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Romans 6:1-2 by Robert Dean
Series:Spiritual Life (2000)
Duration:54 mins 53 secs

Positional Truth: Baptism of Holy Spirit: Rom. 6:1-2  Tape 1.

 

The spiritual life is how most people talk about their relationship to God, if they have some biblical background. The technical term for it is, sanctification, specifically, progressive sanctification. But before we get into that we need to note a few things about the importance of understanding the spiritual life and the concept of spirituality. Whether you have noticed it or not, it seems like one of the key words that has come out of the last decade of the 90's is "Spirituality", everyone seems to be talking about spirituality, and getting in touch with their spiritual side and focusing on the spiritual side of their life. Nobody takes the time to define what they mean by spirituality.

 

For some people spirituality relates to ritual, going through certain sorts of "religious activities" such as church attendance, contemplation and meditation. Other people define spirituality as the veneration of the saints, worship of relics, pilgrimages to shrines, and a priest or some designated mediator functioning in ritualised services. Others equate spirituality with asceticism. Asceticism is the idea that I'm going to give up something and somehow that is going to impress God and through their sincerity, self denial and self mortification that they are going to be spiritual. Other people think of spiritual life as nothing more than emotional well being. Other people equate spirituality to morality, some system of morality, whether it's cloaked in the guise of religion or not. Other people think it is withdrawing from the world into some sort of mysticism and subjective contemplation. For others it is nothing more than a quest for self identity, self fulfilment – in other words its just another opportunity for emotional self absorption.

 

So these are all the different concepts that are going around in the cosmic system, in terms of spirituality, so when you talk about spirituality and you mention being spiritual or spirituality then you need to be aware that that can mean just about anything to anybody and it's a very vague concept, especially today. So we need to get into this subject and we need to look at just what the scriptures says and we will be going back and forth between the term spiritual life and sanctification.

 

So let's begin with a few introduction notes about the significants of the doctrine of Sanctification.

 

1.  It is Gods will that we are sanctified. 1 Thes 4:3 states, "...For this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality..." So there because of the context, which is talking about one particular sin in this instance, we know this is not positional sanctification but this is experiential sanctification.

  1. Positional sanctification is that sanctification that we have at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone that is ours and sets us apart eternally for the service of God.
  2. Experiential sanctification is that process of the spiritual life and our spiritual growth to spiritual maturity. So this is Gods will for your life. So if you ever come to the point where you ask, "What is Gods will for my life"? First of all it's that you become sanctified and grow to spiritual maturity.

 

2.  We need to realise that all three members of the trinity are involved in our sanctification.

  1. God the father is involved in our sanctification.

Ø  1 Thes 5: 23 states, "...Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ..." 

  1. We are sanctification by God the Son

Ø  Eph 5:26 states, "...so that He [God the son] might sanctify her [the church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word..."

Ø  Heb 2:11 states, "...For both He who sanctifies [God the son] and those who are sanctified are all from one {Father;} for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren..."

Ø  Heb 9:12 &14 states, "...and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption... how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ..."

Ø  Heb 13:12 states, "...Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate..."

 

  1. God the Holy Spirit is also involved in our sanctification.

Ø  Romans 15:16 states, "...to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that {my} offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit..." a reference to the Holy Spirit.

Ø  2 Thes 2: 13, "...But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth..."

Ø  In this verse (2 Thes 2: 13), we have the two elements that are necessary for sanctification, as we will see again and again that is the filling of the Holy Spirit and doctrinal orientation.

Ø  We have to take in the Word of God, they work together, it functions in tandem, we can't separate the spirit from the word of God and we can't separate the Word from the Spirit. Those who emphasise the Spirit and leave out the Word always end up in some kind of  mysticism, because the tendency is to take the Spirit and identify the Spirit's leading and the Spirits work with our subjective emotional state and then there are those who ignore the Spirit and they just emphasise the word of God and you just end up in some academic knowledge that has no real impact or value in the life and its just the accumulation of gnosis instead of epignosis or it becomes legalism, and it is just an emphasis on nothing more than human morality.

 

3.  Our sanctification from God involves four factors:

 

  1. It is based on the finished substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the foundation of our spiritual life. Because of everything Jesus Christ did on the cross we have a spiritual life.
  2. It is based on our union with Christ. 1 Cor. 1:2, 30. This is positional truth and retroactive positional truth. Our union with Christ at the moment of salvation, we are instantly united with Christ and that can never be rendered asunder.
  3. Our sanctification is based on the word of God; it is by means of the word of God. John 17:17, "Sanctify them by means of truth, thy word is Truth." And 1 Tim 4:5 substantiates that. So it is the word of God.
  4. It is by means of the Holy Spirit.

Ø  1 Pet 1:2, states "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure..."

Ø  Eph 5:18 states, "...And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled by means of the Spirit..."

Ø  Gal 3:3 states, "...Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? ..."

Ø  It is possible according to Gal. 3:3 to have a pseudo-spirituality that is engineered and energised by the sin-nature, and we have to understand how to avoid that and what the dynamics are.

 

So we have seen three introductory points related to the importance of our sanctification, that it is God's will for our life. All three members of the trinity are involved and God has done everything for our sanctification.

 

 

 

 

 

Terminology

 

Now, we need to look at some basic terminology from the Greek and Hebrew in order to understand the significance of the spiritual life for us. The first word is the Hebrew word qadash, it is usually translated Holy. This is just the root word depending on what vowels you add to it. It can be a vowel or a noun or a participle but we have to look at the root meaning.  Now originally the Canaanite word Qdsh (qadash) had a basic meaning that was related to their religious ritual. The word came over into Hebrew and we read passages such as  Exodus 3:5, "The ground around the burning bush was Holy", that's the basic way that the word qadash is translated which means to be holy, the noun form would be holy or sanctified/ sanctification based on the Hebrew root qadash.

 

Gilgal where the Jews setup a worship centre, according to Joshua 15 was declared to be qadash, or holy. The temple in Isaiah 64:10 is said to be holy. Days are said to be holy in Isaiah 58:13, offerings are said to be holy in 1 Samuel 21: 5- 7. Tithes are said to be holy in Det 26:13. That obviously indicates that if you look at what is said to be holy that is, the burning bush, Gilgal, the temple offerings, tithes, none of that can be moral or immoral. So the root concept qadash has nothing to do with morality but it has to do with being set apart to the service of the 'god.' In fact, both the feminine and masculine nouns of qadash were used by the Canaanites to refer to the temple prostitutes in the fertility worship. So obviously, the root concept here does not have anything to do with morality, but that which is set apart to the service of their 'god.' That is the root meaning of the word qadash.

 

In Greek, terms are all based on the Hebrew term qadash. Hagiazo is the verb, it is used 28 times in the New Testament and it's used of things meaning that they are set aside to the service of God or made suitable for ritual purposes. It also means to consecrate, to dedicate, to sanctify, to treat something as holy and to set something apart to the service of God. It is used in a number of different passages; Matt 23:17 – 19, 2 Tim 2:21, John 17: 17 & 19, John 10: 36 and 1 Thes 5:23.

 

Hagiasmos is the noun it is used 10 times in the New Testament, and is usually translated holiness, consecration or sanctification. It is used for the process but often to emphasise its result, the final result of the process, which is the state of being made holy. Now holy is a word that is used in religious circles for so long that it loses a lot of its punch! I think a better word to use is integrity but integrity doesn't really convey the concept of being set apart to the service of God. But Holy does in that sense but it does not mean pure or right. It's used in Rom 6:19 & 22 so we will run into that in our opening chapter of our study. It's also used in 1 Cor. 1:30, 1 Thes. 4:3, 4 & 7.

 

Now, another noun that is used is Hagiosune, if you look at that word it has a suffix sune. Sune has the concept in Greek of a quality or an attribute like dikaiosune, which is another critical word in our study. It is the word for righteousness, it is the quality of being righteous and set apart. It is used 3 times in the New Testament and it relates to someone who possesses the attribute of Holiness or sanctification. It is used in Rom 1:4, 2 Cor 7:1 and 1 Thes 3:13. In Rom 1:4 it is in contrast to a life of the flesh, the flesh being a technical term for the sin-nature. What I am building here, just by looking at the terminology, we see that there is a contrast to a sanctified life, a set apart life and the sin-nature. If you are living in sanctification then the sin-nature is not in control of the life. So we are already seeing the contrast.

 

Another term is Hagiotes it is a noun, 2 Cor. 1:2 and Heb 12:10 and it is usually translated sanctity. Then there is the adjective hagios which is used 233 times in the New Testament, generally it is used to modify pneuma which is Greek for Spirit 94 times that is as is in the Holy Spirit. It is used to define the Spirit 94 times and it is used to define believers as saints 61 times. A saint is not a special category of Christian. A saint is any believer because he has been positionally set apart in Christ. We are all sanctified ones, by virtue of our positional sanctification.

 

Now all those words are based on the same root word hagios and then we shift to a different word a synonym hasios and that is an adjective translated pure, holy, pious. It is used 8 times in the New Testament and it emphasises the cleansing result of sanctification and that is what comes from application of 1 John 1:9. It is not used in 1 John 1:9, but it emphasises the consequence of having been cleansed.

 

Then the last word is eusebeia it is used 15 times in the New Testament and is usually translated godliness. Godliness like holy is another one of those terms used so often that you wonder what it means. Entomologically in English whenever you see that 'ly' ending or 'liness' ending, it is the concept of being God-like. So it God –likeness and that goes back to the old English, its God – likeness, it has a quality of God about it. Well, what are we talking about here? The 'quality of God' is talking about someone who reflects the image and character of Jesus Christ. Godliness is someone who has been transformed by the renewing of their minds so their character mirrors and is an image of Jesus Christ. In essence what we are talking about is just the spiritual life and spiritual growth to spiritual maturity. It's behaviour that reflects correct religious beliefs and attitudes, thus meaning the believer's spiritual life.

 

Now a few conclusions are in order at this point.

 

  1. Moral perfection is not implied in the term sanctification. It does not mean you are going to be sinless, it does not mean you are going to be perfect, it doesn't mean you are going to struggle less with sin. In a matter of fact the more you grow as a believer, the more sensitive you will be to the sin in your life and so the more apparent it will be. You will become more and more aware of how sinful you are as you achieve spiritual maturity then when you were a spiritual infant. You are now more aware of the entire mental attitude sins you commit as opposed to the overt sins which you enjoyed. Although moral perfection is not implied, no matter how mature you are as a believer you may spend more and more time in fellowship and not in carnality. You may not commit those horrendous horrible sins and overt sins that you did before and you may not spend as much time out of fellowship, but you will still struggle with sin and you will never be morally perfect and you are still capable of committing every single sin you could have committed as an unbeliever, and that is the danger. That is why we are challenged to endure constantly so that we do not grow weary and fall away in reversionism.
  2. We are to realise that this is not a final status in this life; you will not achieve final sanctification in this life. That was introduced through the horrible heresy of the 'holiness movement,' in the middle 19th century which came out of and developed the Wesley doctrine of perfectionism and then gave birth to the 'holiness/pentecostal movement.'  It is not a final status in this life; all believers are to continue to pursue sanctification until death. You don't get out of the race, you don't get to relax or retire in the spiritual life and it is an ongoing struggle until death. Spiritual maturity and rewards are going to be based on what you have at death, not when you are 65.
  3.  Saint is used 8 times in the Old Testament and 61 times in the New Testament does not refer to a special class of believer but any person who is saved, who is a member of the royal family of God. People are saints because they are set apart in the plan and purpose of God not because they have some how performed some miracles or impressed somebody with their asceticism or some other factor. Every believer is a saint.

 

Sanctification

 

  1. Sanctification is used of three different stages in the believer's spiritual life. But the primary way that we use it in this particular study is going to be on progressive or experiential sanctification, the believer's spiritual growth.
    1. Phase 1 – takes place at the cross, where we are justified.
    2. Phase 2 – is the spiritual life where we grow from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity.
    3. Phase 3 – also called glorification, when we are absent from the body and face to face with the Lord.

The technical terms are positional sanctification, experiential or progressive sanctification and ultimate sanctification.

  1. Sanctification is the technical term used to describe the spiritual life. It is the process of the believer's growth from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity, as the believer matures more and more, the believer's life is set apart to the service of God.

Morality is a system of right and wrong based on a number of different factors including social, cultural and religious ideals. One of the greatest areas of confusion in Christianity is that morality and spirituality are the same things. You cannot be spiritual and be immoral or amoral, but just because you are moral doesn't mean you are spiritual.

This was the problem with the Galatians believers. Gal. 3:3, "...Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? ..."

The highest ethical code that man has had is that revealed to man in the Mosaic Covenant and it was a legislative code that was to govern the nation Israel, which was comprised of both believer and unbeliever. Therefore, it could not be a system of spiritualality because anyone who could do that in the power of the flesh is not necessarily spiritual because they're not even saved.

  1. Thus, morality in its highest form is designed as a system of ethics for believer and unbeliever alike for the whole human race in order to provide stability in government, in society and to protect individual freedom, property and life. These are principles given to provide stability in the divine institutions of human responsibility, marriage, family, human government and the division of nations.
  2. If an unbeliever can produce a moral life that is not based on the Holy Spirit then it can't be the spiritual life. Anything an unbeliever can do is therefore not part of the spiritual life.
  3. The spiritual life is a system of ethics and virtue that is based on the work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and is uniquely dependant on Him. That is the difference in the church – age; we have a life based on the Holy Spirit. We are to be filled by the Holy Spirit and we are to walk by the Spirit. According to Gal 3:3, we are to be completed by means of the Holy Spirit, it doesn't happen on our own nor from our own energy and nor from the sin-nature. 
  4. Arrogance distorts morality into a system of works designed to impress God or gain divine approval.
  5. Biblical spirituality is grounded upon the realisation that Christ has done everything for us and on the basis of using three synonyms here, received, imputed or credited righteousness under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit and the believer advances to spiritual maturity.
  6. Therefore we must distinguish between systems of good works, high ethics and morality which can be performed by any unbeliever and the unique spiritual life of the believer.

 

Romans 6:1

 

"...What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? ..."

 

Why is Paul asking this particular question?

 

In order to understand why this question is being asked we need to do some contextual study and understand the framework for Romans 6.

 

If we go to Romans 1:16-17, this is where Paul states the purpose for this epistle.

 

In Romans 1:16 – 17, it states "...For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith [saving faith] to faith [spiritual life faith]; as it is written "But the Righteous man shall live by faith."

 

He is going to deal with the whole issue of salvation and how the gospel relates to the righteousness of God.

 

In this particular verse (17b), it is a quote from the Hebrew in Habakkuk 2:4. One of the interesting things that is clear from the Greek is that this is a mistranslation; see you have a phrase in the Greek EK PISTEOS. EK plus the genitive of PISTIS that is thrown in the English to the end of the sentence. But in the Greek you have the righteous man, this is the man that is DIKAIOS, and then the next two words in the Greek are EK (preposition from) PISTEOS (faith), genitive form there.

 

 

Now, what does that say? I think it should be translated:

 

"But the righteous man by faith… (The one who is righteous by faith) – That's how he got his righteousness; by faith, he didn't get his righteousness because of what he did, he got his righteousness because he trusted Christ as his saviour and that righteousness is imputed to him.

 

The imputation of righteousness is the theme of the first five chapters of Romans. Then in Romans 6 through 8 is the impartation of righteousness. So the impartation of righteousness is our experiential sanctification and the imputation of righteousness is our positional sanctification.

 

So this should be translated: "The one who is righteous by faith shall live." There you get the break down, the one who is righteous by 'faith' is phase one, the one who lives - who develops capacity for life through learning and assimilating doctrine into his soul - shall live. Remember Jesus said in John 10:10 - "I did not come like a thief to destroy but I came to give life (eternal life at the point of salvation) and life abundantly" (phase 2 life). This is the same concept, the one who is righteous by faith (imputed righteousness at the point of salvation) shall live (future tense), dependant upon his assimilation of bible doctrine. So this sets forth the basic issue that will be developed in the epistle of Romans.

 

Now we have to go back to understand the three key components or attributes of Gods Character. Righteous DIKAIOSUNE, Justice DIKAIOSUNE. See the Greek's as well as the Hebrew's use the same word for both righteousness and justice. The Hebrew's use Tsedaqah, the Greeks used DIKAIOSUNE, but they had to do with both aspects. Why? Because one aspect is righteousness relates to a standard and justice relates to the application of that standard. So from this we can conclude, righteousness is the standard of Gods character, justice is the application of that standard and Love (from John 3:16) is the motivator or initiator of the divine character – because God so loved the world, he gave. God's righteousness and Justice have to be satisfied before the perfect God can have a relationship with man. So Paul is going to develop this and how this works out in human history on a point by point basis.

 

Now the introduction to the epistle is given in Romans 1:1 – 17. The first 17 verses provide the introduction where we first run into the term DIKAIOSUNE and that is used again and again in the first five chapters and then it is hardly used again. Another interesting thing just to give you a framework the kind of overview that very few people do, is that you don't see the mention of the Holy Spirit until Romans 8:1. Not only that but you don't have an imperative verb until Romans 6. So the first five chapters are dealing with what has been done for us with no imperative, no mandate and no application, just what Christ has done for us. Then starting in Romans 6 where we have imperatives, which bring in our volitional responsibilities in terms of our spiritual life. So the theme of righteousness is introduced in the first 17 verses.

 

Then Paul is going to have to lay the case why there is no righteousness in the human race from Romans 1:18 – 3:20. From Romans 1:18 – 3:20, Paul demonstrates that there is a universal lack of righteousness. First of all he shows that the Gentiles are guilty, they have rejected God and rejected Christ in 1:18 – 32, then he is going to show that all of the Jews are under condemnation from 2:1 – 3:8, the conclusion to that section is given 3:9 – 20, where he concludes that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." If all are under condemnation by condemnation (opposite of righteousness) – they are condemned because they have failed to meet the standard of God's righteousness, how is man ever going to be saved? How is man ever going to achieve the perfect righteousness of God?

 

This is the point that is covered in Chapter 3:21 – 5:21, the imputation of righteousness. This sets up the context for chapter 6; the basis for the imputation is given in 3:21 – 26. The issue, Faith alone in Christ alone is given in 3:27 – 31 and then Chapter 4 is an illustration from Abraham. That Abraham was justified by faith alone, it wasn't by circumcision, it wasn't by works, it was by faith alone in the promises of God and just as Abraham was saved by faith alone, we are saved by faith alone.

 

Then in chapter 5 we get the implications of justifications in the first 11 verses, that because we are justified and justification itself comes from the Greek word DIKAIOS and what it means is that at the point of salvation when Christ went to the cross all the sins of humanity where imputed or credited to his account. That means what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:24, "He carried in his body on the cross all of our sins" they have been imputed to Him. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ then the perfect righteousness of Christ (He who knew no sin was made sin for us that the righteousness of God might be found in us, 1 Cor 5:21) His righteousness at the instance of salvation is credited to us. So that we still possess a sin nature and we are minus R, but we now possess the perfect righteousness of Christ so that when the perfect righteousness of God  looks at us it sees that we have met His standard so that the justice of God can then bless us and imputes to us eternal life.

 

As the result of that we possess righteousness not on the basis of ANYTHING WE DO! For Salvation, or for Sanctification! Experiential sanctification, how you grow is never the basis for anything, it's always every single blessing whether it's logistical/ life support blessing or whether it is spiritual growth blessing, it's always based on the fact that we possess the righteousness of Christ. That is the issue. Because we possess the perfect righteousness of Christ we are reconciled. This is the technical term Peace, there is peace between us and God and then that sets the stage for Romans chapter 6:12 and following which is the conclusion which sets up the transition from the discussion of imputation of righteousness to impartation of righteousness.

 

Father, we do thank you that we have such clarity in your word to help us understand not only how we are saved but how we are to live and all the reasons you bless us. Its not based ever on who or what we are but exclusively on who Jesus Christ is and what He did on the cross, that it is His righteousness and not our righteousness that is the issue. Help us to understand these things and have our thinking transformed that we may greater appreciate your Grace. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.