“Wrestling With Romans”
Who Will Pay the Piper? (Chapter 7 Verses 1-6)
To take up from where the previous note left off, God has paid the price for sin, to redeem us from the law, in the death of Jesus Christ his Son. Then that makes the message of the cross more than just a good Bible story. It means outside of this relationship with Jesus Christ people are under the sentence of the law, under the sentence of death, and all that that means, and justly so. It makes the declaration of the cross vital, and the embracing of Jesus by faith imperative. It says that there is no other way out. There is a deadly drug that falsely kills the consciences of people today. It is that God is too kind to punish the ungodly, and sadly it is being injected into the veins of many, many souls, filling them with a sense of peace that is not due, dispelling their fears and allowing them to live in sin. With a sense of peace, they live in awful immorality. There is a peace that is not of the Son of God. It is only the clear teaching of the gospel pumped through those veins that will clear them of this false thinking and peace (Jeremiah 8.11; Ezekiel 13.10). The sword of God, the law-system’s penalty, hangs over their heads, and will fall with an awful and sad vengeance unless they are brought to see their need of casting themselves upon the mercy of a righteous God, offered to them in the death of Jesus for salvation (1John 1.9). Do not mess with your eternal future.
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am –
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame. (Zinzendorf.)
The husband’s death, in the illustration (vv1-3), sets only the wife free because of her connection with the husband, for his death does not set everybody free. Well, it is the same with Christ’s death, it only sets free those who are connected to him, who are united to him, through being justified by faith in his death (v4; Hebrews 10.10), and who live with him in his risen power (Philippians 3.10), and bear fruit to God (v4b; 1Corinthians 5.21). To have an interest in the death of Jesus is vital, because everyday our own death draws nearer, and if the call to repent and believe is disregarded, we get closer and closer to having to pay the price ourselves, for our own sin (John 8.24). It is solemn!
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)