The Gospel's Answer To The "Result" Of Sin (The Gift Of Eternal Life) INTRODUCTION 1. The purpose in this series of lessons has been to help us understand and appreciate how the gospel of Christ is indeed God's power to save us - Ro 1:16-17 2. We have examined various aspects of the problem of sin, and then how the gospel of Christ with its commands and promises effectively addresses the problem of sin 3. To summarize thus far... a. When the command to believe is obeyed, the love of sin is addressed b. When the command to repent is obeyed, the practice of sin is dealt with c. When the command to be baptized is submitted to, the state of sin is changed d. When we have obeyed these commands, we receive wonderful promises... 1) Remission of sins, which removes the guilt of sin 2) The gift of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to deal with the power of sin 4. In this final lesson, we shall examine another promise which deals with the result of sin: the promise of eternal life - Ro 6:23 [In the first lesson, we touched briefly on the result of sin; we shall now examine it more carefully...] I. THE "RESULT" OF SIN A. ONE RESULT OF SIN IS "SPIRITUAL DEATH"... 1. The death referred to by God when He warned Adam & Eve - Gen 2:15-17 a. Note: "...for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." b. They did not die "physically" in the day they ate of the forbidden fruit, but they did die "spiritually" in that day 2. "Spiritual" death is "separation from God" a. Death of any sort involves the idea of "separation" b. Just as physical death is the separation of body and spirit - Jm 2:26 3. "Spiritual" death is what occurs when all sin - Ro 5:12 a. It occurs when we reach that "age of accountability" where we know the difference between right and wrong, and then violate God's law - cf. Ro 7:9 b. This is the "death" referred to in Ep 2:1-3 1) All who are outside of Christ are "dead in sin" 2) Those who are "dead in sin" are separated from God and all the blessings that would otherwise come from union with Him - cf. Isa 59:1-2 B. ANOTHER RESULT OF SIN IS "PHYSICAL DEATH"... 1. Because of their sin, Adam and Even lost access to the "tree of life" - Gen 3:22-24 2. Because access to the "tree of life" was lost, all mankind is subject to "physical" death - "in Adam all die" (1Co 15:22a) C. THE FINAL RESULT OF SIN IS THE "SECOND DEATH"... 1. This death is referred to in Re 21:8 2. This "death" involves eternal separation from God! 3. This "death" Jesus often spoke of and warned about - Mt 10:28; 25:41-46 [Truly, in more than one sense, "the wages of sin is death" (Ro 6:23); but the same can be said about "the gift of eternal life"! No matter what the result of sin, the promise of eternal life more than makes up for it!] II. THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE A. THE GOSPEL PROMISES EVEN NOW "ETERNAL LIFE"... 1. John speaks of this "life" as a present possession in 1Jn 5: 11-13 2. This is "eternal life" in the sense of knowing God and Jesus in a special way, having fellowship with them - cf. Jn 17:3; 1Jn 5:20 3. With this type of "eternal life"... a. One is no longer "dead in sin" b. One is no longer "separated from God" c. The emphasis is on the quality of life, not quantity - cf. Jn 10:10 4. "Eternal life" in this sense begins when we rise from the watery grave of baptism a. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." - Ro 6:4 b. This is because in baptism... 1) Our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16 2) We enter into a new relationship with God, having put on Christ - Ga 3:26-27 5. We who were once dead "spiritually", are now "made alive"! - cf. Ep 2:1,4-9 B. THE GOSPEL PROMISES "THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION"... 1. Jesus spoke of this "hope" in Jn 5:28-29 2. Paul wrote of this wonderful "hope" in 1Co 15:20-23,50-58 3. This hope of the resurrection we have is based upon our conviction that Jesus Himself was raised from the dead - 1 Pe 1:3 4. With such hope, "physical" death has lost much of its sting - 1Th 4:13-18 C. THE GOSPEL PROMISES "THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE"... 1. In this sense, "eternal life" is still a future hope (and not a present possession)... a. Jesus spoke of "eternal life" in this sense, in Mt 25:46; Mk 10:29-30 b. Paul spoke of "eternal life" as a future hope in 2Ti 1:1; Tit 1:2 2. This "eternal life", which is yet to be realized by those who are in Christ... a. Comes after one has: 1) Been set free from sin (which occurs in baptism - Ro 6:3-7) 2) Become a slave to God (which occurs when we present our selves as servants of righteousness - Ro 6:17-19) 3) Produced the fruit of holiness - Ro 6:22 -- Note carefully what Paul says: "...and the end everlasting life." Everlasting life comes at "the end" of a life that has borne fruit unto holiness! It is a gift, yes (Ro 6:23), but in the text Paul is speaking about a gift that one receives at "the end" of the Christian's faithful life! b. Comes after the resurrection and judgment - Mt 25:31-34,46 c. Comes to those who patiently do the will of God! - Ro 2:4-7 d. Offers honor, peace and glory to those who receive it - Ro 2:8-11 e. Is beautifully described by the apostle John in Re 21:1-7; 22:1-5 CONCLUSION 1. This is how the gospel addresses the result of sin; in response to: a. "spiritual death" (where our sins separate us from God) there is "eternal life" (in the sense of knowing the Lord, which begins at one's conversion) b. "physical death", there is "the resurrection from the dead" (which occurs at the coming of Christ) c. The "second death" (eternal separation from God), there is "eternal life" (in the sense of eternity with God and Christ, which begins after the Judgment) -- Thus the gospel of Christ effectively deals with the result of sin! 2. I hope that we better understand the wonderful grace of Christ; why Paul calls it "the gospel of the grace of God" (Ac 20:24)... a. Even the commands to be obeyed involve God's grace: 1) We must believe in Christ, if we are to stop the love of sin; yet by grace God's Word produces such faith! - Ro 10:17 2) We must repent, if we are to end the practice of sin; yet it is God's goodness (i.e., by grace) which leads us to repentance - Ro 2:4 3) We must be baptized into Christ, if we are to change the state of sin; yet, even in this, it is by grace (for God is the one who is at work in cleansing our sins and regenerating us anew) - Col 2:12 b. How much more are the promises of the gospel indicative of God's marvelous grace! 1) The remission of sins removes the guilt of sin 2) The gift of the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome the power of sin 3) Eternal life is God's gracious gift in response to the result of sin Have you accepted the grace of God by obeying the gospel of Christ? If not, may the words of Paul encourage you do so today... We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. - 2Co 6:1-2 If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me. May God be with you!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011