Friday, July 29, 2016

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 31, 2016

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SIN’S POWER IS BROKEN
(Freedom to obey GOD)
(Romans 6)

   When we were joined to CHRIST in “spiritual baptism”, we became so united with HIM that HIS death became our death to sin. Sin no longer has dominion over our lives, and we are free to make the choice of obeying GOD fully. JESUS’ resurrection became our resurrection and we now share in HIS new life. In sharing in that new life, we are now better able to choose to live for GOD, just as CHRIST chose to live for GOD during HIS life here on earth (Romans 6:1-11).
    In the Greek, the word used for “truth” is “aletheia” (al-ay-thi-a), and it means “in harmony with reality”. When we come to CHRIST, we experience a “spiritual reality” or “truth” through faith, that, we otherwise, would have never known. We have chosen to live in harmony with reality, and can now, consider ourselves to be dead to the world of sin, and new citizens to the “kingdom of Heaven”. We must now allow the Laws of GOD to become paramount to us in our new life, and we are ready to accept the reality of GOD’s truth, based on faith in HIS WORD. We are saying to GOD that we no longer want to be slaves to sin, but rather, we choose to be servants to HIM, through HIS grace (Romans 6:12-14). 
    Chapter 6 of Paul’s letter to the Romans is all about “present tense salvation”. It exemplifies the truth that we are being perpetually saved by CHRIST JESUS daily, and in fact, moment by moment. And even though our propensity to sin remains with us, and indeed, we all still feel our “sin nature” tugging at us, however, now, we have the strength of CHRIST, through GOD’s infusion of the HOLY SPIRIT, to help us win those battles between our “reason to do right”, and our natural “passion to want to do wrong”.
    In verse 15, the mention that believers live “under grace” led some early believers to ask the question, “Should we sin more because we are under grace, and not the law?” Paul refuted this silly notion and went on to explain why that idea can never be accepted. Here Paul tells us, in effect, that, there can be no middle ground between, being “a slave to sin”, and, being “a slave to obedience to GOD’s Word”. In other words, no one can serve two masters. We can’t straddle the fence because the fence is entirely on satan’s side of the line that GOD has already drawn in the sand.
    The fence (ideology) was built by satan for those who really don’t want to completely obey GOD, but rather, are really looking to find a god that is made in their own image. However, what they really don’t understand is that, there is really “no gray area” between “right and wrong”, there is only the line that GOD drew in the sand. We either have to make up our minds whether we want to be on GOD’s side totally, or, do we want to be on the side that belongs to satan. We can’t serve both GOD and the devil.  Being a slave to sin leads to death (eternal separation from GOD), and being a slave to GOD means having an “eternal life of freedom in CHRIST JESUS”. To choose “obedience to GOD” is to choose a new MASTER, and, to abandon the chains of slavery and bondage with the old master, satan (Vs. 16-18).
    The Apostle Paul used the illustration of “slave and master” because it was easy to understand in the physical sense. However, Paul sought to impart “spiritual” understanding of our spiritual problems, which always lead to our physical suffering. GOD is SPIRIT, and so is satan. GOD’s SPIRIT is righteous, and satan’s is evil. We can choose to let ourselves fall victim to the impurities and lawlessness of satan’s evil spirit, or, we can choose the righteousness of CHRIST, and become holy with GOD’ SPIRIT. Remember, the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of GOD is eternal life, through CHRIST JESUS, our LORD (Vs. 19- 23).
    The role of faith becomes easier once we decide in our hearts to seek the righteousness that can only be found in living a more “CHRIST-like” life. Life has always consisted of choices that shape our lives for better or for worse, and in the end our own personal history will judge us. And since every rational person wants the best out of life, we must choose to make the choices in life that align us with the will of GOD. We cannot enjoy goodness apart from GOD. We must determine that we are going to live for the CHRIST WHO died for us, and make doing GOD’s will, our daily goal in life.  
     In order to overcome this world, we have to make the choice of “Life in CHRIST”. It is an option that is readily available to us, for as long as we have breath in our bodies. If we are a professing to be Christians, we must remain constantly in the Word of GOD. Every time we begin to release our grip on the Word of GOD, the old life begins to regain its grip on us. We must spend as much time as possible training in GOD’s Word, and more importantly, we must remember that, from the very moment we close your bible and put it down, we begin the process of being untrained all over again, and so we can’t wait too long before we pick it up again.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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