Fit for Heaven

Romans 6:15-19

My dear friend Naomi Njoroge, from Kenya, wrote this on her 50th birthday:

More than half of these 50 years were spent on a slippery road, on a hell-bound race which came naturally to me, just like the rest of mankind. For we are all by nature destined as fuel for hellfire (Eph. 2).

But God being rich in mercy halted this race. He yanked me from this slippery road and put my feet upon a rock. Yes, He did!

And if this is all the Father did, that would have been good—undeserved and glorious. But our Father does things very well. He not only stripped me of my hellish nature, which the Bible calls flesh, and in so doing made me unfit for hell. He also clothed me with his righteousness, making me fit for heaven. Yes, He did!

I am now on a heaven bound race. Yes, I am! And I know heaven will receive me, and hell will not—and it cannot. And this is not of my own doing. The blood of Jesus pleads for me.

If I see my 51st, I know my righteousness will not exceed that of the thief on the cross, but my labors may. That is my prayer.

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Summer in Romans 6 Part IV

Romans 6:15-19 Obedient From the Heart

Observation questions are in plain type. Interpretation questions are in italics. Application questions are in bold. (For a further explanation of how to do this Bible study, see here.)

Pray for a deeper understanding of what it means to no longer be a slave to sin but to instead be “obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching.”

Read Romans 6.

Romans 6:15-19

1. Paul asks “What then?” connecting his next question to the previous verse. What question does he then ask?

2. Why might Christians’ status as “not under law but under grace” cause them to think they are free to sin?

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Freedom

Romans 6:12-14

Frederick Douglass, the great abolitionist orator, spoke from experience. He had been born a slave. His first taste of freedom was after he refused to be beaten by an ultra-cruel “slave-breaker.” He writes of this incident in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave:

“The gratification afforded by the triumph was a full compensation for whatever else might follow, even death itself… It was a glorious resurrection, from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of freedom. My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place…” (p. 69).

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Summer in Romans 6 Part III

Romans 6:12-14 Present Yourselves to God

Observation questions are in plain type. Interpretation questions are in italics. Application questions are in bold. (For a further explanation of how to do this Bible study, see here.)

Pray to present yourself to God and not obey the passions of sin.

Read Romans 6.

Romans 6:12-14

1. Notice the “therefore” in verse 12. If we are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (verse 11), what must we do about sin?

2. What does sin try to do?

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Portraits

Romans 6:5-11

While being shut inside during this pandemic, I’m reading a few classics. I started with The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. The story paints an arresting picture of sin’s corruption of the soul. It opens with an artist painting a portrait of Dorian Gray, a “beautiful” young man of “innocence.” The artist heaps flattery on Dorian while another acquaintance mockingly warns the young man that he will age and won’t always be worthy of such praise. When finished, the painting so magnificently portrays Dorian’s youth and beauty that the young man jealously utters the wish that the picture could change, “and I could always be what I am now!” Dorian’s horrible desire comes true: the portrait becomes a picture of his corrupted soul as he lives a hidden life of licentiousness driven in an attempt to satisfy every illicit desire, while he keeps his outward beauty and youthful vigor. Dorian’s portrait vividly displays the ugliness and horror of sin.

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Summer in Romans 6 Part II

Romans 6:5-11 Alive to God in Christ Jesus!

Observation questions are in plain type. Interpretation questions are in italics. Application questions are in bold. (For a further explanation of how to do this Bible study, see here.)

Pray for the Holy Spirit to impress the truth of Scripture on your heart so you will consider yourself “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Read Romans 5:20 – 6:14.

Romans 6:5-11

1. “[I]f we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his,” what shall we certainly be?

2. Verse 5 begins with “For.” How is verse 5 connected to verse 4?

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Dead to Sin

Romans 6:1-4

Seeing sin in our lives is discouraging, especially when it’s a pattern—it can seem like a broken record that repeats over and over. We berate ourselves, “I can’t believe I did it again!” But Romans 5 tells us of an abundance of overflowing grace. We were born corrupted in Adam, and death reigns over us because we all sin. But while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died to save us from the wrath of God. Christ’s righteousness is the free gift of grace for all who repent and believe. In Adam we are bound to our sin, headed for death. But in Christ we receive Jesus’ righteousness, “leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21).

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Summer in Romans 6

Part 1 – Romans 6:1-4

Fighting Sin During a Pandemic

What was the book that caused St. Augustine to repent of his sins and become the theologian of the early church? What was the book that opened the eyes of Martin Luther and lit the Reformation ablaze? What was the book that motivated William Carey to cross the seas and become the father of modern missions? And what is the book that countless Christians go to for comfort in difficult times?

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Pandemic Sin

Have you been irritable stuck in your home during this pandemic? Are you fearful about the future? Have you been reaching for food or drink to calm your anxiety? Fantasy or pornography to alleviate your loneliness?

Have you been making the most of your time at home, or are you drifting from God in complacency? Things are starting to open up. How is your heart?

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‘Of the Incomparable Treasure of the Holy Scriptures’

A dear friend, Mary Katherine, recited this anonymous poem to me by heart. Initially it appeared as a Scottish poem, and then began in 1578 to be included in the preliminary material of most Geneva Bibles.

Here is the spring where waters flow,
To quench our heart of sin;
Here is the tree where truth doth grow
To lead our lives therein;

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