Fundamentals of Victorious Christian Living Part 3

Every single person is born with a sin nature (Ephesians 2:1-3). This was replaced with the nature of God when we asked Jesus to be the Lord of our life and became a Christian. The sin nature is why non Christian people commit sin “actions”. 

People love their pets. Some dog owners even go to the extreme of dressing their animals up in outfits. It does not matter how much money is spent on the costume, nothing will change about the dog. It is a dog and will act like a dog because that is its nature! Cats will not act like dogs though because they have a different nature. In the same sense, non-Christians will not act like Christian because they have a different nature. People commit sin because of the nature that they were born with.

The Law was given to restrain the sin nature. It did this by introducing consequences that had not previously existed for sinning. In a sense the Law used fear of punishment to cause people to live holy lives. This did not change their hearts. It was not until Jesus came that it was possible for our nature to be changed.

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:21

What did Paul mean when he wrote that “sin hath reigned unto death”? We have seen that he was not referring to the sin “actions” that people commit. He was talking about the sin nature which is the root from which ungodliness grows. Paul is telling us that the morally corrupt sin nature of humanity reigned over mankind producing death. This death is manifested in sickness, poverty, and other terrible things that happen in our lives.

Our sin nature dominated, prevailed, and controlled our lives until we became a Christian. This verse has been twisted by religious tradition to the point that many people have no understanding of the message Paul was trying to convey. They see the word death and think of physical death but not of things like sickness, depression or poverty. In my experience, the majority of Christians do not understand what the grace of God is or what it provides for their lives. 

even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

It seems that most people read this and think Paul was referring to self-righteousness. He was not. That is the opposite of his meaning. 

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 17:3

Many people think that eternal life means we will live forever. This is not the definition provided by Jesus. He said that eternal life is knowing God. It is an intimate, personal relationship with God. I believe that Paul’s message in Romans 5:21 is that grace reigns through righteousness which is right standing by God through faith and not by works. This is a different way to look at this so let’s take a look at some verses to provide context.

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:1-3

We see two different kinds of righteousness in these verses. The first is from God and the second from us. In other words, there is godly righteousness and self righteousness. 

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30

Godly righteous has nothing to do with our efforts. It is not something we can earn and it can only be found in Jesus Christ. 

even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 

So, this is a concept that I believe the average Christian knows nothing about. It is not being taught in most churches and it is something that can only be understood by revelation from the Holy Spirit.

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