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Is my understanding right? The reason I ask is as below.

  1. This is exactly what Tanakh says about the Messiah, that there will be truth, harmony, peace and everyone will know about the G-d and the desire to rebel against G-d will be gone as they will obey G-ds laws.
  2. Does belief in Jesus empower the person to not sin/sin less?
  3. Does belief in Jesus mean that even if we sin, G-d will still count us as righteous?

Note: I am asking these questions as I started Romans and I am confused with the writing style of Paul. He seems to contradict his previous sayings and that is where I need help.

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Some verses that talk about the end times and state of people will change for your consideration.

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah, son of Amoz, prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it. 3 And many peoples shall go, and they shall say, "Come, let us go up to the Lord's mount, to the house of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways, and we will go in His paths," for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge between the nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 32:15 Until a spirit be poured us from on high, and the desert shall become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest. 16 And justice shall dwell in the desert, and righteousness shall reside in the fruitful field 17 And the deed of righteousness shall be peace, and the act of righteousness [shall be] tranquillity and safety until eternity. 18 And My people shall dwell in a dwelling of peace, and in secure dwellings and in tranquil resting-places.

Zephaniah 3:9 For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord, to worship Him of one accord.

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  • Hi Yeddu, thanks for your question - I hope you get some good quality answers. For your own reading around this question, you may find Romans 8 and Acts 1-4 to provide some helpful additional context.
    – Steve can help
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 7:34
  • Thank you steve. In Romans 7 right now. For me, this search is about Truth and what defines hell or heaven for a person. I am disturbed that I believed these statements all my life and now see them not aligning with Tanakh and it bothers me. Jesus never said anything that does not align with the Tanakh. Hope to find the truth,
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 8:59
  • It says we die to sin, not to law. The law has died or made finished by Christ.
    – Michael16
    Commented Jan 5 at 9:36

3 Answers 3

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Romans 6:

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

There is a change of master. Satan is no longer our master. Jesus is. We would not sin the way we did before. We should sin less.

1 John 3:

6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

But we are not sinless except for a period of time.

1 John 1:

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Romans 6:18 ~ Is Paul saying that once we die to Law and accept Jesus and be resurrected in his resurrection we will sin less?

Yes, over an average period of time.

Some become sinless?

No, not for an extended period of time until we have received our glorified body.

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  • Tony, This is exactly what Tanakh Teaches except it is G-d and not Jesus. This I can relate to. It is in line with my comment I made on the other question. As we grow closer to G-d we see that our desire to sin becomes less because of the Love we have for G-d and the realization that the law is for our good for us and helps us live in harmony with others NO [Envy, lies, coveting, stealing, killing, adultery...] Thank you, Need to study more on the Jesus part.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 19:07
  • God bless you :)
    – user35953
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 19:23
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What Paul is saying here is not about degree of sin - sinning less, or not sinning at all (after being baptized into Jesus Christ, which equals being baptized into his death - verse 3). He has already cleared that up, showing that believers cannot continue to sin in order to make God's grace appear more glorious. That would be antinomianism - the unlawful abuse of law. Paul has established that the believer has died to sin, which no longer can be master. The believer has been brought to life under a new master - Jesus Christ. Paul has stated that death has no dominion over Christ, so we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ. This is all in the first 18 verses of chapter 6.

This is where scriptural explanations about death ending marriage, and the remaining spouse then being free to re-marry, comes in. Paul thinks in terms of the law being like a dead husband, now that Christ has fulfilled the law. Only after a person is loosed from the law (which has effectively 'died' to them) are they free to marry again - to marry Christ as his spiritual bride. But consider the horror of a person thinking they can be married to Christ while they are still bound to the law! That would be a violation of Hebrew law! That also violates what Jesus said about marriage. We cannot have the law as our (husbandly) master as well as being married to Christ! That would be spiritual adultery!

But that cannot happen. Nobody who remains subservient to the law (as one's ruler / master) can actually be married to Christ. They might think they are married to Christ, but they will not be, and the daily battle to keep the law (failing, of course) will condemn their conscience and keep them alienated from "freedom in Christ" which is the portion of all who fit the bill of Romans 6:18.

The immensity of what Paul is saying here goes way above and beyond ideas about 'measuring' pre- and post-conversion sin. It is not about seeking to attain a certain level of sinlessness that might put our mind at ease as to pleasing God. No. Our mind will never be at ease about a level of 'less sin' than before, because nobody can perfectly keep the law. And whoever breaks the law at one part, breaks all of it (James 2:10). Paul said, "The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor.15:56) and, "If led by the Spirit you are not under law" (Gal.5:18).

Answer, in summary: Paul is saying that there should be such a clear and drastic difference between the person who has sin as their master, and the person who has Christ as their master, that the liberation of the Christian from the grip of sin will speak for itself. That won't happen overnight, of course, as time is required to get cleaned-up from the mire of sin that once controlled our thinking and our passions, but the indwelling Holy Spirit will work holiness in us. There should be evidence of that. If there isn't, it might be time to question whether Romans 6:18 has even begun to apply to that person.

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You are not the only person or first person to get “confused with the writing style of Paul.”

Right from the days of Paul himself and Peter up to the present, people are confused with the writing style of Paul because not only “he seems to contradict his previous sayings” as you said but he also seems to contradict what other apostles are teaching.

No wonder, Peter had to warn the Christians about Paul’s writings. While accrediting Paul’s writings as Scripture, Peter says:

“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet 3:15-16).

So, it would be unwise to jump to conclusions after simply reading Paul’s epistles on the topic of “faith vs. works” without proper in-depth study. Besides, this topic (that is, Paul’s take on law, works, grace etc) is so deep and has many sides that it would be impossible to cover all the aspects in one writing.

First problem with Paul is that we get confused with several of his terms. For example, he says, “for you are not under Law” (Rom 6:14). Immediately people jump to conclusions, like, oh, see Paul says we are not under the obligation of keeping the Law or obeying the Law.

But is that what Paul is teaching? No. if we read the entire verse 14, it is clear that Paul is saying something else:

“For your sin shall not lord it over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace”.

If we “divide the Word of God rightly”, we can see that we “are under Law” when sin lords it over us. That is:

Under Law = under sin.

So Paul means that when we are under sin, then we are under (the custody) of Law. The Law claims our life. The Law requires executing us with death penalty.

This is exactly why God places us under His grace. This is how grace of God becomes relevant. If we have no sin then we have no need of grace (Rom 5:20). But we need God’s grace because we are under sin and hence under (the custody) of Law, that is, under the death penalty of Law.

So, by “not under Law”, Paul is not saying that we don’t need to keep the holy, good and spiritual commandments of God. On the contrary! See his remark:

“What then? Shall we sin (i.e., break Law – 1 John 3:4) because we are not under Law, but under grace? Let it not be!” (Rom 6:15).

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