Saved in Christ to Deny Sin and Live Sanctified, Godly Lives

1 03 2008

In his book Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois – 1993), J. I. Packer discusses how Jesus rescues His people from sin through salvation (pages 146-148).

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“What are believers saved from?”

“From their former position under the wrath of God, the dominion of sin, and the power of death (Romans 1:18; 3:9; 5:21);”

  • (Saved from the wrath of God): Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”
  • (Saved from the dominion of sin): Romans 3:9 “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;”
  • (Saved from the power of death): Romans 5:21 “so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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“…from their natural condition of being mastered by the world, the flesh, and the devil (John 8:23-24; Romans 8:7-8; 1 John 5:19);”

  • (Saved from being mastered by the world): John 8:23-24And He was saying to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.‘ “
  • (Saved from being mastered by the flesh): Romans 8:7-8because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
  • (Saved from being mastered by the devil): 1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

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“…from the fears that a sinful live engenders (Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 2:14-15);”

  • (Saved to have a spirit of adoption as sons of God): Romans 8:15 “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
  • (Saved to have a spirit of God’s power, love and discipline): 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
  • (Saved from fear of death): Hebrews 2:14-15 “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”

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“…and from the many vicious habits that were part of it (i.e., our unregenerate, sinful lives) (Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Titus 2:11-3:6)”

  • (Saved from the old self of sin to put on the new self in Christ): Ephesians 4:17-24So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
  • (Saved from sexual impurity unto Godly sanctification): 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
  • (Saved to deny worldly ungodliness and to live righteous, Godly lives): Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority Let no one disregard you.”
  • (Saved to live obedient, God-honoring lives before all mankind): Titus 3:1-6 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”

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It is very challenging to deny sin and sinful practices in our lives and to live in a sanctified, God-honoring manner. I thank God for His grace towards me in Christ Jesus. In Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit we believers can both find God’s provided power to resist sin and live pleasing lives unto God, and to find forgiveness for sin when we fall short in our striving against the world, my flesh, and the devil.

God, please help me to recognize the heinousness and evil of sin in a manner such as You do, and the necessity of the atoning of sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the just penalty for my and all such sin. God, help me to zealously seek to walk closely with You every day. Lord, I earnestly desire closer fellowship with You, and that I not be controlled by sin for the remaining days of my life. You are my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen