As we have seen, the focal point of the revelation in this book is that God is transforming sinners into sons to form the Body of Christ. God is expressed in the Son, the Son is expressed in the Body, and the Body is expressed in the local churches. Before we became sons, we were constituted sinners (5:19), not only in name and in position, but in constitution. We were constituted sinners because sin had entered into us.
In order for a substance to be constituted in a certain way, a particular element must be added into it. By God’s creation, we were good, righteous men. However, due to the fall of Adam, sin was injected into our being. When man fell, he not only made a mistake and did something wrong. If man had only made a mistake, his fall would not have been that serious. However, in the fall something more serious than a mistake occurred: sin was injected into man’s being.
Suppose a mother has a bottle of poison at home. She keeps it in a specific place and tells her little boy never to touch that bottle. One day, while the mother is outside, the little boy, wondering what is in the bottle, takes it, opens it, and drinks some of the poison. When the mother finds out what happened, she is not concerned about the mistake her son has made. She is worried about the poison that has gotten into him. Most Christians think that man merely disobeyed God and made a mistake in taking the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Not many realize that by man’s eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, something evil and even satanic entered into man. Through the fall an evil, satanic element was injected into him. The Bible calls this element sin. Sin is not merely a matter of lying or stealing. Such things are the fruit of sin, not sin itself. Sin is the very nature of Satan, the evil one.
In Romans 5 through 8 there are many indications that sin is like a living person: it entered (5:12), it reigns (5:21), it can lord it over us (6:14), it deceives us (7:11), it kills us (7:11), and it dwells in us (7:17). Once sin, the evil element of Satan, was injected into man, man was constituted a sinner. Now instead of being proper men, we are sinners by our very constitution. The amount of good or evil we have done makes no difference because sin is now in our being. Although our deeds may not be sinful outwardly, we have a sinful nature inwardly.
Sin results in a number of things. It has brought in both the flesh and the law. Hence, we have the problems of sin, the flesh, and the law. But we have still another problem, the ultimate issue of sin, which is death. Where there is sin, there is death. In 5:12 Paul says, “As through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin; and so death passed to all men because all have sinned.” Death comes in through sin and reigns because of sin. Therefore, sin issues in three things: the law, the flesh, and death.
Romans 5 reveals that we have been constituted sinners, and Romans 6 reveals that “the body of sin” has been “made of none effect” (6:6) since our old man has been crucified with Christ. Through the death of the old man, we are freed from sin. As we pointed out in a previous message, in Romans 6 we are freed from sin, in Romans 7 we are freed from the law, and in Romans 8 we are freed from the flesh. We are free from sin because our old man has been crucified. The death of the old man has caused the body of sin to be unemployed, to be made of none effect. Because the body of sin has lost its job, we no longer need to serve sin as slaves. This means that we have been freed from sin. Likewise, we have been freed from the law because the old husband has died and has been given a funeral. At the time of this funeral, we were married to our new husband. By losing our old husband and marrying our new husband, we are freed from the law. As Romans 8 reveals, we are freed from the flesh by walking according to the spirit. We are freed from sin by having our old man crucified and our body of sin made of none effect; we are freed from the law by burying our old husband and by marrying another; and we are freed from the flesh by walking according to the spirit.
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