Category Archives: Romans

Romans: Week 11

Pastor Dan Borgelt
Pastor Dan Pulpit 3

Audio: [21:17]

Audio Transcript:
“Great job choir, great job to the praise team, thank you guys so much.
I suspect on a normal day you would have seen more of us raising our hands in worship, but for obvious reasons some of us are self-conscious about raising our hands this morning here in this room [Transcriber Note:: With AC not working, it was a hot and stuffy].

Just want you to know that I’ve been here in the sanctuary since like 6:45 this morning, so you can endure. I told you I’d cut right to the point and make this as direct and concise as I’m capable of doing. So be in a prayer for me this morning and we’ll see how that goes.

I’ve got no notes which is designed to make things shorter, but sometimes has the opposite effect. Anyways, here’s right to the point…

At Kirkmont during our ministry of the Word, we’re going through the book of Romans. The last several weeks through the book of Romans we’ve been discovering that God is trying to communicate to us, that our hope in order to get right with Him, our hope to get into heaven someday, ought not to be in ourselves, and in our ability to obey the law and be a good enough person, but rather our hope ought to be in His character dependent upon the idea that he will treat us better than we deserve. And we’ve been using that word grace.

grace

But that message, has caused this sort of question to shoot back in response. One for us; one at the time that the Book of Romans was being written as well. And the question is simply this,
“Well, wait a second, if you’re telling me that my personal life style, my personal holiness isn’t actually a factor in whether I get into heaven or not, then are you telling me that I get I have a license to just live whatever kind of life that I want”?

In fact we saw this question being raised by the Bible last week in Romans Chapter six verse fifteen. The Scripture told us this (the Apostle Paul speaking),

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? 

In other words, if it’s not about being a good enough person, by being under the law, and it really is about God just treating us better than we deserve, the question remains, do we get to just sin do we get to just do whatever we want to do?

His response is

By no means!

Last week he gave us an illustration, we said it wasn’t a perfect illustration, but it was an illustration from the world of slavery. And he essentially said this to us last week, he said,

“Look, you’ve got a couple options, and there’s no in between. Every single person in this world is either a slave to the law, which ultimately makes you a slave to sin because you’re never going to be a perfect law abider… or every single person is a slave to righteousness through being a slave to God and His Son Jesus Christ.”

And he said, “Look, a slave is someone who pledges their allegiance to someone, they obey them… and you are either fully after one or fully after the other.

Gold Dividing Line[00:03:03]

Now this week, he introduces to us another… a follow up illustration. Moving from the world of slavery, yet trying to make a very similar point as last week, he gives us another illustration. And it’s an illustration from a world that I think you’ll find far more personal and intimate–maybe far more relatable this week than last week, and that is the world of marriage.

marriage

Inn fact our BIG IDEA for you this morning is this.

Christianity is about a life changing marriage relationship to Jesus.

Christianity is about a life changing marriage relationship to Jesus.
Now, if you’re here this morning, and you are kind of on the outside of the fringe of being a regular church person it may come as a surprise to you for the very first time to hear this idea that Christianity is actually not about being a slave to the law and trying to be a good enough person, but rather Christianity is actually about being in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now others of you have heard the whole idea that you’re supposed to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ. but you’ve maybe perhaps held the wrong relationship in view; you’ve held a relationship that is perhaps something short of what the Bible actually invites you into–Jesus as your friend, as your neighbor, as a coworker, as a pilot, as a captain, or a copilot… and all the different expressions that are out there, all the bumper sticker options that exist out there.

But today’s passage takes us beyond even all of those relationships, it invites us to see the God of the universe saying not just I want a relationship with you but I want to have a relationship with you that’s so personal and so intimate I’m going to describe it as a marriage relationship.  And further, we’re going to suggest you that it is a life changing relationship.

Others of you will need to be challenged this morning and ask yourself, “Wait a second, I thought I was in a relationship with Jesus Christ, but is it the real thing because it’s not actually that life changing.

Let me tell you something, if your relationship with Jesus Christ hasn’t been life changing at all, it’s a good indication that you may not have a relationship with Jesus Christ–at least not a marriage relationship with him. Because marriage, is a life changing experience. Isn’t it? Can we all just say that today.

Marriage to one another changes our lives.
If you’re if you’re single, and you’re thinking about getting married, maybe just need to hear us on this little journey. You need to hear the “Amens”  or see that head nod shaking as I tell you that marriage will shape and change every_part of your life.
Marriage will change:

  • where you go on vacation; it will change
  • how much money you spend on vacation; it will change
  • the way you drive to that location; it will change
  • the car you drive; it will change
  • the music you listen to; it will change
  • the television programming you watch at home; it will change
  • what time you go to bed; it will change
  • what you do on a Saturday; it will change
  • how long you get to take a shower; it will change
  • how you go to the bathroom

It changes everything about your life. Marriage by definition is a life changing experience. And so we are invited into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

We believe this passage invites you into a life changing relationship with Jesus. Here’s what the Scripture tells us… in Romans chapter seven, verse one–just two slides for you this morning; this slide in the next slide. Yes, I crammed a lot of words on each slide, but nonetheless encouraging.

The first slide is the illustration;  the next slide is going to be the application of the illustration. Here’s the illustration.

Now let me just warn you, as we walk through it, there are some things that are going to potentially distract you… some of you will find yourself fighting against what it has to say here. And I hope we can walk back through and smooth over those waters and get focused on the heart of the passage.

Here’s what the Scripture says,

 Romans 7:1a  Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—

So he had a Jewish and Gentile audience in the early church in Rome, and he seems to be shifting his focus on the Jewish people who knew the Old Testament law.

7:1a that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?

So he’s sort of stating the obvious… if you die you are no longer obligated to obey the law,

 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

Gold Dividing Line[00:07:59]

Alright, lets walk back through those things and eliminate a couple of the distractors.

One of the one of the potential distractions is the fact that it’s focusing on the woman as the person having the relationship with two different people… where are the guys wrapped up in this law?

Let me say a couple things about that. Yes, actually men had some of the similar moral laws that were applied to them, but also we must concede that in this society the laws were biased towards women.

OK so we’re going to put that out there.

But I think the primary reason why Paul uses a female as the person who can either be married or remarried, is because he’s going to draw an illustration between that and us marrying Jesus Christ. And we are considered to be the “bride of Christ”.

So he uses this example of a woman being married and here’s essentially what he says…

And of course the other distracting part is the law itself in what he’s saying. For many people in this room and across our churches in America, have been married, divorced, and remarried, not always under these circumstances. And so you may be wondering, “Well, what are you trying to say about me?”

Let me just be clear. I’m not trying to say anything about that. Nor is this passage trying to say anything about that.

Some day at Kirkmont, it would be appropriate for us to have a series on marriage, divorce, and remarriage… and when we do we’ll look at the Scripture comprehensively on that subject. And I think you’ll find that I have some things to say that are gracious and freeing on that subject; and I think you’ll also find I have some things to say that are challenging and convicting on that subject as well.

But that is not the point of this passage. The point of this passage is to use a common law that these people understood to make a parallel spiritual point that he’s about to make.

And here’s the common law just in case you missed the basic understanding of it… he’s saying that a woman, when married to a man, they are obligated to remain faithful and married to that person until that person dies. It’s only death that releases them from that contract, or that covenant, that commitment to that person, which them frees them to go marry another.

It’s key to remember that death is required to release one from the other. Because Paul is going to give us a spiritual application which is inviting us to see that we were once married to one thing, and now we’re being freed to marry something else, but death has to be required to release us from that bond.

So that’s why when he goes to apply it, the very first thing he says in verse four is this,

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law 

OK… death was required to release someone from something and now he says, “you also died to the law.”

Now here you start to see it’s not actually a perfect parallel, because in the illustration the woman stays alive, the husband dies and allows her to remarry. In the application of it, we are actually the ones who get to remarry but the way we get to remarry is because we die to the first thing that we were married to, and that is the law.

So he’s saying we were once married to the law we were born married to the law. Some of you grew up in environments where you were married to the law. Some of you showed up here this morning married to the law.

He says, “that’s how we used to be, but we died from that.”

And the way it happened, wasn’t because we became a good enough person, it wasn’t because we finally defeated the law by obeying it at every single point. The way that it happened was through the body of Christ.

When we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ, as the Scripture told us a couple weeks ago, we died with him through Baptism… we died with him. And in that sense we died to the law, it no longer has any contract over us in that sense.

But notice, we are not just released into spiritual singleness. We didn’t die from the law so that we can just start living the way we want to live. Just like we said last week, we weren’t released from being slaves to righteousness so that we could just start living however we wanted, we were released from being a slave to sin so that we could become a slave to righteousness.

And notice what it says,

 you died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another,

So we have two options here… we can either be married to the law, or enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and be married to him, and belong to Him.

There is no such thing as spiritual singleness…

Each and every person is either married to the law and bound to it, or through a relationship with Jesus Christ they become released from that and become married to him.

Now listen, the question was, “Well wait a second… if I get married to Christ, and Christ is all about forgiveness and grace and he died on the Cross for my sins, and that’s the Gospel, the good news you’re sharing about Jesus, then remember our original question, “Doesn’t that then free me? Doesn’t that give me the license to live the life that I want to live? Aren’t I now married to Christ? Doesn’t that allow me to just sin and do whatever it is I want?

No, look at what the Scripture says, it says

 through the body of Christ, that we might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear_fruit_for_God.

[00:13:44]

The whole reason we become married to Jesus Christ is not so that we can go on sinning, but rather that we might begin being fruit bearers for God.

And let me tell you something, just as I said last week, that, “grace will always produce more righteousness in us than the law”. I’ll say this week that, “a marriage relationship with Jesus Christ will always produce more spiritual fruit than a marriage relationship to the law.:

I think we should say that one more time.

A marriage relationship with Jesus Christ will always produce more spiritual fruit than a marriage relationship with the law.

But here’s the incredibly mysterious thing… the Gospel, ever since it was introduced, and all the way until this day, has always been under attack for this very reason… people have always tried to water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they were afraid that the true Gospel would give people a license to be lawbreakers. So they watered it down, they cheapened God’s grace, they’ve cheapened his forgiveness, and they have unintentionally sent the message to people that they are still married to the law.

Some of your parents raised you in a (quote unquote) “Christian environment” but they unintentionally gave you the message that you were married to the law… unwilling to really proclaim the Gospel, trusting that the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a marriage to Jesus, would produce more spiritual fruit in you than the law would.

Do we trust God enough to give the Gospel to our kids, the whole thing in all of its beauty, trusting that their marriage relationship with Jesus will produce more spiritual fruit than keeping them married to the law.

Some of you grew up in churches that made that mistake. Oh they might have had your best intentions in mind… they they wanted you to to honor God with your life, but the way they thought they would do that was to keep you married to the law somehow, and they misunderstood that by releasing you into a marriage relationship with Jesus Christ you would actually bear more spiritual fruit than if you were born married to the law.

He says in verse five and six

For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

This incredible transformation… “We used to bear fruit for death and now we’re bearing fruit for Kingdom purposes,” in a way that honors God. It’s a life changing experience to go from being married to the law, to being married to Jesus.

Gold Dividing Line[00:16:26]

Earlier I said that the marriage relationship was a life changing relationship, the earthly marriage relationship was a life changing relationship. I want you just to think in all seriousness about the ways that a marriage relationship with Jesus Christ is life changing as well.

Earlier we joked about music, and money, and free time, and shower, and all that kind of stuff… but in all seriousness, 

What’s required to have a good, strong, healthy, lasting, marriage relationship with another person?

  • Trust.
  • Intimacy.
  • Enjoying time with one another.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Reliance upon.
  • Providing for…

The whole list could go on and on. What does that say about the character of God, and how he feels about you… that he is trying to express through those same terms… I want to have that relationship with you.

I mean are you in that type of relationship with Jesus Christ… one that brings out the full intimacy of the marriage parallel?

Some of you, as I said earlier, have been divorced and remarried. I want to speak through the lens particularly of those of you who have been divorced and remarried with your spouse still living.

In all likelihood that means you intentionally left that relationship, you didn’t want to be in that relationship anymore. And hopefully, by God’s grace, you’re in a marriage relationship that is bringing you a far greater sense of contentment and joy.

And in the same way you see what God is inviting us to this morning—to leave this marriage relationship with the law, and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and be married to him. And the exchange is powerful, far more dramatic than any one person to another person could possibly provide.

Some of you in your previous marriage relationships were treated really terrible, and it left you incredibly broken. Some of you were abused in your previous marriage relationship, but guess what, being being married to the law does the same thing to us… it beats us down.

Some of you were left feeling in despair or hopelessness feeling bitter about life. Being married to the law does just that as well, and God is inviting you to leave that broken unhealthy, undesirable marriage relationship with the law, and to enter into a beautiful life changing marriage relationship with Jesus Christ.

LET'S PRAY (2)

Heavenly Father we thank you for this passage of Scripture as always we take the time just to pray in response to your Word. For those of us who are here this morning who perhaps have not really thought about the idea of being in a relationship with you like this passage has talked to us about this morning… perhaps someone in this room wants to just kind of sort of acknowledge that like, “Hey… if you’re proposing to me God then the answer is YES, that’s what I want.” Just something honest and simple as saying that to you., we pray that by your grace that would suffice and get that wonderful relationship started.

For others of us in this room we perhaps are feeling convicted, maybe even rebuked by this passage of Scripture because we claim to be in relationship with you; we would even like and celebrate the idea that we’re in an intimate marriage-like relationship with you… and yet you brought us into that relationship for the purpose of bearing spiritual fruit, and we acknowledge that hasn’t been the case for us.

Lord, we invite you to draw us deeper in our walk with you. That as a result the Holy Spirit would indeed kill off the sinful nature, and produce greater spiritual fruit in our lives.

So as we kind of move away from this whole question that Paul’s been asking us, we embrace grace and we reject the idea of cheapening grace by intentionally sinning, knowing that grace will cover that sin. And we invite you to help us to move and carry forward in that path, that we might be fruit bearers for the Kingdom of God.

We ask these things and Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Romans: Week 9

Pastor Dan Borgelt
Pastor Dan Pulpit 3

Audio: [29:38]

Audio Transcript:
“There are really two types of people at church… there are clappers and non-clappers (LAUGHTER)… and leave it to the ‘crooked section to start such a rebellious act of expression of motion :~)

My daughter came to me during the greeting time and said that she thought I should explain to you why I’m wearing this big boot on my leg.  Otherwise you might wonder, so I guess I’ll go ahead and talk about that for a little bit.

Friday I was here all day long and on my feet. We were setting up for an event we had here Friday night, and by the end of the evening I was hurting and my foot starting to kill, and it just started getting worse and worse, and finally came to my wife and said “I’ve got to go home, I cannot walk on this foot anymore”.

Some of you remember that I had this same boot on about three years ago.

I didn’t get any sleep all night it was it was throbbing constantly, and the next day I woke up Saturday morning and my wife Amanda, like many of you ladies, went off to the women’s retreat… and thank you by the way Cecilia who made that happen… are you here somewhere (APPLAUSE). Yes, and for all the ladies who went, I hope you had a good time.

And so my wife Amanda left_me_crippled (LAUGHTER)… with five kids and three soccer games to attend.

[00:01:29]

But before she left to hand it she went to the basement and got me my boot (LAUGHTER).

So nonetheless I went throughout the day, and I was really hurting… and just a sidebar, not for you… this is what God did for me, not the point of this sermon, but I was sitting in the car having a pity party at the soccer game. It was cold and the kids are crying in the back and kids are out playing, and I’m sitting there with this hurting foot, and on the field next to me, this coach who’s clearly in a wheelchair permanently, rolls out onto the field with a special-friendly wheelchair.

Then he rolls into the goal, and allows his team to start taking shots at him while he plays goalie.  He’d roll over here, block a shot; roll over here, and block a shot; and it was just like, you know, “Thanks God…” like (LAUGHTER).

I was no longer feeling sorry for myself, but it was a miserable day yesterday, all day long this big toe on my right foot was throbbing so bad it just ruined my day.

Finally, Amanda walked in the door at eight o’clock last night and I went off to the E.R.  A few hours later they gave me medicine and they said that I had gout in my foot. The nurse confirmed that I was old enough to have gout (LAUGHTER).

And they gave me a couple pills and said go home right away because you’re not supposed to drive yourself home with these pills but you don’t have a driver so we’ll give it to you; it’s going to knock you out, it did, and I feel a little bit better this morning thanks to the medicine.

While Sophie did want me to talk about my foot, in some ways it does help me illustrate where we want to go this morning.

exp_curvy

[00:06:43]

We’re continuing the series through the book of Romans, which is in the New Testament portion of your Bible. We did that for a while, took a pause around Easter, and we’re going to pick it up and finish it off.

And here we are in Romans Chapter six and the Bible is talking to us about this idea of sin. And in some ways what happened with this gout in my foot is similar to what the Bible is trying to say about sin in our lives–like there’s a period of time where sin absolutely reigns and dominates… and it has complete control–like the pain, it’s all consuming.

But then it introduces to us a sort of the medicine for sin. And it starts to bring healing and where I’m at today is like, “OK I’m better, but it’s not as if there’s no gout there anymore… I’m still wearing this boot.” And the Bible’s trying to say that to us about sin, like its effect on us is not like it used to be once we get the right medicine, but it’s still there.

In fact, our BIG IDEA for you this morning is this:

The moment we enter into a relationship with Jesus, sin’s reign in our life comes to an end.

The moment we enter into a relationship with Jesus, sin’s reign in our life comes to an end.

Let me just point out a couple things about that before we dive in our passage this morning. The first thing is notice the moment we enter into a relationship… not with your husband, not with your wife… some of you are thinking, “Oh I’m struggling with sin, as soon as I get married, I’ll have it all under control.” No.

No one else can do that for you. There’s no other relationship that you can enter into with someone who’s going to do this. This is a profoundly deeply spiritual problem that only the Son of God can cure and take care of, the moment we enter into a relationship with him.

And notice the moment… it’s not something that’s like, “Hey maybe someday sins reign in my life will come to an end. No, what we’re going to see from the text today is that not only is this relationship a relationship with Jesus but it happens immediately… that it’s reign does. It comes to an end.

But that implies that until we have a relationship with Jesus sin is what? … reigning in your life.

Some of you have discovered this in a spiritual way, and you don’t even know it. By not being a follower of Jesus Christ, and struggling with your sin, and hating some of the things you do, and trying to battle against it…  you’ve actually proven our big idea right, year after year, decade after decade, because you tried to quit drinking, you tried to quit treating your spouse or your children the way that you did… all these types of things but you’re failing at doing so because sin has its mastery over you and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

So the moment we enter into relationship with Jesus, sin’s reign and our life comes to an end.  What an encouraging thing to think about.

As I said, we’re going to go to Romans Chapter six together this morning. And while you’re turning there, I’ll just confessed to you that the real reason that I started with that story was to lower your expectations as to what’s going to happen in the next twenty minutes…. I was at the hospital people… I’m on drugs (LAUGHTER).

Gold Dividing Line
[00:06:39]

The moment we enter into relation of a Jesus sins reign and are alive comes to an end.  Romans Chapter six, the very first verse. If you have a Bible open its says something like “Dead to sin, Alive in Christ”,  as the heading… and here’s the first verse, it says,

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6: 1
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

I think you can probably pick up on whether you’re familiar with the Bible or not if you just hear that verse, that he’s actually continuing a conversation from something that he started earlier. And since we haven’t been in Romans five for a while let’s look at what he’s continuing. So he says, “What shall we say then”, and then here’s Romans five… this is the end of what would have been last week,

Romans 5:20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

This is a great summary… if you haven’t been with us for Romans one through five, this is a great summary in one sentence here of what we’ve been looking at.

One, “where sin has increased“, we’ve been saying that the Bible’s emphatically trying to say to us that each and every person is a sinner–all people have sinned. And so

 “where sin is increased grace though has increased all the more”.  

[00:07:57] 

That’s a really encouraging Word.

You mess up God’s got that covered… you mess up even bigger God’s got that covered with something even bigger.  Where sin increases Grace is increased all the more.

Now it’s such a radical teaching, that some people are going to have a hard time hearing that.

21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, 

Notice again, sin has reigned, that’s why we chose that for our big idea. We didn’t say that sin is like “kind of impacting people a little bit, or kind of influencing them”, or they “kind of struggle with sin”… no apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, sin reigns in your life–it is your master.

Also then he says “grace might rain”…

21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So we transfer through relationship to Jesus from sin dominating and reigning in our life, to Grace reigning in our life,

“through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Now let’s go back to the first verse…  so that’s where we ended last time, and now he comes along and says, so

Romans 6: 1
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

[00:08:56]

So he’s raised the idea that if we sin Grace will cover it. As our sin increases Grace will increase all the more. But as Paul often does he sort of anticipates people’s objections to what he’s just said, and so he’s anticipating someone saying, “Oh, well if that’s the case… then why don’t I just go ahead and sin more, and therefore God’s grace will increase. If my sin increases, then God’s grace will increase, so I’ll just…”

Is this just a license? Is the Gospel a license to just do whatever I want to do?

Gold Dividing Line

Well the first thing we ought to take away from him raising this question is that he’s not denying this theological truth, that where sin increases Grace increases all the more… it’s a point he’s made.

And while he understands that people have a problem with that–they’re going to think that it’s a license–he’s not going back on that statement. In fact he’s emphatically behind the idea that where our sin increases, God’s grace increases in our life–it covers us.

So that while we used to be viewed and marked as a sinner, our new covering is the grace of God, if you will.

Gold Dividing Line

I want you just to imagine that a professional fashion designer came to you when you were a wee little child and said, “I would like to clothe you for the rest of your life”. They’re going to clothe you and take care of you.

OK, so that happens and as you start to grow as a little kid they’ve first chosen some clothes for you and then as you start to grow they’re going to have to give you new clothes; and they find some new clothes to cover you.

As you keep getting taller and taller, and you hit puberty and you shoot up, and every six months they’re having to get you new clothing and they’re covering you with this new clothing. And then eventually we grow up and we mature and we stop getting taller, but some of us keep growing–we grow wider and wider… no problem the designers and seamstress have that covered as well, they’re going to give you knew clothing for that issue as well… you just keep growing and growing and they’re going to keep covering you.

In the same way, the Scripture saying that as our sin increases, God’s grace increases all the more–it keeps covering us.

But the question that Paul’s raising is, “Are we going to grow that way on purpose… just so we can keep getting covered?”

And his answer is

2 By_no_means!

[00:11:27]

In the Greek he’s essentially saying, “That’s a really stupid thought.” (laughter)… that’s a really dumb idea, who would conclude that–that’s not the Gospel that’s not the truth that’s not the point I’m trying to make it all.

By no means!

Now whats his rationale? Why would we not keep sinning on purpose? And he says this,

By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Listen, this is highlighted for a reason because it unlocks this whole passage that we’re looking at together this morning. “We’ve died to sin,” he says.

We have to try to take a look at understanding what this expression means, “to die to sin”  He says,

So we’ve died to it, we can’t live in it any longer…

But what does he mean when he says, when the Bible tells us “We’ve died to sin?”

Well, we’ve already said it certainly doesn’t mean that we no longer sin at all. All of us would prove that that’s not the case. It certainly also doesn’t mean that we no longer desire to sin at all–that’s not what it’s teaching either.

There’s a whole bunch of things that it might possibly mean, or that might even be true, but that isn’t what’s being addressed here in this passage. When Paul comes along and he says, we died to sin, he’s talking about the idea that sins reign in our life is going to come to an end.

That’s why we use the big idea that we did that…

The moment we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ it’s not that we stop sinning, it’s not that we stop desiring to sin, it’s that sins reign in our life has come to an endit’s no longer your master, it’s no longer the one who’s in control over you.

Gold Dividing Line

I love pastor and author Tim Keller who gives us this analogy to think about for our time together this morning. He says:

“I want you to imagine this I want you to imagine a land where an evil government and military is in control over that land.  And they are the ones who have complete control and mastery over all the laws, all the rules, everything is completely dominated by this evil government and by this evil military.

Now I want you to imagine a good and righteous military and government comes in and defeats them. And they take up shop, they’re now in charge. They now make the laws of the lands, they’re now the ones making the decisions they’re now ruling…

BUT… in the process of defeating the evil and wicked military, they did not necessarily kill each and every one of those people, so many of those people ran off to the bush, they ran off to the woods, they ran off to live in remote places.

And while they’re no longer in charge, they still live in the land. And because they still live in the land they have the ability to wreak havoc from time to time. They have the ability to tempt others to come and join them and their efforts.”

And he’s saying in the same way, we have died to sin.

Meaning that sin was in charge of our lives, and Christ came in, and yes, Christ is now in charge. He is dethroned sin in your life. But it doesn’t mean that sin has no presence in your life anymore… that you no longer desire it at all, or you no longer sin in any way, or behave and act as it would want you to. But it still has a presence there in your life.

And that helps explain why the Bible can say that we have died to sin, and yet we are still struggling with sin in our lives.

So he goes on and says,

“We’ve died to sin,” and then he goes on and tells us, “how can we live in it and a longer?” and he’s about to explain to us how it is that we have died to sin. Paul says in,

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. (then vs 6 says) 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

[00:15:57]

The most important thing of all that he just said is to point out the name of Jesus.

He’s made the point to us that we have died to sin, it is no longer in charge of us; and the big question is, “How does that happens in my life?

We know gathered here in this room together, some of you want to know, how that happens in my life? And the most important thing to point out of all these verses is the name of Jesus that is mentioned here. Because it is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and Him alone, that sin’s reign comes to an end in our life.

Notice, he says “we are baptized into Christ Jesus”  but listen to how he compares Christ’s physical journey to our Spiritual journey. Here’s what he says about Jesus. He says in 6:3

“all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death, therefore we are buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father we too may live a new life.”

So as Christ was physically dead and buried and then raised to a new life, the Scripture tells us that in a same way spiritually, we go through that journey–we die, and that we die to sin as the Scripture has told has told us.

But this is not just about getting rid of sin, it is about the ushering in of new spiritual life–a new righteousness that comes to us, it’s a righteousness not by one that is earned, but a righteousness that is received. And so we follow a spiritual path similar to Christ’s physical path–we die spiritually with regards to our sin, but then we are raised spiritually with regards to righteousness. And so we follow that same pattern.

And then of course the other illustration he’s using in the midst of all this, to help us see how we have died to sin is the word

baptism

[00:17:53]

The word baptism creates a lot of tension and issue in the church today, but the word baptism as it’s being used here is not just a word as many people think of that refers to the idea of immersion, it’s not just merely like to immerse a person in water; it was used in a much stronger sense than that, it was the word like,

if you wanted to intentionally sink a ship… boom there goes; it was the idea to completely cover something up.

In that way it was often associated with the idea of death and burial–buried by something, not just the act of putting someone in water. And therefore that’s how Paul is using this term.

Notice he’s not using the word water at all; when he’s speaking of baptism here he’s speaking of baptism in that sense… he’s connecting it to the idea of death.

But yes it is cool when we immerse an adult right in water, we’re not just talking about cleaning, but we’re talking about that idea of burying them, in this sense, to their sin, and raising them into new life. And that’s what’s being spoken of here–this idea that as in baptism in the visual act of baptism that happens.

And it’s of course connected to the name of Jesus, because the Bible tells us that when we hear the Gospel, when Peter, for example, preached a great message, and the crowd said, “What do we do with this?” he said. “Repent and be baptized.”

Gold Dividing Line

This is kind of a side bar, but we just want to let you know here this morning that if you’re someone here who’s repented in the name of Jesus and you believe in him, but have never been baptized to please let us know.

It’s not an act that somehow earns your salvation… to believe this is to completely misunderstand what this passage is teaching. But I do think it would be an act of disobedience to not be baptized if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

To repent and be baptized, to see him, to have experienced this. We would love to come alongside of you and walk you through that baptism journey and help you come to this place where when you read this passage, you can see that have happened in your life is well. Die to sin.

He says in verse eight,

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin…

There’s that expression, “dead to sin” again. But he prefaces that this time with the expression “count yourselves” This is like saying,
“Hey, believe this. I’ve told you a theological truth that might just be sort of floating out there in your mind right now. Now I really want you to hear it in your heart of hearts that you are dead to sin. “Count yourselves”, like recognize this truth in your life.

And what we discover from this is that it’s possible to walk around as a brother and sister in Christ, and kind of know, kind of realize that maybe it is true, that that I’m no longer a slave to sin, that sin’s mastery is no longer in my life… but to continue to make decisions and live as if we really are actually slaves to sin–where we haven’t fully embraced it and begun to see a change, and transform our life. And he says,

count yourselves as someone who is dead to sin

… like recognize that you’ve been freed.

I love what one pastor and an author compared this situation to–our spiritual journey again to someone else’s physical journey. He mentions this about this passage. He says,

Take the case of those poor slaves in the United States of America about one hundred years ago (of course from the time he was writing). There they were in a condition of slavery, and then the American Civil War came and as a result of that war slavery was abolished in the United States.

But what had actually happened?

All slaves, young and old, were given their freedom but many of the older ones who had endured long years of servitude found it very difficult to understand their new status. They heard the announcement that slavery was abolished, and that they were free, but hundreds, not say thousands of times in their after lives, and experiences many of them did not realize it, and when they saw their old master coming near them, they began to quake, and to tremble, and to wonder  whether or not they were going to be sold.”

You see you can still be a slave experientially even when you are no longer a slave legally. Whatever you may feel, whatever your experience may be, God tells us here through His Word, that if we are in Christ we are no longer in Adam, we are no longer under the reign and rule of sin.

“And if I fall into sin, as I do it is simply because I do not realize who I am. Realize it, reckon it.”

And that’s essentially what Paul saying… realize this and begin to act as who you really are. For when we live according to our sinful flesh we are living as a people who have been declared free but we still act as if we are slaves to sin.

He says in verse twelve,

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires

So it’s actually not reigning, because of what Christ Jesus has done, but we can act as if it still is reigning.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 

Notice the contrast… he’s saying, “When we lived with sin as our slaves, it ruled over us, it dominated us, and like good obedient people we offered our entire lives over as slaves.”

Some of you who have lived along in your life without a relationship with Jesus Christ can testify to this… you know what it’s like to act according to exactly how your sinful flesh wanted you to act. Whatever was your strongest desire for years, many of you behaved that way:
If you felt like eating it, you ate it;
If you felt like drinking it, you drank it;
If you felt like smoking it, you smoked it;
If you felt like sleeping with it, you slept with it;
If you felt like hitting it, you hit it.

You know what it means, right? You just lived your life according to whatever was the strongest sinful desire pushing you that way, as offering yourselves as slaves to sin, and he’s saying, “That’s how we used to live!”

But in Christ Jesus there’s a reverse, and the same allegiance which we pledge to our sinful nature we now pledge to God in His plans and purposes for our lives.

offer every part of yourself to him 

That’s what he’ll say later on Romans Chapter 12:1,

“Offer your lives as living sacrifices to God,

So we make this change in this transformation of switching all of our allegiance as slaves to sin, to that which God would want us to do.

Oh how our lives would look different. Just imagine what God might do in and through your life and how your life might look different… if… you began to follow him as wholeheartedly as you once followed your sinful nature.

 

So, I think many of us, we leave our sinful nature, and we begin to kind of follow God, but he never gets the same type of allegiance that our sinful nature did.

Whatever sinful nature wanted from us we gave it… and about half maybe of what God wants from us we give it.

How might your life look different as we begin to follow him with the same level of the allegiance as we followed our sinful nature.

The Scripture then concludes,

14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Once again, you’re completely covered by this grace.

Where our sin increases, God’s grace increases all the more.

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This would be a time, church, for us to close in prayer… a passage that hopefully moves us to a desire to go and speak to God directly and privately. This is why church’s traditionally and historically have silent times of prayer, so that they can confess to God the very details and specifics of their lives, and I pray that this passage, by God’s grace, I pray that He’s moved you in that way.

Some of the things that you’re doing that are contrary to who you are in Christ, that he’s speaking to you about through our time together this morning and we want to give you the opportunity to bring that to God in prayer.

“Hey, God here are the ways in which I have acted like a slave to sin, and allowed it to continue to reign in my life. And I don’t want to act that way anymore.”

LET'S PRAY (2)

Father God, I begin by just giving those people in the room who perhaps are in a relationship with Jesus Christ the opportunity to just talk to you and speak to you. Perhaps one of the ways that you’ve drawn them to you this morning is by helping them to realize that they have struggled with sin in vain. And they’re realizing that they can’t be the God of their lives, that perhaps in Christ Jesus they indeed can find the strength to have this sin completely conquered.

We THANK YOU Christ that’s what you do in our lives. We pray that those people in this room might come before you at this time and just acknowledge what Christ is able to do in their life and ask that and seek that of you.

For others of us in the room, we know the name, the wonderful name of Jesus that we sung about earlier. We even maybe theologically believe that he frees us from sin, but we’re coming before you this morning and just bringing to you our ongoing struggle with sin. And I mean, that the way that we treat our spouses, our kids, our coworkers, the things we do in our private lives, the thoughts that we are capable of entertaining… all remind us that at times that, yes, we’re not just continuing to struggle with sin, but at times we just wholeheartedly follow sin, and act like it’s still our master.

And so, we pray that by your grace this expression of the Bible that says like, “Count it to be true, realize it and live according to it,” would be the case for us this morning.

Oh that today and that this week moving forward, we might have one of our most encouraging times in relations and walks with you, recognizing our status with you.

And we ask these things in Christ’s name. Amen.

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