Paul has pointed out that in our redeemed experience of justification by faith and new birth of the Spirit, we do not continue in sin. The reason is that as our Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again as representing us, we then died with Him to being sin-indwelt and rose with Him to being Christ-indwelt, as symbolized by our burial and rising in water baptism. So now we live yielded to God and expressing His right living in our members.
But this is based on a further startling fact of a different kind…that we are no longer “under law, but under grace,” and that we are “dead to law” as well as “dead to sin.” We are thus not only freed from the guilt of broken law, but from responding to and having to operate law at all!
But, steady! If we are not under law, do we mistakenly conclude that we shall easily slip back into sin living? Paul then opens to us the basic radical delusion that we have lived in since the Fall, under the Satanic lie of us being independent self-managing selves who must therefore see to it that we respond to law by our self-efforts. But the actual fact is that we were never created to be independent human selves, but were deceived into that delusion by Satan at the Fall.
Paul then points out that in fact we have always been just slaves, either to the sin-owner or the righteousness-owner: branches bearing the fruit of either the false vine or the True Vine: married and producers of the seed of either Satan-husband or Christ-husband. There has never been such a lie and delusion of us being independent self-acting, self-producing human selves, and responding by ourselves to a law of evil or good. Paul now proceeds to explain his own experience of discovery and release from his false deceived bondage to this radical misconception, and thus his freedom in Christ to a totally liberated life.
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