THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
SPREADING THE SOUL-SAVING MESSAGE OF JESUs
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now, Ben Bailey.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Welcome to our study of the Book of Romans, chapters 5 and 6. The Book of Romans tells us about the Gospel’s power to save. Chapters 5 and 6 teach us that faith in Christ is necessary in order to be saved from a life of sin. We can be free from sin by accessing the blood of Jesus and obeying the Gospel of Christ. Paul makes this point very clear as he speaks about the justification and blessings found through faith in Jesus. In Romans 5:1-2 the apostle says, “
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Look at the wonderful blessing that comes through faith and obedient trust in the Gospel system that Jesus established. Here is one of those blessings that Paul mentioned. We have peace with God. For a long time man had been without true peace with God because of the sin that separated Him from God. Isaiah 59:1-2 teaches us that our sins separate us from God. But we are told in Isaiah 9:6 that Jesus is the Prince of peace. Philippians 4: 6-8 tells us that as Christians we can have the peace with God, and that the God of peace is now on our side. So, one of the great blessings is the peace we have with God through Jesus.
Another wonderful blessing mentioned in Romans 5 is the grace to which we now have access. Grace is akin to the word “forget.” It also is akin to the word “forgive.” Look at the gifts to which we now have access because of God’s love and mercy toward us. We have the gift of the forgiveness of sins. Psalm 103:10-12 says that the Lord has not dealt with us according to our sins, or punished us according to our iniquity. We have not received what we deserve. I love the words of Matthew 26:28. As Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He said (speaking of the fruit of the vine) “This is My blood of a new covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Grace today is found in Jesus (Jn. 1:17). Look at the rejoicing we have in the hope of glory. This world is not all there is. This Earth is not what life is really about. Philippians 3:20-21 says that we are citizens in a heavenly kingdom. Our hope is not in the here and now on the Earth. Rather, our hope is in Heaven. We have great joy because this life is not all there is. In Philippians 4:4 Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” In Acts 16:25 Paul and Silas were in prison, which was a dark, dank place where there would be little reason to rejoice. Yet they were singing and praying to God as the prisoners listened to them. They had joy because they had a faith in Jesus that transcended their physical whereabouts and gave them true happiness. Christians—because of their faith in Christ—can have glory in trouble. This is something that those in the world cannot have. When troubles arise, when sickness overtakes us, when death knocks on the door, or when we grieve for a loved one, the one thing that Christians have that those in the world do not have is glory in tribulation. James said in 1:2-4,
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
In Romans 8:18 Paul said, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Heaven will truly be worth it all. We can take joy, even in the troubles that we experience here and now.
In Romans 5:5 Paul discusses the hope that does not disappoint or fade away. True hope is not like us saying, “I hope it rains tomorrow.” That is merely wishful thinking. True hope, however, is assured anticipation. We have hope. We know for a fact that God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). He has promised that if live faithfully, then we can know that we are right with Him (1 Jn. 5:13-16). It is that hope which challenges Christians to keep living according to the Gospel of faith.
Another motivating factor for the child of God to keep living faithfully before Jesus in the Gospel system is the love of God. One of the most-encouraging factors about our God is that He is a loving God. Here, in Romans 5:6-8, we find a perfect picture of that.
“When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
While man was still in sin and at his worst, God sent His Son into the world at just the right time (Gal. 4:4). While we were “still without strength, Christ died for the ungodly.” This is so backward, compared to the way that those in the world think. We do not love unlovely people. We do not appreciate that which is ugly. But when God sent His Son into the world, man was at his ugliest. Sin was in man’s life, yet God still sent Jesus to die for us. “Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You cannot help but be impressed throughout the Bible by God’s love. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that it motivated Him to give His only begotten Son. In 1 John 4:8, we are told that God is the epitome of what love is. It is that love which challenges us every day to live faithfully to the Gospel. “The love of Christ compels us because we judge thus, that if one died for all, then all died. And He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but live for Him who died for them and rose again.” It is Jesus’ love, and God’s great love for me, that motivates me every day to be faithful to the Gospel.
Paul wants Christians to understand that although death came through Adam, eternal life comes through Jesus Christ. The first man, Adam, opened the door to sin. The Man, Jesus Christ, Who is of eternal importance, brought eternal life to us. Romans 5:10ff. teaches us about how death came into the world through Adam. Verse 12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Adam opened the door for the entrance of sin. In Genesis 3:1-15 Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. God had told them not to eat the fruit, but they were tempted to eat it, and they did eat it. As a result, the door for people to sin was opened. Please understand, however, that the Bible does not teach that we inherit the sin of Adam. In fact, the verse to which people appeal as “proof” of our inheritance of Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:12) does not teach any such thing. All people have voluntarily, of their own free will, walked through the door of sin. Romans 5:12 says that death spread to all men. Why? Was it because Adam sinned? No. It was because all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). I have chosen to sin. You have chosen to sin. Joshua 24:15 says that we have to choose whom we will serve. The sad fact is that all people have sinned of their own accord. “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Eccl. 7:20). But there are some in the religious world who teach the false doctrine that we somehow inherit sin, that we are depraved from birth, that we are born as sinners, and that because Adam and Eve sinned, their sin has descended down through time to everyone else. But the Bible does not teach that. In fact, the Bible actually teaches the opposite of that. In Ecclesiastes 7:29 we are told that God made man upright, and that he then sought out many schemes against God. Man was created in the image of God. God is a holy, perfect, and loving God, which means that we were created pure and upright. There are two passages I would like you to consider. The first is found in Ezekiel 28:15, where God is talking to the king of Tyre. He said, “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created until iniquity was found in you.” Notice the adverb of time—until iniquity was found in you. This passage clearly teaches that God made that king upright, holy, and pure from the day of his birth, and that he remained that way until sin was found in his life. Until the king made the choice to sin, he was not lost. Rather, he was pure and holy in God’s sight. The second verse is found in Ezekiel 18: 20, which clearly teaches that we do not inherit sin. Here is the background. In Ezekiel 18:1-3 we see that the people had a parable. They said, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” Their point was that when the fathers ate sour grapes, the children ended up with a sour taste in their mouths—meaning that the children had inherited what their fathers had done. But God said that that parable could no longer be used in Israel because,
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself: (Ezek. 18:20).
God was saying that sin cannot be inherited. People cannot be lost because their fathers did something bad. Sin is a voluntary choice that each of us makes. If my father or mother did something that was wrong, when I am born I do not inherit their sin. I do not inherit the sin of Adam and Eve. Romans 5:12 teaches us that even though Adam sinned, and sin spread to all men, “all have sinned.” Death came through Adam, but the good news is that just as Adam opened the door to sin, Jesus has now opened a door that leads to eternal life for all who obey Him. Romans 5:18 says, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” Here is something to consider. If all people inherit Adam’s sin, wouldn’t the natural parallel in this text mean that all people through Jesus would naturally inherit eternal life? Yet that is not true. We do not believe that just because Jesus died on the cross, then everyone is automatically going to Heaven—any more than we believe that just because Adam sinned, everyone is going to Hell. The parallel would have to be the same. But that is what Paul is discussing here. Death came through Adam, but life came through Christ. If one necessitates death by his act, so the other would necessitate life automatically. But remember the part that some people omit: sin is a free choice. We have the choice to do right or wrong. When we sin, we die—just as Adam did. However, we can choose to obey God and to have eternal life through Jesus Christ. But God is not going to force us to do either one of those. The choice is ours. Jesus brought eternal life into this world. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In Hebrews 2:9 we learn that Jesus tasted of death for everyone so that He “might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (vs. 14). Thank God that things did not end with Adam or with everyone else sinning! Jesus brought eternal life, the hope of which comes to us through the Gospel. Romans 5 illustrates that in a very beautiful way.
But how is it that we take part in that amazing gift? How do we access life through Jesus Christ? Does God’s grace, which has been given to man, mean that we can just live in sin and go on and do what we want? That’s the question some are going to ask. Notice Romans 6:1, where Paul asks, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Since Jesus came and gave life to all men, God’s grace is here, and we can take part in it. Should we then just sin so that we can have more grace—thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle of sin and grace? No. That is not what he is saying. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Paul answers by saying,
“Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:2-4).
Here we see the reenactment of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He died for our sins so that we would not have to suffer the consequences of sin. We learn from 1 Peter 2:24 that He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness.” Jesus died for our sins, and was buried. He stayed in the tomb three days, and then was resurrected. Thus, you have Jesus dying for sin. You have Jesus’ burial. How does a Christian reenact Jesus’ burial? We learn from Romans 6:3-4 that we are “buried with Him through baptism,” which is where we contact the blood of Jesus. After baptism, we are raised to walk in newness of life. Somewhere between the death and burial as a result of sin, and the resurrection, we become a new person. Where is that? It is at the point of baptism, which is where we contact the blood of Jesus. Jesus shed His blood and gave His life so that we could be forgiven of our sins. We contact that blood in baptism.
We learn some important things here concerning baptism. First, notice that baptism is a burial. That is the illustration that the Holy Spirit chose to use to describe baptism. And this is in accordance with everything else that the Scriptures teach. For example, everywhere you look in the New Testament you are going to find that baptism is by immersion. In Mark 1:9-10 we are told that when Jesus was baptized, He came up out of the water and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. In order to “come up out of” water, you first must go down into the water. From John 3:23 we learn that “John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there.” In Acts 8:37-40 both Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch both got down out of the chariot, went down into the water, and the eunuch, after being baptized, came up out of the water. Every time, baptism is by immersion. And Romans 6 is no different. Think about the last time you went to a funeral. The body is taken to the gravesite, where a hole has been dug in the ground. The body is placed inside the hole, and is completely covered with dirt. Every side of that body is immersed in the ground. That is the illustration that God chose to illustrate the mode of baptism. Baptism is always by immersion, and is for the forgiveness of sins.
However, baptism is not only a burial, but also is where we contact the soul-saving blood of Jesus. We are buried with Him in baptism, after which we rise to walk in newness of life. This stresses to us the importance of baptism in God’s plan of salvation. We cannot contact Christ’s death, or reach the efficacy of His sacrifice, without being baptized. We are told in 1 Peter 3:21 that “baptism does also now save us.” It is not baptism alone. But, combined with hearing, believing, repenting, and confessing, baptism saves us from a life of sin. So, we must be baptized in order to live faithfully before Jesus.
Notice also verse 4, which says that we are “raised to walk in newness of life.” Notice that in this verse Paul teaches that once we obey the Gospel, we then are raised to walk in newness of life. This teaches us that we no longer can live the way we used to live. That goes hand in hand with what Paul says in Romans 6:12, where he offers the following encouragement to Christians: “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” When we decide to become a Christian, obey the Gospel, and come up out of the waters of baptism, although we may have temptations, and although we may go backwards by doing things that are not right, we must make a determined effort to no longer live a life of sin. That is what true repentance is. In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 Paul said that after certain people had obeyed the Gospel, they turned “to God from idols to serve the true and living God.” Not only did they turn to God, but they also turned from their idols to God so that they could do what was right. That is true repentance. John taught that true repentance demands fruits of righteousness. In Luke 3:6-8 certain Jews had come out to John to be baptized because they felt like it was “the popular thing to do.” John said to them,
“Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
John illustrated very clearly that a person who has obeyed the Gospel must rise up and no longer allow sin to reign in his body so that he can live for Jesus. When you obey the Gospel, look at the things from which it sets you free. Romans 6:16-18 tells us that when we become Christians, we are freed from the slavery of sin.
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
Do not miss the point. We are still salves. We’ve just changed masters. Sin is no longer our master. Paul said, “To whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” If you live a life of sin, then the devil is your master. Sin will lead you around and do with you whatever it wants. Then, eventually, it will lead to death. When we obey the Gospel, we are still slaves—but slaves of a new Master, Jesus Christ. If we follow Him, He will lead us to eternal life. The Bible says that when we obey the Gospel, we are no longer our own. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are told,
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
We are still slaves, but now we are willing slaves. We want to be servants of God. Because of all that He has done for us, we want to give our lives to Him. The Son of Man came to Earth to be the greatest servant of all. In Mark 10:45 we are told, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” So today when we obey the Gospel, God be thanked that although we were slaves of sin, we have now “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine” that delivers us. Obeying the Gospel is what delivers us from a life of sin.
But we also must see what Paul said in Romans 6:23. This is so important as it relates to sin, salvation, and the Gospel’s power. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The wages, salary, or paycheck is always going to be death. The Proverbs writer said, “The way of the transgressor is hard” (Prov. 13:15). Think about someone who has lived a life of sin. The salary of that is that sin is only a passing pleasure for the here and now (Heb. 11:25). Look across history and see all the people who thought they would get something out of sin. Adam and Eve thought that it would make them like God, but what happened? They were cast out of the Garden of Eden and lived a hard life due to their sins. Think about people like David, who thought that sin would fulfill the lust of his flesh. But look at what happened. His family suffered. He lost a child. He committed murder. He was convicted of sin. In every instance, the wages of sin is always death. But the good news is that the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is free! Monetarily, becoming a Christian will not cost you a thing. You do not have to pay a dime to obey the Gospel. It is a free gift. Of course, if you decide to do it, it will cost you your life. You will have to commit to Jesus and spend your life serving Him. But I can guarantee you that it is the best life you could ever hope to live. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. If you become a child of God, and if you obey the system of faith set out in the Book of Romans and live faithfully to it, you can be sure that one day you will have Heaven as your home.
Maybe you have known people who died as faithful Christians. Maybe someone obeyed the Gospel and then passed on. The great joy in that is that there is eternal life in Jesus. One day, we are going to be reunited with all the faithful Christians of old—whether it be a mother, sister, son, or daughter. If we live faithfully, this life is not the end. This is not all there is. We can be reunited with such people if we live faithfully before Christ, Who will give us life eternal in a place where there will be no sin, sorrow, death, suffering, or crying because “all the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4). Don’t you want to be free from a life of sin? Look at what sin has done to your life. Look at where it has led you. Look at where it will lead you eternally—to Hell itself. Why not become free from sin today by obeying the Gospel of Christ? If you have never become a Christian, the Bible says that it is a very simple thing to do. You must hear the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Once you have heard the Word, you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world. In Acts 8:36-37 we are told that if we believe with all our heart, then we are candidates for obeying the Gospel. Once you believe, you also must repent. You must change the things in your life that are not right, and turn to serve God. You then must confess the name of the Savior. And yes, in order to become a New Testament Christian, you must be buried with Christ in baptism. It is stated so clearly in Mark 16:16 where Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Are you free from sin, or are you still serving Satan? Know today that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Won’t you obey the Gospel before it’s everlastingly too late?
Narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
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1. According to Romans 5:1-2, how are people justified before God?
2. According to Romans 10:17, what is the source of faith?
3. What important message is found in Romans 5:8?
4. How, according to Psalm 103:10-12, has God not dealt with us?
5. According to Matthew 26:28, why did Christ shed His blood?
6. According to Romans 5:5, what will our hope in God never do?
7. According to Romans 5:6-8, what were we when Christ died for us?
8. John 3:16 explains just how much God loves us. What does that passage say?
9. What one word does Romans 5:10 use to describe us prior to Christ’s death on our behalf?
10. According to Romans 5:12, what entered the world through Adam?
11. According to Romans 5:15, what gift arrived through Jesus Christ?
12. What important truth is found in Ezekiel 18:20?
13. According to Romans 5:18, what free gift do we receive through Jesus Christ?
14. According to Hebrews 2:14, what did Jesus’ death accomplish?
15. In Romans 6:1 Paul asked a question. What was it?
16. In Romans 6:2 Paul answered the question that he asked in Romans 6:1. What was that answer?
17. According to Romans 6:3, what do we reenact when we are baptized?
18. According to Romans 6:4, how are we supposed to live after our baptism?
19. What admonition did Paul offer in Romans 6:12?
20. Romans 6:16-18 tells us that when we become Christians we are freed from a certain type of slavery. What is it?
21. In Luke 3:8, what did John tell some of the people of his day to do?
22. According to Romans 6:23, what is the salary of sin?
23. What must a person do today to become a Christian?
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