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Dying to Live, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2022 4:00 am

Dying to Live, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 20, 2022 4:00 am

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Grace To You
John MacArthur
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R.C. Sproul
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J.D. Greear
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Mike Zwick
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Now, all of a sudden, you've yielded yourself to God, and God is the monarch, and God is the ruler. Verse 17, God be thanked. Whereas you were the servants of sin, you've obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you, and you've been made free from sin and become the servants of righteousness.

You see, you have a new monarch, you have a new Lord, you have a new master. You know that sin separates you from God, that it's only destructive, and yet sin is still somehow enticing. So how do you avoid the allure of sin? John MacArthur is helping you answer those questions as he shows you why you can know true freedom from sin.

That's the title of John's series here on Grace to You. We are right in the middle of the Apostle Paul's arguments for why Christians can and should lead holy lives. The first point, we are baptized into Jesus Christ. The second, we are identified with the death and resurrection of Christ. And now to continue our study right there, here's John MacArthur. Let's go to the third point and pick it up where we left off last time.

This is really interesting. The third point in Paul's progressive thought is that the body of sin has been destroyed. Now this really is difficult for some folks, but look at verse 6, very simple. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, for he that is dead is freed from sin.

Three facts in verse 6, marvelous things. Fact number one, our old man is crucified with Him. Second fact, now that the old man is crucified, it says that the body of sin might be destroyed. Now Paul conceives of sin as associated to the body.

I mean, it's obvious. If you follow his argument all the way to chapter 8, he talks about... Chapter 8, verse 10, If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin. Verse 11, If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.

Chapter 8, he's definitely talking about a mortal body, a physical body. He connects it with sin. In verse 13, he says, If you live after the flesh, you'll die, but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, which appear to be sinful deeds, you shall live.

In verse 23, he says, And not only they, but ourselves also we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our body. In other words, we face the fact that as long as we're in this body, we have a problem with sin. So the body is connected with sin in Paul's thinking, not only in Romans 8, but in many other places. Let me just say, to save a lot of time in chasing around with everybody's viewpoint, that the expression the body of sin is best seen as referring to our humanness under the absolute domination and control of sin, OK? As conditioned and controlled by sin.

It is apparently a genitive of possession. A person's body before salvation is totally and utterly in the possession of the sinful nature. So you've got the old man controlling the body. And by body, I don't think we're necessarily just talking about the physical body, but I think we're talking about humanness, which of course is manifest through our physical bodies. So because of our union in Christ's death, the body of the believer is no longer the possession of sin, no longer controlled and conditioned and solely dominated by sin. And I think that's what Paul has in mind. I'm trying to cover a lot of things and my mind is filled with them.

I hope I don't leave any out. But 1 Corinthians 6 comes to mind, verse 19, what? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have of God, and you are not your own for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. And this is in that fornication text where he's saying, look, your body is not any longer under the domination of sin.

It is not any longer conditioned and utterly absolutely controlled by the sin principle. And so you don't want to yield to that because your body is now under the control of the Holy Spirit. It's the same thing I think that Paul has in mind later on in Romans, chapter 12, where he points out the fact that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, which are holy and acceptable unto God as an act of spiritual worship. So I think the best way to see this, some commentators see it as the body representing the mass of sin, I kind of lean to the idea that he's referring here to the fact that our old man has been crucified, which as a result has destroyed the dominion of sin over our humanness. It is not to say now that the body is evil all the time and only evil. That's not true.

I don't see that. I see the body as potentially good. How else could it be offered to God as a sacrifice? How else can our bodies be given to Him for His use? But in our humanness, before we were saved, sin totally dominated, totally controlled.

You say, well, now that I'm saved, what's the deal? Sin is no longer in control. It no longer is the tyrant. It no longer calls all the shots. It no longer is the sovereign. You no longer are its slave. And that's why it's so stupid to sin, because you don't have to.

See, the tyranny is broken. In chapter...let me save that. I don't want to give too much away. I'll tell you, Romans 7 23, I just have to...I'm having a great time sorting all this out of my mind. Paul looks at his body. He says, I see a law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity the law of sin, sin which is in my members.

What does he mean by that? Sin which is in my members. Then back in verse 18, I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. In both of those cases, I think he's looking at his humanness. It is his humanness, innately in that humanness, there is the potential for evil and sin. There are instincts, there are bents, there are propensities that become bridgeheads for the attack of the enemy to lead us into sin.

So the body, I think in Paul's terminology, is basically the bridgehead. It is the vehicle by which sin manifests itself. And so the unregenerate person in his humanness is totally controlled by sin.

Let me put it another way, an unregenerate person can do nothing really good. He can do bad good, but not good good. In other words, he can do human good that isn't good as far as God's concerned.

That's bad good, but he can't do good good, which is goodness that's not only good as it reaches out to men, but it's good as it reaches to God because the motive is to glorify him and the strength is found in the power of the Spirit of God. So when you become a Christian, according to verse 6, that dominant tyranny of sin over the body is broken and there's a new controlling agent. Go to verse 16 of Romans 6. Know ye not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness. Now all of a sudden you've yielded yourself to God and God is the monarch and God is the ruler. Verse 17, God be thanked. Whereas you were the servants of sin, you've obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you and you've been made free from sin and become the servants of righteousness. You see, you have a new monarch, you have a new Lord, you have a new master. Sin is no longer the utter, absolute, controlling factor.

Galatians 5, 24, And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Do you get that? Now that's a positional statement. It has practical workings that we'll see as we go along. But I'm just trying to tell you who you are right now.

A little while later we'll tell about how we ought to behave. But the flesh has been killed in terms of its tyranny, in terms of its dominance. Not necessarily, are you ready for this, in terms of its presence. Now notice again back into verse 6, the body of sin is destroyed. Destroy is probably a bad selection of terms because it gives us the idea that maybe the sin nature has been eradicated. Katargao has been used by some to teach the eradication of the sin nature, in other words you never sin again after you're saved.

You might make mistakes, but they're different. The term occurs 27 times in the New Testament, but just its usage in Romans would help us to get a better feeling for what he means by this. For example, in Romans 3, 3, speaking of don't have to turn to it, just listen and follow my thinking. In Romans 3, 3, speaking of the apostasy of Israel, Paul says, Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Now katargao is the word without effect. It couldn't mean destroyed because nothing could destroy the faith of God. Again having presented the magnificent case for the doctrine of grace, Paul says in chapter 3, do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid we establish the law. And again, it couldn't be rendered do we destroy the law. The law is eternal and is not to be destroyed by any man. In Romans 4, 14 it says, For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of none effect. And of course the promise of God could never be really destroyed. The word is better translated in those passages I just read you, of none effect. The idea is that here the body of sin loses its dominance.

It loses its total control. I think in chapter 7, do you see it in verse 2, A woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as she lives. If the husband be dead, she is loosed.

Same word. It doesn't mean she's destroyed, it means she's free from the dominance of that husband. He's dead. It means then, according to Thayer, to render idle, inactive, inoperative, to deprive of its strength, I like that one, to make of none effect, to deprive of force, influence or power, to bring to naught. And what it's saying is that the body of sin is deprived of its dominant power, its controlling power. I think really Phillips translated well the thought and intent of the verse, Let us never forget that our old selves died with Him on the cross that the tyranny of sin over us might be broken. Let's go to the third fact. First fact, the old man is crucified. Second fact, the body of sin is rendered inoperative, or sin's tyranny is made of no effect. That, the third that here, henceforth we should not serve sin. That is a fact, not a request, folks.

That is a fact. We will no longer serve sin. It doesn't say we won't sin, but it's not a tyranny anymore. You don't have to sin.

You're unregenerate, what do you have to do? Sin. Even the best thing you do, according to Isaiah, the righteousness that you would consider to be the best you do is as what?

Filthy rags. So the tyranny of sin is total domination, but in the crucifixion of Christ and our death in Him, the old man dies, the body of sin is rendered inoperative in terms of its tyranny and henceforth we no longer are under slavery to sin. Du luo, to be enslaved, to be bond slaves, we are no longer bond slaves to sin. And that's what I read you earlier in 6, 17 and 18, 18 particularly we've been made free from sin and become the slaves of righteousness.

Now the controlling force in our life is grace and godliness and righteousness and holiness. And Paul reaffirms the reason for this in verse 7, for he that is dead is freed from sin. He that is dead is freed from sin. Again it's's not so much the idea that it's...that we are dead, it's the idea that we who died, eris tense, we who died are freed from sin.

And that's the whole point that he's making. We are freed from sin's tyranny. Now let me say at this point, it doesn't mean that we are freed again from sin's presence. Sin is still around us and as long as our humanness is there, as long as our flesh is there, we're going to have to struggle with that. Now let's look at a fourth principle.

Just very quickly. It's a very simple one. A fourth principle. First principle, we are baptized into Christ, secondly we're baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. Thirdly, the body of sin is rendered inoperative or no longer in control.

And now let me give you a fourth. The death of Christ was a death to sin. The death of Christ was a death to sin. Now hang in there, folks, verse 8. Here is the sort of the sum up of what he said. Now if we be...if we have died again, same idea really, if we have died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more, death has no more dominion over Him, for in that He died, He died unto sin how many times?

Once. In that He lives, He lives unto God. Now here in verse 8 to begin with, we have the same idea as we have in verse 3 and verse 5. We have died with Christ and we now have risen in new life with Christ.

This is a certainty. He says we believe that we also shall live with Him. And the future tense doesn't point, I don't think, to heaven, I think it points to certainty from here and now throughout forever in heaven.

We participate in the same holy life that our Lord lives now and forever. Then verse 9 again, building on the same thought, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more, death has no more dominion over Him. In other words, we have died once in Christ, we rise to walk in newness of life, we are certain of that forever because verse 9 says Christ is never going to die again.

Why? Because the dominion of sin was broken the first time, right? It was broken the first time. And how do we know that? How do we know that Christ really broke the power of sin the first and only time He died?

How do we know that? Because God what? Raised Him from the dead. And when He came out of the grave, He showed that He had broken the dominion of sin. Because sin's power, sin's sting, sin's executioner is death. And when He conquered death, He showed that He had indeed conquered sin. It was a decisive, complete and final victory.

There'll be no more added to it, never. And then the climax in verse 10, and we're going to stop with verse 10. And here's the key, for in that He died, He died unto sin once, in that He lives, He lives unto God. There are two elements that I want you to see and then we're going to close.

And it's been marvelous, your patience through this difficult part. First, He died once, once, a victory that needs no repetition. Verse 9 says He will die no more. Why? Because death has no more power.

He has broken that power. This is a very, very important principle to the writer of the book of Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews shows how in the Old Testament they had to kill an animal and then another animal and another animal and another animal and just kept going and going and going and going. And he makes a marvelous contrast and he says that, but Christ, the Lamb of God, the priest of the Most High God, the true priest and the true offering, offered sacrifice for sin once, right, once. And by His one offering He says He perfected forever them that are sanctified. He makes a major point out of the once idea, particularly in Hebrews 7 and in Hebrews 9 and Hebrews 10, 10, once. So when Christ died once, came out of the grave, He showed He had broken the power of sin, so when we believe in Him and are placed in His death and resurrection, we too have broken the power of sin permanently and it will never lay claim on us again.

It will never be our tyrant. Now there's a second thought in verse 10 that I want to close with and this is the key to unlocking some of your thoughts that will pull it all together. In that He died, He died unto sin.

What does that mean? Two things. And I think this is simple enough. First, He died to the guilt of the guilt of sin. This is the legal sense. Romans 6 23 says the wages of sin is what? Death. That's sin's penalty. And when Jesus died on the cross, He died to sin in terms of paying the penalty. He died to the guilt of sin.

Let's put it this way. He died to the penalty of sin. Jesus paid it all...all to Him what?

I owe. Jesus paid the penalty. He met sin's demand. God says, you sin, you die. Jesus said, I'll take that death for every man. So He died unto sin once in paying the penalty. Now that's a forensic thing. That's a legal thing.

But it's nonetheless the fact. Jesus died unto sin in the sense of paying the penalty. Now listen to this.

This is marvelous. When we died in Christ, our penalty was paid also. And that's why the law and sin has no more power over us in terms of penalty.

That's why you don't have to go to hell to pay for your sins because they've been paid for. Let's say you go out and murder a whole bunch of people. How many times can the law take your life? How many times?

Once. What happens if they take you up there in a gas chamber and they put you in and...and you're gassed and you're dead? And they walk in and unstrap you and you go, ah...good to be back. Want to know something? The law is tough luck. It has no claim on you. You paid the penalty. It just so happened that you rose from the dead. That's exactly what happened in the cross. The wages of your sin was your death. And you died in Jesus Christ and you paid the penalty and that's why sin has no claim on you. And so when it says in verse 2 that we have died to sin, and it says in verse 10 that He died to sin, we come together and both of us can die to sin in the sense of paying the penalty. There's only one way for you to deal with your sin, folks. You've got to die. You either die in hell forever paying for them, or you die in Jesus Christ, the choice is yours.

But there's one other thing. He not only died to the penalty of sin, would you listen to this, and here's the thing I think most people misunderstand. He died to the power of sin. He broke the power of sin.

It's not something in the future. He did it then. He broke the power of sin.

You say, well, wait a minute. Was He under sin? Sure He was. He bore in His own body our sins. In fact, in 2 Corinthians 5 21, this is a statement beyond all comprehension, it says He was made sin for us, temporarily under its power like you can't believe. By dying He bore the weight of sin and by rising He broke the power of sin and He entered a new state no longer under the power of sin, no longer under the dominion of sin. And you and I came out of that grave with Him and we are no longer under its power either. No longer do we pay its penalty.

No longer are we under its power. So a two-fold death to sin. I think that's exactly what Augustus Topplety had in mind when he wrote the familiar hymn Rock of Ages and one of the lines is, be of sin the double cure, saved from wrath and makes me pure.

You hear it? In the death of Christ as we put our faith in Him, we die and we are saved from wrath because we die to the penalty in Him and we are made pure because we die to the power in Him. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John has titled his compelling series from Romans chapters 6 and 7, Freedom from Sin. Now as we saw in the lesson, it's not that Christians never sin. We do sin. But we are no longer under the dominion of sin.

Even though sin's tyranny is broken, temptation to sin can still be powerful. And with that in mind, John, I want you to hear a call we received on our Q&A line from a man who I think wants to find victory over a temptation that he is constantly facing. So listen to that call now and then, John, you respond.

Hi, John. My issue is this, even though I know it's sin against God, sin against my wife, I find that if I am all alone with an internet connection that nine times out of ten, I will eventually decide to look at internet pornography. And I find that the only way to get any real victory to avoid doing that is to disconnect the cable. But what bothers me is that is this not surrendering? Is this not being sanctified inwardly? So I wanted to get your opinion on whether what I'm doing is, am I on the right track or am I deluding myself that I should rely on this kind of approach to my sin?

Thank you. Wow, that's a very honest question. Thank you so much for being willing to ask it. I think you're reflecting what is a pretty widespread reality in the Church of Jesus Christ. And I think the place you start with answering this question is, you want to ask yourself the most honest question, and that would be the question that comes out of Paul's words to the Corinthians, examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. So how do you examine yourself whether you be in the faith? What are you looking for in your life? You're not looking for an event, you're not looking for a prayer.

You prayed. You're not looking for whether you go to church or don't go to church. You're not even looking for whether you feel bad about your sin.

You have to ask different questions than those. You have to ask yourself, what do I love? The first mark of true regeneration is love. And if you don't have love, obviously you don't have God, because if you have Christ in your life, you have the Spirit, and He sheds love abroad, as Paul says in Romans. So when you look at your life and you're saying to yourself, am I really a Christian?

That's where you have to start the questioning. You're looking for love. Do I love the Word of God? Do I love the Christ of the Word of God? Do I love God?

Am I trending in the direction with all my soul, heart, mind, and strength? Do I love the truth? Do I love the Church? Do I love God's people? Do I love what is righteous? And the second question is, do I do those things that please God?

Do I do His will? That is the simple distinction that Jesus made when he talked about the man who built his house on the sand and the man who built his house on the rock. The difference is, they both heard the Word of God, but only one responded obediently to it. So that is the question, do you obey the Word of God? Do you find joy in obeying the Word of God? If you get past that question, then you're at a question which is right where you may well be, and you're saying, why then do I keep going back to this same sin, this same sin, this same sin? And I think you've already discovered the answer.

The answer is you're going back to the location where this sin is stimulated. You need to make a covenant with your eyes. You need to make a covenant with your eyes. You have a habit. You have a devastating habit. Habits are very, very hard to break, both good ones and bad ones. Whatever it takes, unplug anything, everything, all the time, so that you don't put yourself in a position to have to be under the temptation that will come automatically. You're just making it difficult on your own life.

And you say, well, where do I find accountability for that? Well, I think, first of all, I would certainly communicate with my wife about it if it were an issue so that you could find some accountability from her knowing that you have this problem and helping you to avoid it. But even more than that, I would make it a constant matter of prayer. I would go before the Lord constantly. Every time you find any inclination that way, I would fall before the Lord and ask for His deliverance. I would be praying, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, because that is exactly the way the Lord told us to pray when we face temptation.

And I think if you can begin to cultivate the habit of saying no to the location where you find that temptation, you can get on the right path. That's right. Thank you, John. That answer was a big help. And friend, if there's an issue about the Bible or Christian living that you don't fully understand, let me encourage you to call our question and answer line. To leave your question for John, contact us today. The number at the question line is 661-295-6288. Leave a voicemail with your Bible question, and stay tuned.

You might hear John answer it on a future broadcast. That's our Q&A number again, 661-295-6288, or you'll find it at our website, Also remember that right now is the perfect time to stock up on Bible study resources. Our prices are currently 25% off the regular price, and you can get popular books like the landmark book, The Gospel According to Jesus, and the devotional called Remember and Return, which gives you practical daily readings on the blessings of salvation and your desperate need for Christ and how to renew your love for the Lord. To take advantage of this sale and to stock up on resources that can supplement your Bible study, call 800-55-GRACE or shop online at our website, The sale won't last for long, so place your order today when you call 800-55-GRACE or visit Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at the keys to putting off sin and putting on righteousness. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-20 18:10:00 / 2022-11-20 18:21:31 / 12

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