Dominion

Bible Book: Romans  6 : 11-14
Subject: Sin, Power over; Victory; Christian Living; Sexual Victory
Introduction

Defined the power to rule; absolute ownership. Opposite of powerlessness. Vision Expository Words of New Testament has force, strength, might. In Romans 6:14, the deliverance of the believer from the “dominion” of sin. In Romans 6:9, the permanent immunity of Christ from the “dominion” of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

I have for years prayed to be a believer that lives close and clean. The opposite could be living distant and dirty. I believe that moral purity enjoys the Master’s power; no purity-no power. However, sin wishes to have dominance over me, us.

Let’s get more personal and more direct. Sexual sin leads the list on Paul’s sin list; Colossians 3:5, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. In Ephesians 4:22 Paul refers to “deceitful lusts.”

Sexual sin in one form or another is everybody’s battle, whether male or female, whether non-Christian or Christ-follower. What is one of God’s most beautiful gifts to humanity and when rightly used, one of the sources of their greatest happiness, has become one of his greatest battlegrounds with evil.

Much of this is due to the fact that whereas all man’s faculties have been affected by the Fall, the sex instinct seems to have become more corrupted by the Fall than any other of his instincts, shown by the fact that the erotic side of our natures respond more readily to evil suggestions than to good.

For instance, the story in the newspaper of some illicit sex happening tends to spark off something wrong in us that the story of another person’s happy married life does not. It is undeniable that there is much more public interest in wrong sex than in right sex. And this is our battle even for Christians, no matter how long we have known the Lord. And if we do not know God’s way of victory here, we do not know it anywhere. The level of our general Christian lives is not likely to rise any higher than the level of our sex life.

Even when the Christian is free from outward practices, the battle is on with regard to unclean thoughts, unclean desires, and unclean private practices.

“If you live for your private pleasures against your spouse, you are living against yourself and destroying your joy.”

These facts are extremely dangerous and that is from two points of view.

If you cannot as a Christian “get the victory” you may be tempted to say, “What is the use of being a Christian at all?” and giving up your profession altogether to go back into the world. This may be the rationale behind some cases of backsliding, not that the world is so attractive, but that the person concerned cannot “make the Christian life work” and so gives up.

On the other hand, he may settle for something less than the best and rationalize these things. See it as normal, everybody is doing it, and we cease to call it sin; therefore, everybody is play-acting, everybody is hiding sin.

But under grace there is no need for either of these alternatives. There is no need to despair and give up, or to hide sin and play the hypocrite. I say under grace because the biblical text says, “sin should not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.” If we are to experience sin not having dominion over us, we shall have to know truly what it is to be living under grace and not under law.

In this present passage Paul answers questions he knew his readers would wonder about: “If we have really been freed from sin by Christ (7) why does it still give us so much trouble?” If we are now holy before God, why are our lives so often unholy? If we are righteous, how can our lives better manifest that righteousness? These key words summarize the answers presented in 6:11-14: know, consider, yield.

I. KNOW  - 11a

Has to do with the mind. Versus 1, 3, 6, 8, 9. Paul wanted us to understand a basic teaching (doctrine). Christian living depends on Christian learning; duty is always found on doctrine. If Satan can keep a Christian ignorant, he can keep him impotent.

The idea is that you must know and fully believe what I have said, or also what I am about to say will make no sense. The truth that you are spiritually dead to sin, and the reality that you are spiritually alive to Christ. These are divinely-revealed, foundational truths behind Christian living, apart from which you can never hope to live the holy lives our Lord demands.

Scriptural exhortation is always built on spiritual knowledge. Scripture is replete with specific commands and standards for conduct and behind all of them are divine truths, upon which these commands and standards are founded.

Paul has just declared that, as believers, we are united with Jesus Christ in His death and have through Him had the penalty paid for our sin. We have risen with our Lord Jesus Christ in His resurrection and therefore are able to walk in newness of life.

For a Christian to live out the fullness of his new life in Christ, for him to truly live as the new creation that he is, he must know and believe that he is not what he used to be. He must understand that, despite his present conflict with sin, he is no longer under sin’s tyranny and will never again be. The true understanding of his identity is essential.

Faithful divine living without divine knowledge is impossible.

Sin and death have no dominion over Christ. We are “in Christ,” therefore, sin and death have no dominion over us. Jesus Christ not only died “for sin,” but He also died “unto sin.” That is, He not only paid the penalty for sin, but He broke the power of sin.

Through Christ we “reign in life” (Romans 5:17) so that sin no longer controls our lives.

The big question now is, I believe (know) the facts of this biblical truth, but how do I make this work in daily experience?

II. RECKON - 11

Has to do with the heart.  Reckon is used 41 times in the New Testament and 19 times in Romans alone. It is translated “count” or “impute; to take into account, to calculate, to estimate.” Used in the sense of fully offering a truth, of having unreserved inner confidence in the reality of what the mind acknowledges.

Reckoning is a matter of faith that issues in action. It is not claiming a promise, but acting upon a fact. God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us that we are dead to sin and alive unto God, and then commands us to act upon it.

Why then do Christian’s find it so hard to believe they are actually free from sin’s dominion?

1. Satan does want not them to believe it. If the enemy of our soul and the accuser of the brethren can make us think he still dominates our earthly lives, he weakens our resolve to live righteously by making it appear hopeless.

2. Christians find it hard to believe they are freed from sin’s dominance while they are still on earth is that their continual battle with sin seems almost constantly to contradict that truth. If they have a new holy disposition and sin’s control has truly been broken, they wonder, why are they still so strongly tempted and why do they so often succumb.

We should believe God’s truth with all of our heart because it gives us confidence in the midst of temptation, knowing that with sin’s dominance broken we can successfully resist in God’s power.

1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

This is true because we are “alive to God in Christ Jesus.” No religion in the world can or does make such a claim.

III. YIELD  - 12-14

Present - has to do with the will. Because of the incomprehensible truths about his relationship to God that the believer knows with his mind and feels deeply committed to in his heart, he is therefore able to exercise his will successfully against sin and by God’s power, prevailing its reign in his mortal body.

In this present life, sin will always be a powerful force for the Christian to reckon with. But it is no longer master, no longer lord, and it can and must be resisted.

Sin is personified by Paul as a dethroned but still powerful monarch who is determined to reign in the believer’s life just as he did before salvation.

The Apostle’s admonition to believer’s is for them to not let sin reign, because it now has no right to reign. It now has no power to control a believer unless the believer chooses to obey its lust.

1 Peter 2:9,11: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,”

Because a believer is a new creature in Christ, his immortal soul is forever beyond sin’s reach. The only remaining beachhead where sin can attack a Christian is in his mortal body. One day that body will be glorified and forever be out of sin’s reach, but in the meanwhile it is still mortal, that is, subject to corruption and death. It still has sinful lusts because the brain and thinking processes are part of the mortal body and Satan uses those lusts to lure God’s people back into sin in whatever ways he can.

CONCLUSION

“Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace."

Romans 7:12 teaches that God’s law is “holy and righteous and good.” But the law cannot break either sin’s penalty or its power. It can only rebuke, restrain, and condemn. The Christian is no longer under the condemnation of God’s law but now under the redeeming power of His grace. It is in the power of the grace (ability/power to obey) that the Lord calls him to live.

When the Bible teaches that we are “dead to sin,” it’s not in the sense of being free or dead to its solicitations, but to its power to condemn us. Along with this identification with Jesus comes a new motivation to love, obey and serve the Lord. This motivation leads us to quit the sin and to present ourselves and our members as slaves to the One who has done it all. And with that motivation comes blessed reinforcement of the will from the Holy Spirit who now dwells within us.