Speaking the Truth in Love
Romans Chapter 6
During our last program we had a caller who stated that many figurative scenes in the book of Revelation will literally come to pass in the future. She also said that she believed there would be a millennium period where Christ would reign on this physical earth for 1,000 years. She left us with the thought that we will have to "agree to disagree". On "Speaking the Truth in Love", we fervently believe that when we study God's Word with open hearts, we can all unite on God's Truth. God does not agree to disagree. As we told our caller, the prophecies she mentioned in the Old Testament and in Revelation have already come to pass. When the Lord returns it will not be to set up an earthly kingdom on a cleansed earth, but rather it will be for judgement and a gathering of his children (i.e., the Church) together to take them to Heaven. In Heaven, His people will enjoy a spiritual eternity where all the former disappointing things of this life are no more (Revelation 21:4, 22:14-15).
Notice Revelation 1:1-3 - "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly (or quickly, swiftly) take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
Revelation 9:1-21 - Let us read this and then determine whether this vision is indeed to be taken literally or figuratively, as a sign of things which would shortly come to pass.
Revelation 14:20-15:1 - Our caller made reference to blood up to the horses' bridles as being a literal event. Let us read the entire context. Notice in 15:1, "another sign".
Isaiah 53 - This passage is a prophecy of the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to as a Lamb led to the slaughter. The book of Revelation refers to this same Lamb many times. From studying the book we find that this is not a literal Lamb, but rather a figurative Lamb which represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
This idea of figurative or symbolic language is used throughout the Bible. Whether a passage is literal or figurative can be determined by reading the context of the passage. Romans Chapter 6 is like this also. Let us begin our study.
ROMANS CHAPTER 6
Romans 6:1-7 - Burial with Christ - not a burial in dirt but rather a burial in water. A spiritual or figurative death of crucifying the old man and destroying the body of sin to rise a new creature. Does the physical body change after baptism? The answer is no. It will get wet, but no physical change will take place. But there is a cleansing and change of the heart (Hebrews 10:19-23, 1 Peter 3:21).
Romans 6:8-15 - Living for Christ - Once we have risen from the waters of baptism, we are a new creature that lives a life in service for the King (1 Peter 2:4-12, Ephesians 2:8-10, Galatians 2:20). Our number one priority is to diligently serve Him each day (Matt. 6:33, 2 Peter 3:14).
Romans 6:15-23 - Bondage of sin - Are we really in literal slavery to sin or is it a figurative way to describe how trapped we are in life when we are living a life of sin?
Who are the ones we know in the bondage (or in the prison) of sin?
1. Christians who have fallen away (2 Peter 2:18-22) and once again have become entangled in worldly lusts.
2. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates who are decent moral people (Acts 10:1-6, 11:13-14).
3. Family members who are religious and belong to denominational churches (Matthew 7:21-23, 15:9).
4. There is another group of people who are in bondage to sin. According Webster's dictionary, blasphemyis "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God". This could include taking God's name in vain, using profane or irreverent language, speaking out against God, or simply not respecting God or His Word. We have a lot of this type of behavior today. Even by people who claim to be of God. These people are in bondage to sin (Matt. 15:18-20, 27:39-40, Acts 26:11, Colossians 3:8, 1 Timothy 1:13, Revelation 2:9 - Is this literally the synagogue of Satan?).
The people we have talked about tonight are all in slavery. They are in prison. Not a literal prison, but a spiritual prison of sin. The only way out of this bondage is obedience to Jesus (John 14:6, Matthew 28:18-20). This prison will lead to a place where death is experienced forever, over and over (Matthew 25:46). Jesus is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. If you are in the bondage of sin, why not decide to obey Jesus tonight? He wants you to come to Him so you can be free of sin and live eternally (Matthew 11:28-30, John 8:31-36, 2 Peter 3:9).
See you next time on "Speaking the Truth in Love"!