Many Christians in America are praying for revival, but cannot understand why revival has not come. After studying Revival and Spiritual Awakening for many years, I have learned one of the important keys to revival. It is found in Romans 6,7 & 8. This key is often referred to as the “Sanctified Life”, the “Victorious Christian Life” or the “Spirit Filled Life”. If you want to be effective in prayer, then you need to understand how to live the life of sanctification.
If you missed my first lesson, then click here: Romans 6,7,8 – Key to Revival 1
The book of Romans is the foundation of our Christian faith. By studying this letter, you will learn to walk in faith, walk in the Spirit and share your faith with others. We will begin our lesson today by reading Romans 6,7 & 8. Even though we will only cover the highlights of chapter 6, I recommend reading all three chapters to gain a better understanding of what the apostle Paul is trying to teach in this letter. Just to review, recall from yesterday that the book of Romans is divided into 5 sections.
The book of Romans is divided into 5 sections.
1. Gospel, Sin & Wrath- Romans 1-3:20
2. Salvation Through Faith – Romans 3:21-5:21
3. Sanctification – Romans 6-8
4. Mystery of Jews & Gentiles – Romans 9-11
5. Sacrificial Living – Romans 12-16
Definition of Sanctification
Romans 6-8 teaches the doctrine of sanctification. According to Vines Expository Dictionary, “Sanctification is the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. It must be learned from God as He teaches it by His Word and it must be pursued by the believer earnestly” (Thomas Nelson, 1996). The process of sanctification begins after a person is saved. The more an individual studies the Word of God and obeys it, the more Christ like he/she will become. Now that we understand what sanctification means, lets look at Romans 6 to see how to live this life of sanctification.
Romans 6:1 begins with a question, “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?”. Some people in the church of Rome, just as people today, believed that once they were saved they could live however they wanted. I hear Christians call themselves sinners all the time. They assume that because they can’t quit sinning, it is okay to sin. The first problem with this assumption is that Christians should not call themselves sinners. In the New Testament, sinners are lost or unbelievers. A believer is never referred to as a sinner. When the Apostle Paul writes his letters to the churches, he calls them “saints” see Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:1, etc.. The first step to sanctification is to realize that we are set apart. We are saints who sin, but we are not sinners. Never call yourself a “sinner saved by grace”, rather you are a “saint saved by grace”. I guarantee you will live differently if you think of yourself as a saint.
Dead to Sin
After the Apostle Paul asks his question in verse 1, he explains in chapter 6 why a believe should not continue to live in sin. The reason that a believer should not continue to sin, is that he/she is dead to sin. This is the main theme of chapter 6. The phrase “dead to sin” means that the old self (the sin nature) died, when you were saved. You will no longer be a slave to sin. If you are a believer who makes excuses for your sins, then I want you to pay close attention to Romans 6:6.
“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” Romans 6:6-7 (NASB).
Your body of sin was done away with when you were saved (v. 6). It died and you are now free from sin (v.7). We will learn in chapter 8 that we will commit sins (plural), because we still live in this body of flesh. But we are free from sin (singular), because our old self is dead. When the Spirit is in control of our lives, we will sin less. If we are in control, we walk in the flesh and sin more. Walking in the flesh can have serious consequences when we pray because we will not have an audience with the Lord. He will choose not to hear our prayers (Isaiah 59:1-2)
When you are saved, you should see a noticeable change in your life. Your old self is dead, you are a new creation. According to Romans 6:12, “we should not let sin reign in our mortal body so that we obey its lusts”. So now we have a choice as to whether we will sin. We can choose to let sin reign or Christ reign. Sin no longer is a master over us, so we should choose to present our bodies as instruments of righteousness (v. 13). We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to obedience and righteousness (v. 16). If we choose to present our bodies as slaves to righteousness, this will result in sanctification (v. 19). Notice that I highlighted the word “choice“. As believers our sin is a choice.
Chapter 6 Summary
Chapter 6 can be summarized by Romans 6:22-23
“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:22-23 (NASB).
Big Daddy Weave has written an anointed song explaining this concept of being “dead to sin” in my favorite song “Redeemed”. We need to quit struggling with sin because Christ has won the fight. Please listen to Mike Weaver tell his story of redemption in this anointed song Redeemed. I hope you will join me next week for “Romans 6,7,8 Key to Revival 3.