Journal Ro 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
For as by the one man’s disobedience (Adam) the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means!! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that (just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father), we too might walk in newness of life.” Ro 5:18 through Ro 6:4
Observation: Significant words to a significant precept: The Salvation of Grace through Faith wasn’t bestowed with an expectation that sinning is now somehow OK…
Analysis: A simple principle that is also somehow complex on multiple planes of understanding.
The Gospel, the Cross, Jesus dying for our sin and opening the door for lowly man to have a relationship of family (albeit through adoption) with the Father, wasn’t Plan B to a Plan A failure (Eden). The Cross was always Plan A.
Simply: Salvation is free in that I didn’t have to pay or exchange value for it. To be fully understood, Man does NOT have any intrinsic value that could be exchanged for salvation.
Salvation has a cost in that Jesus consciously became the sacrifice, the Atonement to pay for our Sin (capitalized because the Atonement was for our sinful condition being the children of Adam, not initially for any identified, defined, individual sin I may have committed).
Salvation comes to Man, through willful choice (Human Responsibility), through Faith (that is, having mental and emotional alignment and confidence) that Jesus did this generally for Creation and for me specifically and is Sufficient to satisfy the Wrath of Holy God against Sin.
Therefore, since He has done this, Man should have a self-expectation to “walk in newness of Life”, like Paul writes above. This is the symbolism of baptism: He died and rose from the Grave; I symbolically die in baptism (a water grave) and rise in symbolic life, determined to be like Him and to pursue Him all my days.
Confirming that there are a number of Spiritual (supernatural) changes in Man by the Holy Spirit, the point here and in the above scripture passage, is that Grace through Salvation is not without responsibility—Actual sinful actions and attitudes are not, should not be embraced as “Everything is ok, I am now saved, all I have to do is claim the Blood.”
There is something inherently wrong here that should be questioned to the Face in the Mirror.
Prayer: Lord God, this was very difficult for me to understand until I started to separate God’s Sovereignty from Man’s Responsibility 20 years ago. Even then it was difficult to orient my thoughts accordingly. Is it because sinful man messes this up in their thoughts? I wonder…
Still, it seems that I must write 4 to 5 times what Paul writes to get this doctrine in clarity. My goodness, that man was smart.
Help me to continue to emphasize the Gospel in every facet. I could stay on the Gospel for the rest of my life and never completely plumb the depths. Thank you for the Gospel.
Ricky Two Shoes