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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. (Daniel 9:24—NIV)
"To put an end to sin."
The Lord God commanded the Israelites to totally destroy the enemy in their land. This they were not courageous or determined enough to accomplish. God would have enabled them to do what He commanded had they been willing and obedient.
God has commanded us Christians to overcome, through Christ, all the works of Satan. To this point the Christian churches have not been courageous or determined enough to do what God has commanded. Yet God has made provision under the new covenant to make an end of sin in our life. We can learn from the history of the Israelites, a history of endless conflict and suffering, the results of not obeying God strictly.
The sixth chapter of the Book of Romans is the Apostle Paul's reaction to those who would interpret his doctrine of grace to mean that the new covenant is limited to a blanket forgiveness of the sins of the believer.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know our old self was crucified with him so the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7—NIV)
If we would understand the sixth chapter of Romans we must remember that there is a difference between the forgiveness of sin and the destruction of the bondages of sin, of the compulsions to do things that are sinful.
A careful study of the verses of the sixth chapter will reveal that the emphasis is on the destruction of the bondages of sin.
When the statement is made "anyone who has died has been freed from sin," do we mean freed from the guilt of sin or freed from the practice of sin?
We know from the seventh chapter of Romans that when we assign our first personality to death on the cross with the Lord Jesus we become legally free from the jurisdiction of the Law of Moses. We have been freed from sin in the sense that we can eat pork or wear clothes of different kinds of cloth without having sinned.
But the sixth chapter of Romans is not stressing the removal of the guilt of our sin but the practice of sin. How, then, do we interpret the statement "anyone who has died has been freed from sin"?
I think Paul merely is saying since our adamic nature, our first personality, now is on the cross with Christ, having died with Him, we no longer are obligated to live in our old, sin-prone nature. It is not reasonable, not fitting that we should do so. We have no obligation to that which is crucified with Christ to live according to its desires. Having died on the cross we no longer are slaves to sin.
To be continued.