The Fruit Of Sin And Righteousness - Part II
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” —Romans 6:22
In last month’s article, we explored what happens to the believer when he is controlled by the sin nature—the nature that is completely contrary to God. It never ends well for anyone who is being dominated by the sin nature. For the unbeliever, that life leads to a life of misery, shame, heartache, and ultimately death—spiritually and physically. For the believer, it doesn’t mean that the individual in question will lose his soul, but it does mean that he will not enjoy all of the benefits that Christ paid for on Calvary’s cross.
Many in the Christian world only know what it is to be controlled by something that causes them to do things they do not want to do, and they do not understand how to stop it. They struggle to live a holy life—a life pleasing to the Lord—but they do not know exactly how that can be done. Today I have good news: As a believer, you can live a life of complete and total victory over sin. Once a believer understands God’s prescribed order of victory, instead of having fruit unto death, he can experience fruit unto righteousness.
God’s Prescribed Order Of Victory
Before we get into what Paul is saying in Romans 6:22, I want to briefly explain what God’s prescribed order of victory is and what it means. The first thing that we need to know about God’s prescribed order of victory is that Jesus Christ is the source of all blessings. He is the source from whence all blessings flow, and there is no other avenue that can bring about blessings. No other person, no other ideology, no other man-made religion or philosophy can bring about any blessings to its followers. But every good thing that happens to the believer comes from Jesus Christ. Now, every one of us would shout over that, and rightly so, but we need to take it one step further. Christ is the very source of all blessings, but the question remains, how do we receive these blessings?
As Christ is the source, the cross of Christ is the means by which we receive all blessings. In fact, the cross is the greatest blessing that could happen to anyone, for it was at the cross that all sin was atoned—past, present, and future. It was through the cross of Christ that I can experience salvation, healing, deliverance, and so forth. The blessings of God could not be poured out on mankind if it were not for the cross, for this is the way that man was brought back into right relationship with God. Some would get a little uneasy about this statement, but the fact is that the cross of Christ is the greatest display of the grace of God that man has ever known. It is because of the cross that all, at least those who are born again, can experience blessings unparalleled from their heavenly Father. Christ is the source of all blessing, and the cross is the means by which we receive all blessings.
The third step to this little formula is faith. We appropriate these blessings through the avenue of faith, more importantly, faith in Christ and Him crucified. Without faith, Paul would say in Hebrews, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). He didn’t say that it was improbable, but impossible. God operates on the basis of faith, but our faith must be anchored and rooted in Christ and the cross.
Once our faith is anchored in Christ and the cross, the Holy Spirit will begin to oversee everything, meaning that He will begin to work in our lives to take out the bad and put in the good. Just because the Holy Spirit is God does not mean that His help is automatic; it’s really the opposite. The Holy Spirit, even though He is God, will only properly work in our lives if our faith in anchored in Christ and the cross (Rom. 8:2) and will not work outside of those parameters. This is how the believer can live a life pleasing to the Lord, by faith in Christ and Him crucified, which gives the Holy Spirit the ability to work in our lives in the way that He sees fit and will bring about the victory that is needed.
As Paul revealed what the former life brought forth, he concludes his statements by saying, “But now,” meaning that before you accepted Christ, the path that you and everyone else was on was heading toward destruction. But now, since you came to Christ, things are going to be different! I love these two words because all those who are saved can relate to them. We all remember the lives we used to live, but now things are different, we are no longer heading that direction, and we are no longer experiencing fruit unto death. Since accepting Christ, we now experience fruit unto righteousness.
See the April issue of The Evangelist for Part III and the conclusion of “The Fruit of Sin and Righteousness.”
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