Explore the Bible
with Don Schuman
Sunday, April 5
The first chapter of Romans says that the power of the Gospel can save everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Previous lessons have shown the power of God in the Gospel to justify the sinner and establish peace between God and man.
Furthermore, the power of the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is readily seen in Christ’s supremacy over sin. This power is literally life-changing, because the believer now has freedom within by the power of God.
Born Free in Christ (Rom. 6:1-7). As a son of Roman citizens, the Apostle Paul was free born (Acts 22:28). As citizens of the kingdom of God by faith in Christ, believers are born free. By grace through faith we die to our old sin nature and are born again with a new Spirit-filled nature. Believers are not yet sinless, but they have been freed from the power of sin and now desire to live for God rather than live for sin.
Faith in Christ produces a new birth as a free person. Jesus explained the bondage of sin in John chapter eight and summarized His freedom as truth that will set one free (John 8:36). His freedom is true because He frees believers from the bondage of sin and frees them to know the truth and continue in His Word.
Baptism symbolizes the death and burial of the old self’s bondage in sin and the resurrection to the new self in the power of Christ. Baptism does not save, but it dynamically shows the death and new life of salvation.
A complementary passage in Colossians 2:12-15 emphasizes the power of Christ over sin by forgiveness of all trespasses, blotting out our transgressions, nailing them to His cross, and triumphing over the power of Satan. Believers are free because Christ has the power and righteous authority to free us.
Live Free in Christ (Rom. 6:8-11). The new life of the believer isn’t so much about what we can or should no longer do as it is about what we are finally free to do! Living free in Christ makes us alive to God in Christ (Rom. 6:11). Freedom in Christ is not a license to sin but a license to serve in love for God (Gal. 5:13). Living free in Christ allows us to truly love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. Living free in Christ allows us to walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Gal. 5:16) and to develop our relationship with God.
The motto of the State of New Hampshire is, “Live free or die.” While the state most likely interprets that motto in a political sense, it has a spiritual sense when applied to Romans chapter six, and particularly verse 23. The Gospel of Christ shows us that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life in Christ, a life of true freedom.
Let Freedom Reign (Rom. 6:12-14). Instead of allowing sin to reign, God teaches us to let our new freedom in Christ reign. In the March 8 lesson, “Guilty,” Romans 1:18-32 showed us that sin holds the mind, heart, soul, and strength in bondage and rebellion against God’s truth and ways. Christ breaks that hold and frees the believer — heart, mind, soul, and strength. Therefore, understanding the mighty power of Christ over the power of sin, may Christ’s freedom reign in our whole being for the glory of God.
Free describes our status before God through faith in Jesus Christ. Free also describes the gift of everlasting life in Christ to those who believe. Salvation is a gift, a priceless gift, freely given to all who will believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Schuman is pastor of Temple Church, Myrtle.