Part 2: Sin and the New Man
(Romans 6:5-6) “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.”
The old man died when Jesus was crucified so that the new man was born. This new man does not have to serve sin anymore; that is, the new man does not have to sin anymore. Paul makes this point in Romans, chapters 6 and 7. If you just read chapter 6 and the first part of chapter 7, you might get the idea that living without sinning is easy. Yet starting in Romans chapter 7 verses 14-28, Paul starts talking about the weakness of our flesh. He says in, (Romans 7:18) “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.”
Some think that Paul is talking about the lost person in these verses, but I do not think so. I think that he is talking about a saved person that is trying to live a life in the will of God by walking in the flesh. This is impossible to do. You can hear Paul’s frustration in trying to do something that cannot be done. The truth is that we are dead to sin but we are still in the flesh and God has not taken away our free will. When we try to live a saved life without sinning in the flesh we will fail. We can say that even the saved flesh does not have the power to live a life in God’s will without the power of the Holy Spirit in it. (This passage is very personal for Paul. I count the words “I”, “my” and “me” 30 times starting at verse 14 to verse 25. Paul is talking about himself.)
He ends up by saying, (Romans 7:23) “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.”
Then he says (Romans 7:24) “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
He is admitting defeat of his flesh to overcome the power of sin in his life. But then he says, (Romans 7:25) “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.”
The victory over sin is in Jesus Christ. This victory comes when we are in Christ and not walking in the flesh but by walking in the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 8:1-4) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Here is the way the new man should live. The new man is dead to sin, but he can have victory over sin in this life by walking in the Spirit. We will talk more about this next time.
*Devotional written by Ralph Williams, retired pastor and member of One Hope Mobile.