Progress Towards Salvation: The Transformation
Welcome back to our study on “salvation”. Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking into God’s Word on the salvation of man. We’ve discussed how Faith, Repentance, Confession, and Baptism are all part of our responsibility for salvation. Last week, we started the final requirement to be saved in the Judgment Day, our Faithfulness/Obedience. Philippians 2:12 mentions our responsibility as a Christian. Speaking to Christians, they were “to work out their salvation in fear and trembling”. Those works are according to His Word, and accomplished as we have faith in God’s Word. James 2:14ff says that we are saved by those works with the faith, as God commanded. As we do so, there is a transformation in the person. Let’s examine Romans 6.
Paul speaking to Christians here, states that we CANNOT continue in sin! We are dead to the former man of sin, because that man died through the baptism into Christ’s death, vs. 1-3. The objective as we rise from the waters of baptism, which through faith involves the blood of Christ, is to have a “newness of life”, vs. 4-7. This takes place, when we crucify the old man that lived in sin, and wash those sins away in baptism, then rise, in a figure, like Christ to live unto God in obedience, that new life of vs. 4. Being dead with Christ, we know we will live with Christ, being dead to the life of sin. We live like Christ, who lived for God. Our faith is complete in knowing and keeping God’s Word. Sin is gone and we now have our direction in life, vs. 8-11.
Verses 12-15 gives command, that we don’t let sin control our lives, but we conform to God’s Word and live our life unto God, as a servant of righteousness. We are aware of the lusts of sin, but we are told not to obey those lusts. We are not subject to the Law of Moses, vs. 14, but under Christ’s grace. (refer again to Titus 2:11-14) That grace teaches us who we are to be, sober, righteous, and godly, in this present world. No longer are we to be ungodly and seeking those worldly lusts which led us to sin. We overcame sin’s dominion over us. SO, we don’t continue the life of sin, because we know to be sober, righteous, and godly instead. Vs. 16-22, man has a choice to make. We will either serve God or serve the world of sin. We yield our will to do so. We develop our desires according to the choice we make. To yield our body in service to God, we are rewarded life eternal, but to serve Satan and the world, we receive death eternal. IF we yield to God, we will desire to obey Him, and desire the spiritual qualities to do so, 2 Peter 1:1-15. Moses made that choice for himself, Hebrews 11: 25. Each choice of path has its fruit, God’s path grants holiness and eternal life, vs. 21, and this is seen by others in your life. By the same token, a servant of sin, is granted calamity, shame, and eternal death- separated from God. We were ashamed of the life we lived prior and thus sought forgiveness, knowing we were lost in sin. That was our choice. But, a Christian follows Christ’s pathway for salvation through forgiveness, so why would one return to a life of sin? God forbid! Vs. 23, The wages of sin is DEATH! But to serve God in righteousness, we have the gift of eternal life, a home in heaven. We the fruits will determine who we serve! Thus we are to overcome sin in our life.