is that so long as we dwell within and inhabit this physical form of flesh we will continue to struggle with the sin nature which is inherent within each and every one of us from the time we are born into this world. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs recognize and understand is that the minute we are born into this world we are born with the sin nature—a nature, a conflict and struggle which has been passed down throughout the centuries and generations from the time of Adam. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this epistle you will find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to declare that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. With this particular truth of all sinning and falling short of the glory of God it is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand that that regardless of whether or not one chooses to believe in the Lord Jesus and confess Jesus as Lord and that He was raised from death to life on the third day each and every individual has this internal struggle and conflict within themselves. Within this epistle the apostle Paul sought to demonstrate the tremendous reality of sin—not only within the world in which we live but also within the very members of our physical bodies and what we call flesh.

 

            The more I think about and consider the tremendous truth surrounding these words the more I am brought face to face with the powerful truth that in this epistle the apostle Paul sought to underline the sheer and utter dangers of sin—namely that it has reigned in the earth from the time of Adam until Moses when the Law was given unto him atop the mountain of God in the wilderness. From the time of Adam until Moses sin reigned within and upon the earth as men and women were born in iniquity and with this sinful nature within themselves. What we must needs recognize and understand is that there is absolutely no man or woman in the history of mankind with the exception of one who was not born with the sinful nature within their physical members and this outer temple and shell called flesh. Jesus the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God was the only one to have ever been born within this sinful nature and was the only one to have not been conceived in sin and iniquity. For each and every other man, woman and child born among men upon the face of the earth we have all been born into a world of iniquity and have been born in iniquity ourselves. It is absolutely undeniable and unmistakable when examining the nature of our hearts and lives that we have all been born into iniquity and have all been born in sin from the time we breathed our first breath. While it is true that with each and every child that is born into this world those who are present and who will be present within the life of the child celebrate life we must also recognize that even though we celebrate life being born and life having been given in the earth that child was born with a sinful nature within themselves.

 

            I can’t help but think about how absolutely incredible this truth truly is and how we must needs acknowledge and come face to face with the fact that while we celebrate life when a child is born into this world that child is born and immediately begins to die. Although they will spend a vast portion of their life growing in size and while they will spend the rest of their life growing older they actually begin dying within themselves. Each and every child is born with a sinful nature in themselves—this inner struggle and conflict that seeks to dominate and control every area and fiber of their being. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the fact that with each and every child that is born into this world we do indeed celebrate life and yet we must also recognize that child was born with death present within their tiny form. Tell me dear brother tell me dear sister—when was the last time you looked upon a child that had just been born into the world and immediately began wrestling and contending in prayer over the life of that child that they might gain mastery over the sin nature that will seek to dominate and control them within their flesh? When was the last time you looked upon a child that was born into this world and came to understand that they would spend the rest of their lives having to contend and wrestle with the sin nature that seeks to dominate and control every area of their being? Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for we must needs acknowledge and come face to face with the powerful truth of this sin nature which seeks to dominate and control us.

 

            As I continue in this writing concerning sin and the sin nature within our physical forms of flesh I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to call and draw your attention to the third and fourth chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will be brought face to face with that moment in the garden when sin was first introduced into the world. It is in the third chapter where we find sin and death first being introduced into the world while it is in the fourth chapter we find the evidence of the sin nature being passed on to the next generation—a pattern that would be repeated over and over again throughout the generations. From the time Cain and Abel were born into this world of Adam and Eve we can clearly see how because Adam and Eve transgressed against the command of the Lord in the garden—not only did sin begin to reign in the earth but so also did death begin to reign in the earth. The fourth chapter of this Old Testament book brings us face to face with two sons who were born unto Adam and Eve and how those two sons would each be born with the sin nature within their flesh. What makes this all the more intriguing and captivating when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the words the Lord Jesus spoke unto Cain after his offering was rejected by the Lord. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find and read in the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis is one of the greatest passages highlighting the struggle and conflict we have within our lives with sin and how sin seeks to gain mastery and dominion over us. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third and fourth chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis:

 

            “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amonst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:1-24).

 

            “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? IF thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch” (Genesis 4:1-170.

 

            SIN LIETH AT THE DOOR! AND UNTO THEE SHALL BE HIS DESIRE, AND THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM! Oh please don’t miss the tremendous truth surrounding the words which the Lord God spoke unto Cain before he would raise himself up against his brother Abel to slaughter and put him to death. Before Cain ever rose up against his brother Abel the Lord God would speak unto him concerning the struggle and conflict that rages within each and every one of us from the time of Adam and Eve until now. The words which the living God spoke unto Cain are such that describe the tremendous conflict that exists within our members as there is something inside of us that wars and rages for control and dominance. We cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the truth surrounding sin seeking to dominate and control us within our physical members from the time we are born until the time we die and pass from this life unto the next. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that so long as we are in this physical tent of flesh and blood we will be subject to this conflict and struggle within our physical members as sin has always and will always seek to gain mastery over us. It is absolutely impossible for this to not be the case for so long as we are alive and present upon the earth and so long as we are present within this physical flesh we can and will struggle with sin as it wages a relentless war within and against us.

 

            What we must needs recognize and understand when reading the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints of Rome is that within it the apostle Paul seeks to bring us face to face with this tremendous conflict within our members. The apostle Paul made it absolutely and incredibly clear that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that the wages of sin is death. The apostle Paul made it very clear to those who would read the words which are found within this epistle that sin is more than just something into which we are born but is actually something we wrestle and struggle with. The apostle Paul recognized and understood that sin was indeed something which we have struggled with and will struggle with throughout our entire lives. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for so long as we are present in this flesh there is and there will be this constant struggle and conflict with sin and the sin nature that is present within our flesh. What’s more is that although there is absolutely nothing we can do to keep and prevent ourselves from being born with this sin nature in our physical members we can do something about whether or not it has mastery over us. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that we can and will spend a considerable amount of time within and throughout our lives seeking to gain mastery over sin and over the sin nature within our physical members. There is absolutely no denying the tremendous truth that so long as we are present in this flesh we can and will contend and struggle with sin and the sin nature within our members. There is absolutely no denying or avoiding the fact that so long as we are present in the flesh we can and will face this constant struggle and conflict that exists between ourselves and the sin nature that seeks to gain mastery over us.

 

            The more you read the words which are found in the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints of Rome the more you will find the apostle Paul seeking to call and draw the attention of his readers to the tremendous consequence of sin—namely, death. The apostle Paul sought to bring his readers and his audience to the place where they recognized and understood that the penalty and consequence of sin was death and that both sin and death have reigned in the earth from the time of Adam until the present day. Sin and death reigned in the earth until the Law was given unto Moses atop the mountain of God in the wilderness and how when the Law was given it would further reveal the living God as the ultimate source of the knowledge of good and evil. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the Law which was given unto Moses it’s that through the giving of it the living God was emphatically declaring that He alone was the judge and author of the knowledge of good and evil. When the living God gave the Law unto Moses atop the mountain of God in the wilderness the Lord was emphatically declaring unto Moses and unto the children of Israel that no longer were they to be their own judges concerning right and wrong and good and evil. Through the giving of the Law the Lord was placing before the children of Israel the choice between life and death—life if they obeyed the Law with all its statutes, commands and decrees and death if they chose to disobey, transgress and rebel against it. Through the giving of the Law the living God brought the children of Israel into the place where they would recognize and understand that they were no longer the judges of good and evil nor even right and wrong but now there was a standard and measure that was given unto them. The living and eternal God gave the Law that men and women might recognize and understand that he alone was the author of the knowledge of good and evil and right and wrong.

 

            I am sitting here today writing the words in this writing and I am brought face to face with the wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome. It was in the third chapter of this epistle the apostle Paul declared how all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. What’s more is that it is in the fifth and sixth chapters where the apostle Paul really begins to drill down into the underlying truth that the wages and consequences of sin is death. The apostle Paul sought to bring both Jews and Gentiles into the place where they recognized and understood that they were guilty before the living and holy God and that all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The apostle Paul sought to bring both Jews and Gentiles into the place where they would recognize and understand that all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Moreover the apostle Paul would quote from the words of the psalmist David when he wrote of there being none righteous, no not one. The apostle Paul deliberately and intentionally sought to reveal unto his readers how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that the penalty—and not only the penalty but the just penalty—of sin was death. It would be in the sixth chapter of this epistle the apostle Paul would write unto the saints of Rome how the wages of sin is death but how there is an alternative to the wages of sin. THE ALTERNATIVE! THE WAGES VERSUS THE GIFT! It would be in the sixth chapter of this New Testament epistle the apostle Paul would call and bring his readers into the place where they understood that the wages and penalty of sin was death but that there was an alternative. With this in mind I invite you to first consider the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this epistle beginning with the first verse:

 

            “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11).

 

            “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto man. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

 

            The words and language we find within the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the saints of Rome are incredibly powerful for by and through them we are brought face to face with the incredible truth of sin and death entering into the world through the iniquity and transgression of one man. It would be Adam and Eve who would transgress against the command of the Lord in the garden and even though both Adam and Eve sinned against the command of the Lord the apostle Paul would reference Adam alone in this passage of Scripture. That which the apostle Paul sought to do in this passage of Scripture was call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the first Adam and second Adam and we must needs recognize that the reason the apostle Paul sought to highlight Adam in this passage was not only to demonstrate how sin and death were transmitted from and through Adam throughout the generations but also that we might come to the place where we recognize and understand that while sin and death were transmitted through the first Adam life and righteousness came through the second Adam. In all reality the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome is a contrast between two Adams—the first Adam which sinned and transgressed against the Law and therefore transmitted sin and death throughout the generations and the second Adam which was obedient, faithful and righteous in the sight of the living God and transmitted and made available life and righteousness. What’s more is that we know that when Adam was formed from the dust of the ground he was formed in the image and after the likeness of the triune Godhead. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if when Jesus took upon Himself the form of human flesh He came being very similar in appearance unto Adam—not because he was made in Adam’s likeness but because Adam was made in His likeness and in His image.

 

            When you read the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this New Testament epistle you will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding this contrast between two Adams. The first Adam would be a vessel and conduit of sin and death after trespassing and transgressing against the command of the Lord while the second Adam would be a vessel and conduit of life and righteousness. The apostle Paul would indeed declare the wages of sin is death and it would Adam who would first experience the truth and reality of this matter after sinning and transgressing against the command of the Lord. There in the midst of the garden Adam would sin and transgress against the command of the Lord and as a direct result sin and death would be ushered into the world. As a direct result of Adam’s transgression sin and death would be manifested in the midst of the earth and would indeed reign in the earth from the time of Adam until the time of Moses when the Law of the Lord was given atop the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness. It would be there atop the mountain of God in the wilderness the Law of God was given thus causing the offence to abound all the more. What’s more is death would all the more abound because of iniquity and transgression for there were certain transgressions against the Law that would call for the immediate and swift death of the transgressor while there were certain transgressions against the Law that would call for the cutting off from the children of Israel the transgressor of the Law.

 

            The apostle Paul sought to convey to his readers and his audience in the fifth chapter that through Adam sin and death were introduced into the world and that both began reigning in the earth among men from the time of Adam throughout the generations. Sin and death would indeed reign within and upon the earth from the time of Adam until Moses and it would be through the giving of the Law that sin would abound all the more. When the Law was given unto Moses it would be the holy standard of righteousness given by the eternal and living God unto the children of Israel. Although sin and death had indeed reigned in the earth from the time of Adam until that time it would be through the giving of the Law that iniquity would abound all the more. Up until the time of Moses and the giving of the Law there wouldn’t really be any sort of code or commandment or decree given unto men. Oh stop and consider how from the time of Adam until the time of Moses sin and death would abound among men within and upon the earth and yet there really would be no command or code from the living God. It would be when Moses came up to God atop the mountain of God in the wilderness where the Law would first be given unto the children of Israel. It would be that Law which would be the moral code and standard with which the children of Israel were to obey and follow throughout their days. What’s more is that not only were the children of Israel in that first generation to obey the words and commands contained in the Law but they were to teach it to their children that as surely as the sin nature and death would be passed on through the generations so too would the Law of the living God be passed on through the generations. What a truly incredible thought it is to think about and consider the fact that when the Law was given unto Moses atop the mountain of God in the wilderness it would be given that iniquity might all the more abound for there would now be a standard and code with which men would be held to.

 

            As you come to the final verses of the fifth chapter you will find the apostle Paul writing how the Law entered that the offense might abound but where sin abounded grace did much more abound. Moreover the apostle Paul would go on to declare that as sin reigned unto death even so might grace reign unto righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. The apostle Paul concludes the fifth chapter of this New Testament epistle by speaking of the offense of sin abounding in the earth as a direct result of the Law being given unto Moses atop the mountain of God in the wilderness. Despite the fact that both sin and offenses abounded in the earth as a direct result of the Law being given the Lord Jesus would introduced something entirely different—namely, grace. In fact it is this particular truth which the apostle John sought to convey in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament gospel which was written concerning the life of the Lord Jesus. It is in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the Law being given unto and through Moses and yet grace and truth being given by and through the Lord Jesus. I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs recognize and understand this concept of grace for while it is true that grace did in fact come through and was in fact given by the Lord Jesus it was something which could be abused by men. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

 

            “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which ligtheth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. NO man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:6-18).

 

            Please don’t miss the tremendous importance of what is found in the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John. The words which we find here in this particular portion help demonstrate the tremendous truth that the Lord Jesus came full of grace and truth and how the eternal Father did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Furthermore we must needs recognize and understand that of the fulness of the Lord Jesus have we all received and grace from grace for the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. What an incredibly powerful truth it is to consider how sin and death came through the transgression and trespass of Adam and yet life and righteousness came through the Lord Jesus. Moreover the Law was given unto and came through Moses and yet grace and truth came through the Lord Jesus. When the Lord Jesus came unto the world having taken upon Himself the form of human flesh—not only did He come as a vessel and conduit of life and righteousness but He also came as a vessel of grace and truth. The Lord Jesus came unto the earth full of grace and truth that whereas sin and iniquity abounded so much more would grace abound. This is important for us to recognize and understand for time and time again within the gospels you will find Jesus speaking unto individuals declaring unto them their sins were forgiven and even delivering the woman who was caught in the act of adultery from her accusers and those who would condemn her. When this woman was caught in the act of adultery, accused of her trespass and even condemned and sentenced according to the Law of Moses—not only did Jesus deliver her from her accusers and those who would accuse her but Jesus would also choose not to condemn her. In fact it is in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John when we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus asking this woman where her accusers were and whether or not there were any who stood to accuser her. When the woman responded to Jesus declaring her accusers had departed Jesus emphatically, compassionately and lovingly declared unto her that He did not condemn her.

 

            It is this concept of grace abounding through the person of the Lord Jesus for although sin and death abounded all the more because of the Law grace did all the more abound. When we come to the sixth chapter of this New Testament epistle the apostle Paul asks the saints which were at Rome—both Jews and Gentiles—whether or not we should continue in sin that grace might abound. With the knowledge of grace abounding through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs ask ourselves whether or not we should continue in sin that grace might be manifested within our lives. Oh there would be those who would choose to continue in sin because grace abounds unto them in the person of the Lord Jesus and yet the apostle Paul emphatically declares that those who are dead to sin ought not to live any longer therein. Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are indeed dead to sin in our mortal bodies. One of the underlying truths we must needs recognize and understand within our hearts and lives is whether or not we are truly dead to sin that sin might no longer have any dominion or control within and over us. It would be unto Cain where the living God spoke of sin’s desire to have mastery and dominion over us and yet how we have been called to have dominion and mastery over it. With this being said it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand that sin was never intended nor was it ever intended on having mastery and dominion over us. Despite the fact that sin and death reigned in the earth from the time of Adam in the garden we were never intended on being slaves to sin. If there is one thing the narrative of Cain and Abel demonstrates it’s that we were never created nor were we intended on allowing sin to have mastery or dominion over us.

 

            When we come to the sixth chapter of this New Testament epistle we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding grace abounding all the more in the face and presence of sin. With this being said we must needs recognize that while grace doth abound toward us through the person of the Lord Jesus it requires something of us. It would be very easy to focus our attention solely on the grace that is found in the Lord Jesus and live our lives continuing in sin knowing that grace doth all the more abound toward and unto us. What we must needs realize and understand, however, is that while it is indeed true that grace doth abound toward us in the person of the Lord Jesus that grace demands and requires something of us—namely, that we commit ourselves to being dead to sin. Oh it is indeed true that grace doth abound toward us, however, we must needs ask ourselves whether or not we are truly willing to allow ourselves to be dead unto sin that it might no longer have dominion and control over us. It is indeed true that grace abounds toward us in the face of sin and death, however, it is also true that grace demands from us action and responsibility. We must needs recognize and understand that grace does not deliver us from the responsibility we have within our lives to gain dominion and mastery over sin, iniquity and transgression within our hearts and lives. If anything grace serves as a powerful reminder that we have indeed been called into a place of tremendous responsibility before and in the sight of the living God—namely that we bring ourselves to the place where we are dead unto sin that it might no longer have mastery over us.

 

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words found in the sixth chapter and how they serve as the foundation for what is presented in the seventh chapter. It is in the seventh chapter of this epistle the apostle Paul highlights and underscores the tremendous conflict that exists within our physical bodies as sin desires to have mastery and dominion over us. In fact I am convinced that in order to truly understand the words which are found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament epistle we must needs recognize the only true way to not allow sin to have dominion, control, authority and mastery over us. If you want to truly understand how to live a life with sin no longer having dominion and control over you it is absolutely imperative that you reckon yourselves dead unto Christ and buried with Him in baptism. If there is one thing grace does it’s inviting us into the place where we cast ourselves fully and completely upon the Lord Jesus as we allow ourselves to truly be dead unto sin and yet alive unto Christ. It is in the sixth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome the apostle Paul asks his readers if they knew that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death. Moreover the apostle Paul would also go on to emphatically declare that if we are buried with him in baptism into death we should walk in newness of life as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father. Furtheremore the apostle Paul would go on to write that if we were planted together in the likeness of his death we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection knowing that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed that we should not serve sin.

 

            OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM! THE BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED! WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN! HE THAT IS DEAD IS FREED FROM SIN! Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of that which is found in this passage of Scripture for the ultimate objective when speaking of and dealing with sin is that the body of sin might be destroyed. We must needs recognize and understand that the body of sin cannot be permitted to live any longer within our physical beings in the flesh. The true and ultimate objective is that the body of sin might be destroyed that we should not serve sin. It is only to the degree and measure that the body of sin is destroyed that we cannot and will not serve sin for those who are dead are freed from sin. What we must needs recognize and realize is that while it is indeed true the wages of sin is death the ultimate cure for sin is death itself. When we think and speak of sin we must needs recognize that on both sides of sin there is death. On the one side of sin is death as a direct result of yielding ourselves to it within our mortal flesh while on the other side of sin is death as we allow ourselves to be crucified with the Lord Jesus. On the one side of sin is death as we put to death sin within our mortal bodies that we might no longer be slaves and servants unto it. It is indeed true that death is the ultimate penalty and consequence of sin within our hearts and lives, however we must needs recognize and understand that death is also the answer to the problem and struggle of sin within our physical bodies. THE ANSWER TO SIN, THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN! What we have a great need of recognizing and understanding is that we are either living in the reality of the answer to sin or we are living in the consequence of sin. We are either living in the consequence of sin which is death or we are living in the answer to sin which is death—and not only death but death as we give ourselves unto the Lord Jesus and being crucified with Him in this physical form of flesh.

 

            When we come to the seventh chapter of this epistle written by the apostle Paul we are indeed brought face to face with the tremendous struggle we have within our flesh with sin. If we are truly honest with ourselves we must needs recognize and understand that there is a great and tremendous struggle and conflict which we have in the flesh for the apostle Paul makes it perfectly clear that he saw a law that was present within the members of his physical flesh. The apostle Paul would write unto the saints of Rome how he had not known sin but by the law for he had not known lust except the law said “Thou shalt not covet.” Furthermore the apostle Paul would go on to write how sin taking occasion by the commandment wrought in him all manner of concupiscence for without the law sin was dead. What we must needs recognize and understand is that the law enhances and increases sin and death within our lives for through the law we understand God’s holy and righteous standard for us. It is through the Law we understand that which God requires and that which God has commanded and instructed us to keep ourselves from. The apostle Paul recognized that sin and the law worked in him death because it would be through the Law we came face to face with the sin and transgression which was present within our physical beings in the flesh. It would be through the Law we are brought to terms with that which the living God has commanded and instructed us to abstain from in the flesh for the Law made us aware of the righteous and holy standard of the living God within our lives. It is through the law we encounter and come face to face with the statutes, the commandments, the decrees and the words of the living God and how we ought to live in the flesh.

 

            What we find in the seventh chapter of this New Testament epistle is an incredibly powerful picture of the struggle and conflict that is present within our physical bodies of flesh for we are carnal and sold under sin. The apostle Paul recognized the tremendous struggle that existed within himself for that which he knew he ought to do and that which he wanted to do he did not do. Conversely that which he did not want to do and that which he knew he ought not to do he would do. Oh there is something absolutely necessary and imperative that is found within this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding this one life which we are living in the flesh—namely that there is this internal conflict and struggle within ourselves with the sinful and carnal nature. We would be incredibly naïve to think and consider even for a moment that we cannot and will not struggle and wrestle with this sin nature within our physical bodies of flesh. So long as we are present within the flesh we can and will struggle with the sin nature for it will always seek to gain mastery, dominion and control over us. The apostle Paul recognized and understood that there is this internal and infernal conflict within these physical bodies of flesh and blood for we are constantly at war with a sinful and carnal nature that seeks to gain mastery over us. Just as the living God declared unto Cain that sin was crouching at the door seeking to lay hold of and take possession of him so also does sin crouch at the door and seek to gain mastery over us. We must needs recognize and understand that there is this internal conflict and struggle that is present within our physical beings—one which we have always and will always find ourselves contending with so long as we are in the physical flesh in this natural life.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the tremendous conflict that exists within our physical bodies of the flesh. There is absolutely no denying the truth and reality that so long as we are in the flesh we will constantly face this struggle and conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. In fact it is when you come to the eighth chapter of this epistle you will be brought face to face with what exactly the sin nature is in direct conflict with—namely, the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. If we wish to truly understand the conflict and struggle that exists within us we must needs recognize that it is a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. Much like Ishmael was in conflict with Isaac, much like Cain was in conflict with Abel, much like Esau was in conflict with Jacob, much like Edom was in conflict with Israel so also is the flesh in conflict with the Spirit. There is a great need within ourselves to recognize that we were born into sin and we were born into a world of sin. So long as we live in these physical bodies of flesh and blood we can and will wrestle and struggle with sin—and not only sin but with the very sin and carnal nature itself. There is absolutely no denying or mistaking this tremendous truth for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that we do in fact live our lives in direct conflict with a sin nature that seeks to gain control and mastery over us in this life. There is absolutely no denying this reality and we must needs recognize and understand its present within our hearts and lives for only to the degree we are aware of it will we actually commit ourselves to waging war against the sin nature that exists within our flesh.

 

            I sit here today thinking about this tremendous conflict and struggle that exists within our flesh and how it is one that we can and will face throughout the entirety of our lives in these physical bodies of flesh and blood. The apostle Paul recognized and understood that the true and ultimate way to deal and contend with it is to reckon ourselves as being dead unto Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed. What’s more is that this is why it was so incredibly important for Jesus to come in the form of human flesh for through His death upon the cross He destroyed sin in the flesh once and for all. This is why our being crucified with Christ and why our being buried with Him in baptism is so incredibly important for it is only through His death are we ourselves able to be dead—and not only dead but dead unto sin that we might be alive unto Him and alive unto righteousness. Oh how incredibly important it is for us to recognize that it was necessary for Jesus to come in the form of flesh and blood for it would be through coming in the flesh He might destroy the body of sin. He who knew no sin became sin and took upon Himself sin that through death He might destroy the body of sin. When Jesus died on the cross He not only destroyed the body of sin but also put to death sin in the flesh that when He was raised from death to life He might be raised to newness of life. This is what is so incredibly powerful about Lazarus for in the resurrection of Lazarus we see a powerful picture of how death destroys that which plagues and wreaks havoc within our physical bodies. Lazarus would indeed be sick and that sick would indeed and ultimately lead to his dying in the flesh. What we must needs recognize and is that the Lord Jesus would not heal Lazarus of the sickness that was present within his body but would actually destroy that sickness through death. It would be through Lazarus’ death that the sickness which was present in his body would be destroyed. When Lazarus was raised from death to life he would be raised having experienced the sickness which was previously in his body being destroyed.

 

            I find it absolutely necessary to leave you with the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the second chapter of the epistle. It is in the second chapter of this epistle the author speaks of Jesus coming in the form of flesh and blood and the tremendous importance surrounding His taking upon Himself the seed of Abraham in the earth. What we find in the second chapter of this epistle is an incredibly powerful picture of Jesus coming in the form of flesh and blood for it would be in through His coming in the form of flesh and blood that He could not only take upon and unto Himself sin but might also become sin. When Jesus hung there upon the cross he would indeed become sin in the sight of the living God and when He died He would destroy the body of sin in the flesh. Through the death of Jesus—not only did He destroy the body of sin but He also suffered the just penalty for sin which was death. What’s more is that we must needs recognize that when Jesus died His spirit man descended into the very depths of hell itself for hell was the ultimate penalty of sin in the next life. When Christ died upon the cross—not only did He experience physical death but He also allowed His spirit to descend into the depths of hell that He might experience the second death and penalty that was associated with sin. With this being said, however, the Lord would not leave his soul in hell and would not only bring Him forth from hell but would also raise Him from death to life. When Jesus was raised from death to life on the third day—not only did He destroy the body of sin through death but in His resurrection He also conquered death as the penalty for sin as well as conquering hell which was the ultimate penalty for sin. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand this for the only way for us to contend with the sinful nature within our physical beings is to reckon ourselves dead unto Christ that the body of sin within us might be destroyed that we might walk with Him in newness of life.

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