For Ever Changed

For Ever Changed

Changed

I am hoping to start a garden of food. I know next to nothing about gardening.

Last week Victor was talking about his big been sprouts and I asked if he had any seeds. 

I had asked Victor 

A Changed Constitution leads to a Changed Service

 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your membersasinstruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members asinstruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you:for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:12-14

It is clear by now that those who have believed that Jesus came and died for their sin have been inwardly changed

This strange event is not so quickly understood by us at the time, we know that something is different, we know that a change has occurred but we are not quick to understand it or even to put it into words, we just know that our constitution, our very make up has been altered somewhat.

Jesus spoke to a man by the name of Nicodemus in the Gospel of John chapter 3 and he happenes to mentions something that again is strange to our ears. 

Turn to John 3

Nicodemus was curious about Jesus and came to him after dark wanting to enquire a little more perfectly concerning Christ himself and Jesus discerned he wanted to know the way to the Kingdom of God.

So to Nicodemus question in verse 2, Jesus answers in verse 3;

John 3:3

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Born again….? 

We might think this to be a strange thing, but we are also not ignorant to the fact that something strange has also happened to each one of us that is Born Again, something we don’t readily understand. But there has been a Change in our constitution, a Change in the governing principals of our lives.

The first 14 verses of Romans 6 brings this out and Jesus says that a man must be “born again”, and clearly he is referring to a very real but spiritual birth subsequent to our physical birth, he says so specifically in verse 5;

John 3:5–6

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water andofthe Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Romans 6:13 also tells us that we are “alive from the dead” and exclaims clearly in verse 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The Bible making reference that;

  1. A change must occur before we can enter the kingdom of God…ie the new birth.
  2. A Change of State, from death to life, has occurred in the lives of those Paul addresses and we can say ‘common to all those who have been born again’.
  3. A Change of Constitution, or a change of governing principals in our lives leading to a change of behavior.

Now I return immediately the extra change given by the mistake of the shopkeeper.

Now I not so quick to curse and swear as I once had been.

Now I feel greatly burdened and grieved by the sin I use to entertain with furver

Now I desire to live my life free from sins presence in my life

None of this was ever a part of my life, none of this was ever that which described me, something incredible has changed. Something that our passage here in Romans 6 assumes we are now able to perform where before we were unable.

6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your membersasinstruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yieldyourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your membersasinstruments of righteousness unto God.

It simply is futile to have such a charge given us if it we not possible to perform it. Unlike the Law of God where Paul confirms was given to reveal to us our sin (for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. Rom 3:20), now Paul charges us to not allow sin ‘therefore to reign in’ our mortal bodies’.

We are under a new Charter, a New Governing Principal, a New Covenant, a New and Changed Constitution.

Many nations around the world have an overarching body of rule that is known as the Constitution of that nation. No law is to be passed that would contradict that constitution, all laws and all people are to hold to the constitution of that nation.

Ancient nations of time gone by had their Law, their overarching constitutions that not even the ruling monarch was permitted to break. In our study through the Book of Daniel we have seen that Darias the Mede was to abide by the Law of the Medes and the Persians, which, once it is sealed by the Kings ring, not even the King can disannul it.

The only way to live in accord with a new constitution, a new governing principal, a new covenant is for the old to be done away with.

Turn to Hebrews 7:11

Hebrews 7:11–19

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further needwas therethat another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 

Does that make sense? If the covenant, or the law of old was able to make a man perfect, there would not need to be any change of administrator. The priesthood themselves are administrators of the law. 

The “another priest (that)should rise after the order of Melchisedec”, is referring to Jesus Christ. If it was perfect before, there would be no need for a change in priesthood.

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 Forit isevident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life17 For he testifieth, Thouarta priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 

This Melchizedekian order is without question a type of Christ. Notice the change needed from the “Carnal commandment” That is temporal and insufficient, to the power of an endless life. Speaking of Jesus Christ as our new highpriest who ever liveth to make intersession for us (25)

18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hopedid; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

A Changed Constitution leads to a Changed Service

The Lords desire was to make men perfect before God and the only way this could be possible is when the very governing principal of our lives is changed, a change that sees is going from our desire to serve sin to a desire to serve righteousness.

No longer do we need to permit, to allow or to let sin reign in our mortal bodies as if we have no choice. We are to now live as one alive from the dead, no longer are we servants to the old master, we are freed from sin that we might live unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

THAT IS THE CHANGED CONSTITUTION, no longer are we under the Law, but now under grace. 

Please, you simply must first know that there has been an incredible change in you in order to be able to withstand the trials of the infirmity of your flesh. 

SIN simply cannot dominate your life anymore, even though you struggle with the remnants of it in your life. 

Lets continue on to prove the change that has occurred.

Firstly remember that “A Changed Constitution leads to a Changed Service”, you no longer need to serve sin, but surrender yourself to righteousness.

A Changed Service Leads to a Changed Concern;

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yieldyourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

 

The first question Paul asks in this passage is the typical question that again comes up in the heart of man. Tragically because of the struggle with sin that remains within our flesh nature, we long to excuse it in some way so the pain and the grief of it is not so trying.

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?

To accept this as reasonable is what is known to be classic Antinomianism. 

Anti= without / In place of / opposed to

Nomis= Law

Essentially it is the belief that because Grace has Replaced the Law, we can sin with abandon for there is no Law to govern or condemn us. You might be astounded at how often that is taught today. 

Not only in Churches, but most emphatically and most clearly as the logical consequence of the theory of Evolutions that just as naturally leads to the belief that;

  1. There is no absolute law or moral code.
  2. We are simply the products of our environment, ie, the things we do come naturally from our upbringing and society, ie, we have no choice, ie, we have no free will.

It explains much of the mess of the world today.

But since there has been a 180 degree change in our lives, since we have been born again, seeing that we are now alive from the dead and find ourselves miserable when we do sin, when the question What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?

We answer the same way Paul answers here, God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yieldyourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Makes perfect sense, the master whom you obey is the master you serve. The consequence of that service will be the subject of the next point, but first consider the practical reality.

When we yield, when we surrender our wills to one master, we obey that master and simply cannot do anything other. You become at one with whom you surrender your will.

Have you ever seen a son behave in the like manner of his father? What is the expression we use for it?

“he’s a chip off the old block”

Simply put, out behavior betrays our identity.

You know what? Everybody knows this. It seems Christians are the only ones who are afraid of calling out the tree identified by its fruit.

When you call yourself a Christian, even the world expects a different attitude to sin. They know the truth of who you serve and they watch intently. Your family should be the first to identify a change in you and they will be the first to recognize consistency.

The classic “chip off the old block” reference is given by Jesus when dealing with the Pharisees.

Turn to John 8:39

 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, evenGod. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? evenbecause ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are ofyourfather the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell youthe truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear themnot, because ye are not of God. 

None of us can do that which is against our nature. That is why our nature needed to be changed. The evidence of that changed nature is the changed service and the evidence of that changed service is the changed concern.

We simply do not want to sin, our desire have shifted, our desire have changed. 

There was a time in my life that I hated the Law of God, I ran from it, I denied its value, its purpose and I certainly denied it judgement against me. I wanted nothing to do with the Law of God, just like the wicked men spoken of in the book of Job;

Job 21:14–15

14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.15 Whatisthe Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? 

A perfect description of our lives before God and before we believed the Gospel concerning ourselves. 

But now a change has occurred, when before I ran from the law, now I embrace it. When I once despised the commandments of God now I want to say with David, Psalm 119:97O how love I thy law! itismy meditation all the day. 

There is to me nothing sweeter and nothing more profitable to live by but by his words and commands, they are to me a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (ps 119:105). 

I do not want to serve ‘sin unto death’, that was my old way, my old nature, my old constitution and governing principle;

 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, …..

Paul speaks of it in Ephesians more clearly, turn with me 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedienceAmong whom also we all had our conversationin times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph 2:2-3)

This was us all, we once were the servants of sin, sin had its dominion over us, we could do not better than sin. The freedom we desired at the time was not freedom from sin, but the same freedom the world desires today, freedom TO SIN. 

Beloved, freedom FROM sin can be attained, but freedom TO SIN can NEVER be attained, because the wages of sin is death.

6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

What was that form of doctrine we obeyed that changed our constitution?

Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:1–3

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

That is the Gospel that ushered in the new birth.

 This is that form of Doctrinewhich is to be obeyed from the heart. It’s not mental ascendance that saves us, it’s not the actions we might undertake in vain that identifies us, what Changes our constitution is believing in our hearts that Christ died for our sinsaccording to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ? If not will you now? 

If you hunger and thirst after righteousness, Jesus said you will be filled. He also said that he is the pure bread that came down from heaven, those who partake of Christ shall never hunger and shall never thirst.

There is no want to them that have Christ who will not be filled. If all you have is sin, you are dead in sin. 

A Changed Concern Leads to a Changed Return

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yieldedyour members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yieldyour members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those thingsisdeath. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sinisdeath; but the gift of Godiseternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Throughout this passage we are looking at, Paul is emphatic in his plea to these Gentile Christians, like you and I, to live consistent with the change that has occurred to them. 

  • Let not sin therefore reign
  • Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness
  • But yield yourselves unto God
  • even so now yieldyour members servants to righteousness

and now

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yieldedyour members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yieldyour members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Though there is the change that has happened in our lives and though there will be temptations of the flesh, the one lusting against the other (which will discuss more about in Romans 7), nevertheless do not surrender or yield your body as servants to iniquity.

There is something about sin that you must understand;

Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go and have you remain in it longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.

There is a return to sin, a just recompence of reward the Bible says.

For years and years the many people that I have employed in the businesses that I have owned did their work to receive wages. The rendered their efforts and provided the service that returned to them a wages the suited the service.

So too whom you will yield yourself to obey. Whether iniquity unto iniquity orrighteousness unto holiness.

Paul is simply stating a fact, a present reality that you need to trust is true.

Paul asks a reasonable question in verse 20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those thingsisdeath.

Consider the fruit you gained from the life is sin and debaurchery. Consider how it was you lived your life, who it was that was affected by the life you chose to live and the behaviours you chose to afflict others with.

The people who were affected the most by my previous life was those I loved the most.

The ones affected the most by my choices and hurt the most by my previous way of life, was those who loved me the most.

There is a return for the sinful life we once lived and that return ends with death.

To those who are Christians and have surrendered their lives completely to their old master, to them also the return is Death. 

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those thingsisdeath.

23The wages of sin is death

This world and its desire to be free to sin will find the same end result. A result they will be ashamed of in eternity and for eternity.

BUT

A Changed Concern Leads to a Changed Return

Those who look to the lord and who’s thoughts are of him and for him. Those who yield themselves, who surrender themselves, those who (v22) 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

How blessed is the fruit of the living who are free from sin?

These have become servants to God and have their fruit unto holiness.

Beloved, the reality is that those of you who have “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered you”, those of you who have believed the Gospel and have been born again, are changed.

You might struggle with sin, but you are no longer under its dominion. It shall not, nor can ever have the rule over you.

So if and when you find yourself overcome by the struggle, please know that you DO NOT NEED TO STAY THERE!

You have been made free from sin, the struggle with the flesh is the key identifier that you are changed, because you never struggled with the flesh before.

When you are swimming with the tide, you are not really aware of the water you are in.

But when you are turned about and swim against it the tide, you become conscious of the effort.

That is a similitude of the changed life. But the promise given by Paul is that of surrender to God, 23 For the wages of sinisdeath; but the gift of Godiseternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

CHANGED

Those who are saved by Christ have been CHANGED.

Those who are born again have been CHANGED.

Those who have been made ‘free from sin’ have been CHANGED

Those who now actually desire to live ‘free from sin’ have been CHANGED.

But the transformation of your life has only just begun!

2 Corinthians 4:16

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inwardmanis renewed day by day. 

The completion of that change will be in heaven.

People have often asked what are we going to be like in heaven? Its not a new question, in fact it is as ancient as the New Testament in its clearest form.

1 Corinthians 15:35–44(AV) 

35 But somemanwill say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 

It is the same question we are asking now. How are the dead raised up? With what body will we come? What is the change that will occur to us in heaven.

The answer Paul gives will astound you both in its simplicity and its wonder.

36 Thoufool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some othergrain:

The seed you plant is not the plant that will come, my been planted in the earth is not the plant, it is but bare grain that has the chance of bursting into life, but within itself it has no life. It is dead and dry and wont be brought to life until it is sown.

Many misconceptions arise respecting the nature of the seed by botanists, but the Bible makes clear it does not live again until it is sown.

In 2005 in Israel, scientists had grown “a date palm from a 2,000-year-old seed found during archeological excavations on Mount Masada. The Israeli team say the age of the date palm seed was verified further by radio carbon dating.”

The report says  “it’s not the only ancient seed to have germinated: in the mid-1990s, a Chinese lotus plant grew from a seed that was dated at around 1,400 years.[1]

 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All fleshisnot the same flesh: butthere isonekind offlesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes,andanother of birds. 40There arealso celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial isone, and thegloryof the terrestrialisanother.41 There isone glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: foronestar differeth fromanotherstar in glory. 

42 So alsoisthe resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 

How shall the work that began the change in us be complete?

Paul makes it clear, the difference between what you are now and that body you will have in heaven, is as distinct as the bare grain to the plant that stems from it.


[1]https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/jun/16/thisweekssciencequestions1

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