Romans chapters 6-8 is certainly, “where the rubber meets the road.” Paul has spent the letter telling us how we are all under the law and face due judgment for having broken it. Then, he tells us the amazing good news of the gospel! God, through His grace, has offered us salvation. Through faith in Christ we can have our sins forgiven. That is great news!
But Wait, There’s More
But sin has not just left accountable for a debt we can’t pay. It has also corrupted our spirit AND our body. Sin has left us us powerless over it – sin has become our tyrannical master – and we are its slaves. Not only do I need to be justified – have my sins forgiven – but I need to be “born again.” Why?
Because my spirit is “dead in its trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-5). I need “new life” if I’m to live. In baptism (see Romans 6:3-4) I’m “born again” by the power of the Holy Spirit (i.e. “baptism of the Spirit”). My sins are forgiven (justification) and I’m regenerated. I now have a new spirit for a new life. What is the new life? A life of striving to increase in my obedience to my Creator…now called my Father, as I’m now his child (John 1:12).
New Spirit – Old Body
However, I still have a problem. Yes, my sins are forgiven. Yes, I’m born again and now have a redeemed spirit. But I still have this “body of sin and death.” My new spirit has to still live in a corrupted body. Worse, this body still has powerful influence over me because it’s still full of sin. What’s the answer?
The answer is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:38-39; Romans 8). He is the One who will give me power to overcome the sin within me. Even Paul had this struggle (Romans 7:7-24) and had to learn how to “walk by the Spirit.” In fact, EVERY Christian will have this struggle. The struggle is actually good news as well. Hard to believe but true.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
Romans chapters 6-8 is Paul’s description of “where the rubber meets the road.” Here he tells us what to expect, what to remember, what to count on, and how to live. He’s talking about the second part of the double cure. How do redeemed people live in unredeemed bodies? More specifically, what is the role of the law of God in relation to His grace?