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The Goodness of God and the Power of Grace


  • 2004 Fighting with my parents and putting my fist through a photo. Jesus, why am I messed up, broken and way do I feel this way? I thought you were good!
  • Analogy of steering wheel heater
  • Jet fighter cockpit


  • Romans chapter 6 is possibly the most comprehensive chapter in the Bible on personal transformation. It contains descriptions of what has become legally available to us the day that we were born again (John 3:3) and how we cooperate with the grace of God so that we can walk in the “Newness of life“(Romans 6:4).
  • Paul writes his letters is in layers. He makes a point, builds on the foundation and then reaches back to previous points for his ultimate conclusions.
  • Paul objects to common rebuttals to his teaching. Dismantling arguments so that they cannot be used against the primary thrust of his teaching.


  • Faith in what?
  • Justification Romans chapter 3:20-5:21 describe how we became the “righteousness of Christ” (2 Cor 5:21).
  • Steve explained this to me on a napkin.
  • The human makeup is of 3 different parts. Body, Soul and Spirit or Flesh, Emotions and Spirit.
  • The Body is our physical make up, cravings and appetites. The Soul is our emotions and expressions. The Spirit is our eternal being (needs saving, where the spirit dwells).
  • Paul summarizes Romans 3-8 in 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21

1 Thessalonians 5:23
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • The problem is that every human being is born spiritually dead. Our spirit has no connection with God.

Genesis 2:17
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Romans 5:17
17 For if, because of one man’s trespass (Adam), death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

  • Because of our inherent spiritual condition we need to be reconciled to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18) to stand before God with no condemnation (Romans 8:1)
  • Because we have been reconciled to Christ we have now been justified before God. We were given the full righteousness of God in our spirit. When justified by God we are justified fully, freely and with finality. We no longer need to justify ourselves before God. Jesus blood Justifies us, because we now have a his living spirit inside of us we are fully righteous in the site of God. This allows us to reign in life (Romans 5:17) with victory over sin.

Ezekiel 11:19
19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

John 3:3
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:8
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is
born of the Spirit.

Romans 8:10
10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

  • Our spirit has been born again and made alive and the holy spirit has been reconciled to our born again spirit.
  • The reconciliation of the holy spirit in us is the basis of our salvation.
  • When God looks at us he now sees us as fully righteous because of his righteous spirit inside of us.
  • Our failure and emotional darkness cannot taint this living spirit inside of us. It is the full gift of righteousness that is living in us because it is God’s righteousness.

Colossians 2:9-10
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him,


Romans 5:18-21
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • The reign of sin and the reign of grace are two vast ideas. in Adam and in Christ (Romans 5:12) or Under Law and Under Grace (Romans 6:15) or slaves of sin (Romans 6:20) and slaves of Righteousness (Romans 6:18).
  • Paul develops this truth in Romans 5:12-21 so we can understand how God views the human race. All humans are in one of two legal positions before him “in Adam or “in Christ”
  • There are 4 benefits to living in the reign of grace .
    1. Accepted by God with affection. He likes us. There is no condemnation (Romans 8:1)
    2. We receive the indwelling spirit with all of it’s benefits (Galatians 5:22). We can now resist sin and oppression (anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and self hatred) in the deep recesses of our heart. HOOK MOVIE! The Holy Spirit gives us the authority to stop negative emotions and sinful desires before they run their full course.
    3. We have the authority to call on the name of Jesus, We are now spiritually enthroned with Jesus and have access to him through prayer (Ephesians 2:6)
    4. We have a eternal purpose. Our works done in faith will pass from this age into the next (Luke 3:17), (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
  • The opposite is true for the reign of sin.
    1. We were under condemnation before God, because we were accountable to the Law. Romans (3:20)
    2. We were powerless before sin (in the heart) all humans are capable of restraining themselves and not acting out, but it requires to Holy Spirit to walk in liberty in our heart (Romans 6:16).
    3. We were in darkness, we had no ability to understand God or his Word. We could choose to agree with it or disagree with it but it could not have a lasting impact on our hearts. (Romans 1:11-18)
    4. We had no lasting purpose. No hope of a future with God. (John 8:24), (John 12:48), (Psalm 78:32-33)


  • The foundations of Justification and the reign of sin and grace are keys to understand Romans 6
  • First we must address Paul’s objection to a common rebuttal to the good news of Justification and the grace of God. “If this justification, truly frees us from the reign of sin. “Paul objects to this rebuttal 3 times in Romans 3:8, Romans 6:1, Romans 6:15
  • to Interpret Romans 6 correctly we have to understand Romans 6:2 and Romans 6:11

Romans 6:2
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

  • If we misinterpret this verse we will misinterpret the rest of the chapter. We have to honor the context! that Paul has been describing for the 3 previous chapters, “the reign of sin”.
  • Sinful desires in us did not die. You only need to be a believer for about 15 minutes to know that is simply not true.
  • This is not mind over matter. “Say it till it’s true” No! We have died to the reign of sin.
  • If he is talking about sinful desires than the rest of Chapter 6 becomes unnecessary.


  • Summary of v1-10 Whatever is true of Jesus as he stands before God is true of all who are in Christ.


11 So you also must consider (firm agreement) yourselves dead to (the reign) sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  • Our spirit was dead and now its alive through reconciliation. We are now in the reign of grace.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members (body) to sin as instruments for unrighteousness,

  • We don’t put ourselves into position with people or places that en flame sin in our flesh.
  • We can’t depend on our flesh to deliver us from temptation.

13bbut present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

  • We present our members by serving the Lord, honoring people and engaging the great commission. Even the smallest acts are considered presenting our members. Jesus exhorts us to fast, pray and give in the Sermon on the Mount.


  • The brilliance of these points is not found in one them, it is found in all 3.
  • When we choose one at the exclusion of the other we end up with a distorted grace message.
  • We can resist sin, but not pursue God in love – Legalism
  • We can Love God and people but not resist sin – Licentiousness
  • We can resist sin but lack identity in God with no confidence in our spiritual condition – defeatism
  • We can be deeply communal and deeply missional but not place our hearts before him – Burn out
  • Its the beauty of all 3 points together that puts our hearts in a place of cooperation with the Grace of God and gives us confidence to stand before him.


2 Corinthians 6:1
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,


  • What we experience as we cooperate with the grace of God.
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How important is the word of God

Every bible verse that implicates the word of God

Jas 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be [fn]a kind of first fruits [fn]among His creatures.

Jas 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all[fn]that remains of wickedness, in [fn]humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

Jas 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his [fn]natural face in a mirror;

1Pe 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

And this is the word which was [fn]preached to you.

1Pe 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

1Pe 2:8
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

1Jo 2:14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1Jo 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

1Jo 2:7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.

Rev 1:2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

Rev 1:9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

Rev 3:8 ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

Rev 3:10 ‘Because you have kept the word of My [fn]perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of [fn]testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole [fn]world, to [fn]test those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 6:9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

Rev 19:13
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Rev 20:4
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of [fn]their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.