The Importance of Hearing the Right Doctrine (NY)
21 Jul 2018
When we compare the Law of Moses to grace, there are some stark differences. One of these differences is that nothing in true Christianity is earned. The old covenant of the law was based on performance; God could not bless the people if they did not perform perfectly. Under the new covenant of grace, our belief that Jesus performed flawlessly and kept all the commandments when no one else could negates the need for us to perform. We are now blessed by our faith in what He did and, through His unmerited favor toward us, we can receive good gifts that we did not earn. One of the greatest gifts Jesus gave us was the opportunity to be born again. This gives us new natures that are as perfect as God, Himself, and frees us, because even when we miss the mark and sin, we are now no longer slaves to it.
- When we get born again, our spirits are perfected. Then, we must renew our minds.
- What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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 that is dead is freed from sin (Romans 6:1-7).
- The difference between Christians and the rest of the world is that unsaved people sin because they are slaves to it and they have to, but born-again believers sin because they want to.
- Sinners sin because that is their nature. Believers receive new natures when they become born again. We are free moral agents and no longer slaves to sin.
- We are not dead to the act of sinning, but to our old, sinful selves. In this context, sin is a noun, not a verb.
- We only die once to sin, when we are born again; it is a misinterpretation to think we must die every day to it. Paul did not mean he died daily to sin, but to the persecutions he faced.
- I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily(1 Corinthians 15:31).
- After we are born again, we must renew our minds and bring them into alignment with our spirits.
- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…(Proverbs 23:7)
- Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (Romans 6:8-17).
- Renewing our minds and being careful about what we think are spiritual laws. Whatever we think about the most is the thing we will say.
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21).
- We need the Holy Spirit’s help to renew our minds and teach us how to think.
- Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).
- The devil’s strategy is not to get us to sin, but to get us to live under the law. He knows that when we live by the law, we will eventually sin.
- The law is not the answer to sin; grace is.
- In Romans 6:16, Adam was the person who sinned unto death; Jesus is the one who obeyed unto righteousness. The Scriptures confirm this.
- 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 (Romans 5:12).
- For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
- Under grace, we no longer have to toil and perform endlessly. We can simply believe.
- Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living (Romans 6:17, 18, NLT).
- “Obey,” in this context, does not mean performance. It means to hearken to, listen, hear, or pay attention.
- Listening to the wrong doctrine enslaves us, but listening to the doctrine of grace frees us.
- Under the old covenant, obedience was about performing. Under the new covenant, it is about believing.
- Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name (Romans 1:5, NLT).
- By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name (Romans 1:5).
- Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith(Romans 16:25, 26).
- “Obedience to the faith” is right-believing. It is being obedient to believe the finished works of Jesus.
- Under the old covenant, obedience was the root. Under the new covenant, it is the fruit.
1 Corinthians 15:31
Romans 5:12, 19
Romans 6:17, 18, NLT
Romans 1:5, NLT
Romans 16:25, 26