The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), November 25
Without gravitational forces, man would float off into space and into death; without the forces that keep the spheres in their places, the stars of heaven would bombard and destroy the earth. Life could not exist without the mystery of gravity.
Spiritual forces also exist. An irresistible gravitational pull toward sin binds man to death, “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), and an irresistible gravitational pull toward righteousness resurrected Christ from the grave.
Paul explains the spiritual gravity of sin and righteousness:
- By one act of disobedience Adam and Eve introduced the inescapable law of the gravity of sin into the world. That law of sin lives in the hearts of every man, woman, boy, and girl. It binds them to disobedience, pride, and rebellion. It produces the fruit of sexual immorality, greed, lust, coveting, theft, lying, adultery, idolatry, etc., All are caught in its grasp. Paul declares that all controlled by this force, “cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8.
- The Lord Jesus introduced the law of the gravity of righteousness. He was the perfect man, completely righteous and unfettered by the law of sin. He presented that perfect righteousness to the Father on sinners’ behalf. God proved His acceptance of Christ’s presentation by raising Christ from the dead. That force of righteousness is available to all who come to Christ in repentance and faith: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin” (6:6-7).
These two gravitational “pulls” are not equal in power, “for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (8:2). The wages of sin is death; therefore every man dies, but the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ have broken sin’s gravitational hold on man and freed him to walk in righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those born of His Spirit, “are not in the flesh but in the Spirit” (8:9).
The gravitational pull of sin still exists, but the Spirit of God who dwells in the spirits of believers overcomes that pull so that they can walk in victory over sin. A list of “dos and don’ts” and rigorous self-discipline cannot defeat the downward pull of sin’s gravitational forces. It has to be broken by a greater force. It is by the Spirit alone that believers, “put to death the deeds of the body” (8:13) and “present [them]selves to God as being alive from the dead, and [their] members as instruments of righteousness to God” (6:13).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (6:14).
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Rom. 5:1-8:17):
How are guilty sinners reconciled to God?
How does Paul use Adam and the law to demonstrate the need for salvation? How was Adam “a type of Him who was to come”?
All humanity descends from Adam. All are sinners and all die. How does what Christ accomplished on the cross affect those who trust in Jesus’ substitutionary death? (Their relationship with sin and the law)
What does the Holy Spirit do in and for man that the law cannot?