Liberated from those passions, saved by His life

Just noticed something else about Romans 6:

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions… (Romans 1:26a)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions (Romans 6:12).

I say something else because I have noticed before that Romans 6 makes another reference to the downward spiral Paul describes in Romans 1.18ff:

… just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification (Romans 6:19b ESV).

So the spiral is now broken. At one time God gave sin dominion over us, but now we are freed from that tyrant. From now on sin only rules as a usurper and outlaw. So it is our calling to rise up against him in the name of the Lord who bought us.

I suspect this helps explain Paul’s meaning earlier in Romans 5:

 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life(Romans 5:9-10 ESV).

Romans 1.18 does not just show sin as a reason why we are enemies of God. It also shows sin as a spreading force that overtakes the whole creation. Thus, God’s name gets blasphemed and his righteousness is impugned. This also provokes God to action.

Now that God has provided forgiveness for us, would it be no problem to his justice and righteousness for sin to still spread and grow and dominate the planet? I think the answer has to be no. God needs to provide for forgiveness and for a future of sanctification for the human race.

Thus, we are “saved by his life”

 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life(Romans 6:4 ESV).

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness (Romans 6:10-13 ESV).

It is the resurrected life of Jesus, communicated to believers by the Holy Spirit, who is the power that will bring sanctification to sanctification to replace the cycle of lawlessness to lawlessness.

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