Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Dead to Sin (Romans 6:1-11)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Please remain standing if you're able, and let's hear God's word from Romans Chapter six. I've decided to read just a few more verses than are printed in your bulletin. I'm going to read from verse one through verse fourteen Romans Chapter Six. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means, how can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death? We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we two might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, for one who has died, I'd has been set free from sin. Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again. Death no longer has dominion over him, for the death he died he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God. In Christ, Jesus, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness, for sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. May God bless his word to us. Please be seated. Paul begins with an objection. He begins chapter six with an objection that comes from those who scoff and deny the truth of God and our first hymn, two hundred eighty six, we sang. Doubt may lift its head to murmur, scoffer's mock and sinners jeer, but the truth proclaims a wonder thoughtful hearts receive with cheer. He has risen, he has risen now receive the risen king. The Hymn speaks to this truth, that there are doubters, there are scoffers, there are those who jeer at the grace of God. What shall we say then? If God's grace is super abounding, above the law and above sin, well then I guess we'll just send more. That grace may abound. If that's your point, Paul, if the way we are to think about the Christian life is to think about it in terms of this super abounding grace that covers all sin, well, what motivation will people have to work?...

What motivation would people have for righteousness? Indeed, I think perhaps we should just sin even more, that God's grace would be displayed anymore. Hows that sound, Paul? Doubt may lift its head to murmur, scoffers mock and sinners jeer, but the truth proclaims a wonder. Thoughtful hearts receive with cheer. What is that wonder? Christ is risen. He has risen. Now receive the risen king. What shall we say then? Are we to consent continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means exclamation point, are you crazy? Exclamation point this way, that Paul speaks here. Says, how could you think such a thing, and indeed he asks that kind of question. Next he says how can we who died to sin still live in it? In Our corporate prayer of confession, there was a phrase that we used in our prayer and said, let me reckon my old life, dead because of crucifixion, and never feed it as a living thing. Imagine feeding a dead body. It's a grotesque thing, isn't it? It's a crazy kind of thing. It's a give you the shivers kind of thing to take a dead body and open its mouth up and try to put food inside. It's disgusting. How can we who have died to sin act as though it's alive and try to feed it and try to live in it? It simply doesn't make any sense. It's grotesque, it's disgusting. Should we continue to sin that grace may have bound what how can we who died to sin still live in it? And then Paul speaks. He asks another question than in verse three. He asks the question and he speaks to these Christians, baptized Christians, those who have received this sign and seal of God's promises. He says do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? That's what it's above out. That's what baptism is about. It's about being baptized, being identified and united with Christ in his death, in his burial, as is mentioned in verse four, in His crucifixion, as is mentioned in verse six. Every aspect of Christ's death is one in which we were involved in we died in him, but we also live in him, as Paul says in Verse Four. We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death. In order that Justice Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we two might walk in newness of life. So this is Paul's basic point. There's this thing that has happened. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, US, was buried and rose from the dead. When that historical event happened, all those who have been baptized in his name, who receive the promises of that baptism by faith, all those who are united by him, are united to that same death, that same burial, that same resurrection, and because of that it has this effect on our lives, not in just this kind of teaching power, but we are objectively different. We have been changed,...

...and so when this accusation comes to Paul, well should we continue sending then he kind of says, well, don't you know the history? Don't you know what's happened? Look at the own baptism with which we have been baptized, these promises that you have been given. It's kind of like someone sort of saying that they're still married to someone they're no longer married to, or someone saying that they have a job that they no longer have. I imagine being fired, let's say, from your workplace, and then you walk in the next day and you try to swipe your badge to get in and you try to, you know, act as though everything's fine and everything's the same. You go to the Human Resources Department say I'm not receiving much check anymore. I don't understand what's going on. It doesn't make any sense. Or take the marriage example. Imagine that you have us, your spouse dies, but then you continue to go on acting as though they were alive and though you're still married. It doesn't make any sense. Well, that's what we do when we sin. We act as though we still live according to this principle, as though it still has power over us. Paul is calling us to the truth. First, there's this fact that you have died to sin. Let's focus on that. One way you see this is in his baptism, in our baptisms. Here is God's Seal of our union with Christ, purification. It happens, by the way, one time. We aren't baptized over and over again, just as Christ died once and we are brought into him. But there's more that's going on here as well. He speaks to the death which of a sin and the death of sin, and what was accomplished there. Notice the purpose of it. That's mentioned in verse six. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing. Well, we know that God didn't go to the cross to forgive sins, in order to do something and then failed at that task. Jesus never failed at anything. When he wanted the wind to stop and the sea to calm down, he simply said it, and it was so. When Jesus wanted demons to come out of someone, he simply said it, and it was so. When he wanted a limb to be healed or someone to rise from the dead or someone to follow him. He simply said it and it was so. Jesus never failed at anything. So when Jesus went to the Cross to die for sins in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, that happened, you can count on it. Jesus didn't raise from the dead. It say, Oh, that's right, I forgot to do that one thing. I meant to put the body of sin and bring it to nothing, but maybe I'll try again. No, Jesus did exactly what he intended to do. It's promised in many ways, and the very victory that he has over death in his resurrection proves it. Well, what does that mean for you? Well, it means that, if you were in Christ, the body of sin that you have been enslaved to has now been brought to nothing. The lusts that come up inside of you and try to pull you down into unrighteousness, they're not as powerful as they would like to pretend. The fear of death and the curse that lingers in this world. Satan tries to trick us with these things. He tries to tell us that our sins are our art, our...

...temptations are lusts are more powerful than they are. He tries to insert doubt. Doubt may lift its head to murmur, scoffers mock and sinners jeer. There are these voices of doubt that say, what about death? What about corruption? What about misery? What about all these things you have done? Did Christ really bring? Did Christ really save? Did he really bring the body of sin to nothing? We believe the truth of the word of God. Yes, he did. He brought that sin, brought the body of sin to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Christians, you're no longer enslave to sin. Isn't that good news? When you feel tempted to sin, when you feel anger welling up, or sexual desire, sinful sexual desires, or desire to steal or be greedy, or any number of things that were listed in Effesians five, these things that are contrary to the light, the things that are of the darkness, remind yourselves what God's Word says here. You are not enslave to them. They don't rule over you any more. Imagine this in a political context. Imagine somebody who was a slave has been set free, and then that slave master comes and says to that former slave, hey, I need you to get back to work. Come on, let's go. It's scary maybe to say no. It's hard to refuse. You remember the former power. But Christians remember you are free, you are no longer enslave to send. You don't have to follow, you are not forced to follow. But for you were, not because that was a good thing, but because of the corruption of your nature. You had no other choice. Like a moth that keeps trying to get out of our room and slams up against a window and slams up against a window and slams up against a window. It's trapped. And you were like that too. You are trapped, you were enslaved. Or maybe a better example would be a dog that has been trained to do bad things. Sometimes dogs are another animals are trained to do a lot of harm for evil people. In some ways we were like that. We were trained, everything in US was designed to do this one or these many bad things, evil things, dark things, and it's what we love to do, it's what drove us, it's what brought up desire, it's what we were, what were rewarded for and felt good about. But that's not true anymore. We're not that kind of animal anymore. We're not enslaved to sin. In fact, we are no longer enslaved. This is what it means to have died to sin, to no longer be enslaved, to not be under its dominion anymore. It means that obedience to unrighteousness doesn't have to mark your life, and in fact it doesn't. And if it does, if obedience and slavish obedience to sin does Mark Your Life, then you're not a Christian. Paul will talk in Chapter Seven about there are these internal contradictions in Christians, this desire to do good, a changed, harder, renewed life, and yet corruption...

...that remains. But that's different. We're not talking about that. What I'm talking about, and what I want you to do, what God wants you to do, is listen and check your heart, check your conscience. Are you enslaved to sin? If you are enslave to sin, that you do not belong to Jesus Christ, because those who belong to Jesus Christ are those whose sin has been brought to nothing. The Dominion of Sin, the Great Power of sin, that once ruled over them no longer does. That's the flip side of this. Jesus doesn't just bring sin to death, but he brings righteousness to life. Paul makes this contrast throughout this passage. How can we who died to sin, still live in it in verse two and then Verse Five? For if we have been united in him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. Jesus, when he went to the cross to do what he intended to do, to bring sinto nothing, to conquer death and misery and hell. He not only did that, but he rose again from the dead. He entered into new life. Now, Jesus never sinned. Jesus conquered our sin, our death, our curse, and we see that in his resurrection. And this is what part, this is what God has done for you. He has made us. God has made us, as he says here, alive to him. In Christ Jesus, he change is our wills so that they're no longer entirely bent toward evil, but now they long after and pursue what is good. They desire our wills. Now, as Christians, desire the things of God. We want to please him, we want to satisfy him, we want to obey. We stand in triumph over our sins. As Christians, we don't cower and and and and and fear our sins, but we look at him in the face and we say no, not me. I belong to Jesus Christ. I walk in the newness of life. I know what it is to live in the light and I will live. Using the marriage example, there's this powerful section. It's powerful's not the best word. A memorable section. Perhaps it's powerful to in the mirror of modern divinity. One of my favorite books. I think there's a copy of it on the back table. But Edward Fisher, he describes this scene of union with Christ in terms of marriage, a biblical metaphor, and he he says, if you have been married to Chris, if you are married to Christ and you enjoy this intimate relationship with him, and Satan walks into the bridal chamber, you don't invite him in, you don't say Oh hey, nice to see you, come on here be with me and my husband as we spend this intimate time together. They say get out, you have no business being here. Christ is mine and I am his. We belong to one another. Something has changed on the Cross. That's our attitude towards sin. We don't play with it, we don't feed a corpse, we don't invite Satan into our marriage. We say get out, you don't rule me, you...

...have nothing to do with us. My Lord has defeated you, conquered you. I live in that life now. This attitude must be ours. This is what Paul says in Verse Eleven. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ, Jesus. This is a matter of faith. It's a matter of faith. It's something that we must believe now. It's not a big leap in the dark. We believe it because it happened, because Jesus did die, because Jesus did rise again from the dead. Trust him, receive him, believe that when Christ rose, he proved victorious over sin and death, dominion over it, conquering the curse and that, and believe the promises of God, that this cross of Christ isn't this isolated historical event some time in history, but it's something that's given for you and for all who believe. Isn't that amazing that this thing that Jesus has done on the cross is available to you. This resurrection, life, defeat and over sin is available to you. How do you receive it? By receiving it by simply accepting and believing the promise of God, and in that we are mysteriously, wonderfully eternally connected with the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. So you see how important this is and you see how much it puts to death or puts down to this objection about Christians desiring sin or thinking that sin is okay. It's important to say Christians there, because it's not just outsiders that doubt and Scoff and mock the Gospel, but it's insiders and even inside our hearts we doubt, we mock and we wonder. Paul says in Verse Eleven, you must also consider yourselves, or reckon yourselves, dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. But we don't always do that, do we? We reckon things differently. We reckon ourselves. We say so. We might change it sometimes and say so. You also must consider yourselves fundamentally good and capable of helping yourself if you try hard enough. So you also must consider yourself worthy of great honor because of the privileges under which you've been born. So you also must consider yourselves fundamentally good people and part of a great country which will go on forever and ever. The Bible doesn't say any of those things. The Bible says you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God. Not In yourselves, not in your birth or your country or anything like that, but in Christ Jesus. Believe in Christ Jesus, consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God, in him, and because when we do that, by believing, trusting, resting on his work and his righteousness, that's how we enjoy his glory, that's how we enjoy his life. How are we set free from the slavery of Sin? Not by running away from it, but by running to Jesus and finding our salvation, in our freedom in him. For the world,...

...this is, of course, foolishness. They don't believe Jesus, they don't believe what he has done. But for the Christian Who Sees The resurrection of Christ, who believes the promises of God, this is life. To stand and walk and rest in him. It's to enjoy the resurrection life. Even now, even before Jesus comes in, our bodies themselves are resurrected for all eternity. If you do not believe the Gospel, if you don't believe this good news that is being promised to you, then know that you will remain enslaved in your sin. You will you will remain captive to the lusts of your flesh, to the sin, to the curse of death. But if you have believed in Jesus Christ, then count yourself as a freed person. And when you face temptation, and when you face Satan's temptations and wooing of you, say no more. I belong to Jesus and let not sin. Therefore reign in your mortal bodies to make you obey its passions. Don't go back to a slave master who no longer owns you. Do not present your members, the members of your body, to sin as instruments of for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life. Take your bodies and give them to the Lord, your hands, your feet, your ears, your eyes, give it all to the Lord, for he has bought you, he has freed you. So now work in his service to freedom and glory in Life and Resurrection for sin will have no dominion over you. Don't worry about that any more because you are not under law any more. You are under the grace of God, the powerful, superabounding grace of God. Let us pray.

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