Romans 5:12-26 (No Longer Slaves Series)
Jason White


Are you in Adam or in Christ? What does it mean to be “in Adam”? Paul teaches us that through Adam, all people sinned and therefore all people died a spiritual death.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

Romans 5:18-19 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.





Sermon Audio Transcript
I’m grateful for Steve who stepped up and preached last week on about a day and a half notice. He did a great job of keeping us going through Romans and this series we have been in this summer called No Longer Slaves.He covered Romans 6:1-11 last week and today I am going to finish out the chapter…And listen, for me personally this whole chapter has been one of the most impactful chapters in the entire Bible. It has made such a tremendous impact on me and helped me find victory over reoccurring sin that I felt so defeated by over and over again.And what we are going to cover today really ties into what Steve covered last week, so I want to just give a quick review…Basically, Paul has been unpacking so much grace…all the stuff that we are gifted in Christ, forgiveness…freedom from death…eternal life …righteousness… And Paul began to sense an objection from some… “Maybe we should just sin more so that grace may increase?” In other words, “doesn’t grace just give us a license to sin?”And Paul says in v. 3, “Don’t you know?”… In other words, what I am about to tell you is something you have to know… He doesn’t start with “you shouldn’t do this and you ought not,” no he says here is something you have to KNOW…And here is basically what Paul says in the next few verses (and Steve talked about this last week)…He says, “You have died to sin…You’ve been united w/Christ in death”Picture this trunk being your old self, ruled by a sin nature (there’s this power of sin running through the trunk that produces sins as fruit…lust, anger, gossip, envy, etc. and no amount of good behavior…following rules is going to change the situation)… so God had to kill it…cut you off from it! And that is what He does the moment we say yes to Jesus.And so Paul says “You have to KNOW this is true about you if you don’t…this is part of the gospel, the good news of Jesus.” But that’s not all…Paul also said that you haven’t just been united w/Him in death, but you’ve been resurrected w/Him too…united w/Him in lifeAnd it gives us this image of grafting…where you can cut down the old branch to the core & place it between the bark & trunk & eventually it will grow together w/the new tree and new fruit will begin to growAnd this is what happens to us at conversion…the old us is ripped off (separated) and then united to a new Source, with new life giving stuff that produces new fruit…joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.And so Paul says, “Don’t you KNOW this is true of you now? Don’t you know this is who you are?” Here’s another way of looking at itAt our core, on the left you see we had the power of sin ruling & dominating our life…but on the right, you see that the old us died and the new us was raised to life with Jesus…we now have a new nature, there’s new life giving sap running through us.And so Paul says, “Don’t you know this…you’ve got to KNOW this is true about you if you are going to have victory over sin…if you think that sin is a good response to grace…But then, Paul gives his 1st command of Ro. In verse 11…11 …count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Some translations say “reckon yourselves,” and others say “consider yourselves.” What Paul is saying is that you first of all have to KNOW that these things are true about you, BUT THEN you have to actually consider them to be true of you…reckon it to your own life.Why? B/C sometimes we can feel like that’s not true! “I know it says I’m dead to sin, but gosh, why do I feel like sinning so much? Why do I go on sinning over and over again if I’m dead to it?”See, what it can feel like is true about us is what we see here…It feels like maybe I’m half sinner and half good and there is a war waging within me…it feels like my sin nature is very much alive in me and a part of me and eventually we just kind of live defeated lives b/c even though we know what the Bible says about us, we haven’t really ever reckoned it or counted it to actually be true about us in spite of our feelings or own thoughts on the matter.Reckoning doesn’t make it true…but it does allow us to experience the truth. Reckoning doesn’t change what is true about us…Jesus changes us & we are changed whether we feel changed or not, but reckoning allows us to experience the victory over sin that has already been won for us.So the 2 things we see in 6:1-11 to live in victory over sin is…1…KNOW what is true about you…2, reckon it to your own life)But now, Paul has one more thing to say about this that we are going to see in the next several verses…let’s look at what Paul says in v1212 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.Okay so the first thing to note here is that Paul doesn’t deny that you can’t sin just b/c you’ve died to it and have a new nature. And here is why…as you will see in this next diagram…See, even though you’ve been separated from sin and died to it at the core of your being where you are united to Christ, we can and do still experience the effects of sin in our bodies and our souls…We are all getting older and dying a little bit every single day, our bodies are experiencing the effects of sin. And we can still FEEL TEMPTED to sin…and we can still THINK about sinning & and have sinful thoughts IN OUR MINDS… And we can still even CHOOSE to sin And that is why Paul says here, “do not let it reign.” Don’t let it control you or have dominion over you. Why? Because it doesn’t! It doesn’t really have control over you…Paul just explained that (Don’t you KNOW???)So Paul says “don’t let it reign b/c it doesn’t fit who you are any longer.” But he also gave 2nd negative command…“do not offer your bodies (any part of it) to the power of sin.” WHY? B/C if you do, it will use you as an instrument of wickedness. You will be the tool in Satan’s hand where he is using you to do all kinds of wicked and evil things. Now notice the tool language (instrument)…a tool is bad…it can be used for good or bad…so we aren’t talking about nature here. Your body, mind, feelings, are not evil… but you can use a hammer to do evil things, but you can also use a hammer to do good things…So Paul says do that… “offer yourselves to God as instruments in His hands so that He can use you as a tool to do righteous things.”And did you notice what Paul said when he said to offer yourselves to God? He said to do it “as those who have been brought from death to life.” Why? B/C you have been! You have been brought from death to life in Christ (show grafted branch again?), so now you are able to offer yourself to Him so that He can use you to do righteous things in and through you!So this is the 3rd step or thing that Paul is saying in this section about sin and grace…sin and license…sin and the victorious life…to OFFER.We first have to KNOW we are dead to sin and alive to Christ, 2nd we reckon it to our own lives (consider it to be true even when we feel it’s not)…and 3rd, OFFER ourselves to Him to be used as instruments (He will do the work in and through us to produce righteous acts not wicked, sinful acts…instruments don’t work, they are just available for the Master to use them to do the work)Ok, watch what Paul does next in v. 14…he switches from commands and gives a promise. He says…14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. This is a promise…that sin is no longer your master…it’s true…why? Because are we no longer under a covenant of law but now under a covenant of grace with God. Sin WAS our master under law b/c the law brought condemnation as Paul says in 2 Cor 3:9…But under grace, Jesus has fulfilled the law and God has extended us grace…the gift of forgiveness and union with His Son and in this covenant with God sin is no longer our master…(think grafted… picture core of concentric circles)… v. 15…15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? So… “Hey Paul, if we're forgiven and under grace then wouldn't it just be better for me to go live in sin now? Because I can experience the pleasure of all that sin has to give me and then I'm completely forgiven and I get to go to heaven… like I have my cake and eat it too. Like this is awesome. Paul says…By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?In other words, we sometimes think that real freedom is found in getting to sin and making our choices about whatever we want to or feel like doing. “I am in charge of me…I’m going to be true to me”But Paul pulls back the curtain and says it’s an illusion. You want to see what's really going on in the world… Like you think that you've got it all figured out… that you're in control of you and you're walking around this world just dipping your hand in this bucket of sin and in this bucket of sin and I am living a life of real freedom and not stuck as slaves to God and all of His restrictions…He said, Let me paint a real picture of reality for you. You're nothing more than a dog held in a cage by Satan in that moment. You are a slave to him…You think you are free and roaming all around the world choosing this and that, but you are in reality you are in a small cage where he is spoon feeding you sin… and you are hooked on it…you have to go back to it over and over again. we talked about this a few weeks ago… there's a hole in our bucket as it gets filled up, it starts to leak and Satan knows that… so when it starts to leak and it becomes empty, who are you going back to? The sin…b/c it never satisfies… so you become a slave to it…so don’t think you are free and life is great getting to sin all the time…you are a slave, locked in a cage…V 1717 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.Again, Paul is writing to Christians…to the church at Rome…people who have put their faith in Jesus for salvation and so all of those things that Paul said we needed to KNOW and RECKON earlier in this chapter are true about them…So Paul says, thanks be to God that you are different now? You’re heart is different…you are no longer slaves to sin but now slaves to righteousness. And don’t picture slave in a bad sense (oh He is a brutal, unloving, demanding, punish you kind of kind of Master). When we say “slavery” we are talking about ownership. You are God’s possession…And b/c you are in His possession THROUGH this union with Jesus then He’s made you righteous in Christ and freed you from the slavery to the power of sin that used to own you! V. 1919 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.So Paul says, since you already are God’s possession and grafted into Him through Christ, now offer yourself to Him since you are a slave to righteousness now. And Paul is saying that as we offer ourselves to Christ then that will lead to holiness. Why? B/C in Christ we already are holy and now He will work that holiness from the inside out and it will be manifested to the world around us for everyone to see. V 2020 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!Again, Satan is SO good at trying to convince us that there is real freedom found in sin and going against God’s ways…it can really feel like this is the right thing to do for us…But Paul says, “Think back to the life of sin you were in and you’ll remember that all of those things didn’t bring the life that Satan promised they would…they brought death, emptiness, addiction, shame.” BUT NOW, v. 22…22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.So Paul comes back one more time, reminding them of who they are now…that they have been set free from sin and death and all of the shame associated with their sin…BUT NOW, they again “slaves of God” (in Christ…in union with God as His possession) and the benefit now is not shame and death but holiness and eternal life!How much better is that than shame and death you experienced when you were under the power of sin?!?!SO MUCH BETTER b/c you aren’t paid death, but you are gifted eternal life…And not just an eternal life one day, but NOW…See, when we KNOW who we are in Christ and that we are dead to sin and truly alive in Him…and when we RECKON it to be true even when we feel otherwise…then we can OFFER minds and personalities and gifts/abilities and our bodies to Him to be used as His instruments…And through that instrument flows eternal life (the rivers of living water)…we experience eternal life flowing through us now and good is brought into the world and we get to be a part of that!And so, sometimes we might think the same things Paul brought up as objections…Man, if we have all this grace then I just have a license to sin. I mean I can really go out and enjoy life and still get to go to heaven when I dieAnd if we think that, Paul wants us not to be made aware of all the rules…and all of the things we really should be or shouldn’t be doingNO, his answer to that is, “Don’t you know who you are?”Don’t you know how different you are and how much better off you are now than you once were?B/C if you know that and begin to reckon it to be true in your life and offer yourself to Him, He is going to do things in you and through you that you will find so much more joy in…so much more purpose in…so much more satisfaction in that you won’t want to go back to those things that had such a grip and a hold on your life.Some of you are walking around thinking that you are living in real freedom enjoying sin…but if you’ll stop and think honestly about it, you’ll see that you are a slave to it and that it is never ever able to ultimately satisfy you once you sin and that is why you have to go back to it over and over and over again…Know today that no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done that Jesus loves you so much that He died for you so that you could be free from that slavery and step into real life with Him and He offers it to you as a gift (v. 23) that you can receive by faith.And in that moment, all of these things that we saw in ch. 6 become true of you…the old you will die w/Christ and you will be reborn into a new you in union with Christ…and He will make you holy & righteous and you can begin to experience the real, abundant life that He created you to experience in the 1st place & not the counterfeit stuff.But listen, there are some of you who are here and are wanting relief and victory over sin and can’t seem to defeat it…and I know that b/c I’ve been there as a Christian and felt so down and weak/defeatedBut listen, when we truly begin to KNOW that we are dead to sin… that we are separated from it and it doesn’t have ownership over us, and we RECKON it to be true even when we don’t feel that way, and when we OFFER ourselves to Jesus as instruments, HE will give us victory b/c it’s impossible for Him to lead us into sinNow that doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect, but it means that we don’t have to be dominated by sin and it means that we can fight it from a different place than before…It means that we don’t have to live a life of defeat but can live in the victory that He has already won for us…if we’ll KNOW, RECKON, and OFFER