The goal of the apostle Paul is to establish us and every believer in the knowledge of our sanctified standing before God, our being placed into his son. Justification and Sanctification are “much more” assurance that Paul is giving us, as to the security that we as believers have, being placed into Christ. We see Paul using this term “much more” over and over again, these are “much more” security passages that we find in Romans. The “much more” idea that Paul had in his mind when he was writing Romans, Paul wants to establish our minds in the “much more” assurance that we have, so we can have that stability of mind and stability of emotions, if the will is the governor of the emotions. When it comes to the establishment of the mind of the believer, and the truth of their secure position in Christ, this is security, this is who we are in Christ, we can not lose it. This is why our faith in Christ’s faithfulness is essential!
How many people not understanding Justification or Sanctification will say, “See there, if you do not live right, if you just let that flesh run wild, you are going to be a castaway, you are going to lose your salvation.” 1 Corinthians 9:27, people not understanding this passage, a passage out of its context is a pretext, and so their pretext is you can lose your salvation, which is foolishness. Paul did not want to lose rewards at the Beam Seat of Christ, he wanted to do what was befitting a person who believes the good news, not for his righteous standing before God, but for his testimony before others. Paul did not want those to whom he was preaching to look at his life, the manner in which he lived his life, and then reject the message he was preaching. Paul is telling us not how he set himself apart in order to gain a greater righteousness before God through his performance, but how he made his life-style, to the best he could conform to who God had already made him to be in his sanctified position being joined to the Savior, that he might more affectively reach others, that was Paul’s key motivation.
Paul is letting us know here in the book of Romans, that God did not make Heaven for good people, God made Heaven for sinners who are justified freely by his grace. How many of us share Paul’s concern today, when it comes to the life we live out of appreciation, not out of apprehension, or out of an attempt to earn a more righteous stranding before God. We have a self-sanctification in the positive sense of separating ourselves from those things we know that are not good for us or not good for others, not in order to merit any more righteousness before God through that performance, but in light of all that God has already made us to be in Christ. Motivation is the key component when it comes to self-sanctification, for what reason do we set ourselves apart, is it to be more holy, so God can see us as more holy, that is self-sanctification negatively. A lot of people suppose that becoming more righteous in practice will make them more righteous in God’s sight, faulty thinking, Paul called it foolish, it will not gain them Heaven, there are a lot of misconceived notions out there concerning the book of Romans.
This is what being in Christ is all about, what is his is ours, we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, this is how intricate, how intimate is our union with our Savior, this is our new identity and has been our new identity from the very instant we believed Paul’s good news. If God is no longer imputing people’s sins unto them, because God imputed those sins to his son, would that mean that the entire world would then instantaneously become dead to sin, NO, because Reconciliation and Sanctification are not one and the same, they are two different truths. No one is dead to sin apart from being baptized into Jesus Christ, even though God is not imputing people’s sins to their account, no person is placed into God’s son, apart from belief. We are identified with every aspect of the One to who we were joined at the point of our belief, when Christ died, it is just as though we died from the judicial viewpoint of God, when Chris was buried, it is just as though we were buried right alongside Christ from God’s viewpoint, that is how intricate is our union. When God raised Jesus Christ from among the dead, from God’s perspective, we are raised and seating in Heaven right now.
What God wanted Israel to see was her shortcoming, her sin, the law was given to manifest, or to bring to light the indisputable reality of sin, the undeniable truth of the existence of sin, even in a person who thought they were performing sufficiently, righteously to merit a justified standing before God. Now if a religious Israelite was sinful, what does that say about the rest of the world, the law was given to Israel and that condemned the entire world, everyone has done exactly like Israel, it condemned the entire human-race according to Paul, for all have sinned. But now, it’s a gift decree of perfect righteousness put on our account immediately at the point of our belief, it’s a judicial transaction that is all of God’s doing, none of our doing, it’s not something we become through practice, it’s a gift decree of righteousness given us by God.
How is it that Jesus Christ is the one who is performing that which is good through us, rather than our flesh performing that which is good for Christ? The realization that God’s love accomplished some fantastic things on our behalf, apart from an understanding of the love of God, the love he has for us, the love of Christ, and what that love accomplished for us, while we were yet sinners, our only motivation to serve others would be self-interest related. The sin nature always points us to do that which satisfies the sin nature, and brings credit to self, this is true of all of us, we did not derive our position in Christ by way of our performance, so we need to stop trying to enhance our position in Christ by way of our performance, the source of the position that we have in Christ and the Word of God can do the work of God in our life. Paul could never get away from himself, if any good was to come from our apostle, it would have to be the indwelling power from on high producing that good, the fruit of God’s power from on high, it’s God’s fruit, it’s not our fruit.
It was the new identity Christ accomplished for Paul that made such a great impact upon Paul, it is not striving to become a better someone, it is recognizing the someone God has already made us to be. It is understanding our new position in Christ, when we come to fully understand and appreciate that new position, the striving can end. The law of the new nature of life in Jesus Christ, if that is not a liberating truth! Paul told us there was a fixed rule in his life, a rule that he could count on no matter the circumstance, no matter the presence of indwelling sin, no matter his conduct, a rule that applies to all believers, and Paul calls that rule, the law of the new nature of life in Jesus Christ. It was not Paul’s practical walk that made him free from the law of sin and death, it was the law of the new nature of life in Jesus Christ that liberated the apostle Paul, the law of the new nature of life in Jesus Christ is the true liberator. Those who are in Jesus Christ are those who place no confidence in their flesh, but understood, as Paul understood, that in people’s flesh dwells no good thing.
While no believer will be sin less, hopefully, we will all sin less, as our behavior is impacted by our transformed thinking, and that transformed thinking comes through taking in the Word of God, and having the Word do its work in our lives. The sin nature disease called iniquity runs within the deepest recesses of the human mind, recesses beyond our conscious reasoning, God can see what people cannot see, and the disease that manifests itself in our coming short of the right thing to do all of the time, every thought, every word, and every deed, and the coming short of the measure of God’s rightness, actions in our lives are called sins. Grace is a much greater motivator than law, conduct becoming a believer does not come through a fear of losing one’s salvation, conduct becoming a believer comes from a proper understanding of the magnitude of God’s grace, and what that grace accomplished for us.
We are not to tell the lost that God can take away their sins, we are to tell the lost God has already taken them away,so that they might believe that good news message, and be joined to the Savior. Those who believe God’s message to us through the apostle Paul, the apostle that God appointed to relay that message to us, are now ambassadors of this wonderful news which our apostle calls the glorious gospel of the grace of God. The fact that God is no longer imputing the sins of the world, to the world of sinners has nothing to do with the self-righteous efforts through performance of individuals, it has nothing to do with a proper approach to God, in order to get him to stop doing that which he has not been doing since his son became sin on all people’s behalf. The issue is not that of sinners making God’s son become their Savior through the avenue of a present day forgiveness of sins, but in believing that the son of God became their Savior the day he took their sins, the entirety of that sin debt upon himself, and that is what makes a person Heaven worthy. It is not the non-imputation of sins that makes a person Heaven ready, it is the imputation of the very righteousness that belongs to the Savior that makes us Heaven worthy.