Dead to Sin – The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

father we thank you
for the blessed blessed grace
poured out on us in jesus christ our
we thank you for the death
of your son and for the resurrection
of your son we also thank you for the
of your holy spirit
that you dwell in us and we
in you and that we now are
in your gospel and in the grace of god
members of your body the church
the bride of christ father we pray that
you will fill us with your spirit today
cleanse us of all sin malice
jealousy and wickedness that dwells in
our hearts
soften the fallow ground of our hearts
and make us gentle and compassionate and
people toward one another and toward
the world and may the grace of jesus
christ be lifted up
among all nations all god’s people said
amen please be seated
we continue today
in our series the reign of grace
and paul opens with these
that grace abounds
what shall we say then are we
to continue in sin that grace may abound
he says by no means how can we who died
to sin
live in it still live in it
so if you look there with me in chapter
six last week we
we we finished up chapter five and he
all about how grace abounded
all the more through jesus christ
and we he he
put in our face an idea
that the grace of god is much more
powerful than
sin the grace of god is much more
powerful than sin
and we cannot
overestimate how important this concept
is because when you look
around us we see lots of evil in the
we can see all kinds of problems we can
all kinds of tragedy
we saw the the explosion
the mysterious explosion in beirut
we have seen terrorist attacks over the
20 years we’ve seen
genocide in the 90s
we’ve seen all kinds of things we see
political bickering that
marks our public discourse right now
in this country
and so paul asks this question should we
in sin that grace abounds and his
concern that he was wrapping up chapter
five with is that
grace is more powerful
than sin and death
that the we looked last week at the two
atoms the
the first adam and the last adam and
what he’s saying is that
what he was saying to us there is that
that the last adam has triumphed over
works of the first adam that the single
of jesus christ in dying for sin and
being raised from the dead
has now conquered sin and death and
sometimes we don’t feel that
right now we don’t feel that because
we’re still in this limbo
because for those of us who have placed
our faith in christ we
live in christ
now and yet we feel the war
in our bodies there is
something tugging at us that on the one
we want to do what is good but on the
other hand
we often do what is evil
oh and by the way that’s romans chapter
it’s coming up that’s exactly what he’s
going to get into is that
war in our members
as he calls it but
paul is doing something interesting here
he’s he’s making his
pivot and he does this in most of his
where the first half of it is dedicated
to what we call the indicative or the
the id our identity in christ who
you are in christ so when he opens up
the book of romans
he talks about the problems
of you know in romans 1 of how all men
have fallen from sin
and then he he goes on to talk about our
sin nature
but how we are a new creature
in christ jesus and then here in chapter
six he begins to pivot
toward from the indicative to the
the imperative is the command how is the
christian to live
now that you are a new creature
in christ jesus how shall we then
live as francis schaefer
put it so the big
question for the redeemed christian is
can we who died to sin
still live in it how can we
who have died and this is a profound
thing he says
if you believe in christ and if you have
been baptized into his body
you have died to sin
and again it’s not always going to feel
like that
but this is the behavior question it’s
the obedience question
he spent all his time up to this point
these first
six five chapters of romans on the
identity who you
are in christ but now what do we do
with that and so look at
verse 3 with me do you not know that all
of us who have been baptized
into christ jesus were baptized into his
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 too might walk in a newness
of life and that newness of life
is everything jesus empowers us he gives
us the power to walk in a newness of
and it is absolutely connected to our
identity in the church
in the ancient church and even in the
especially in the gospels baptism is
with conversion and regeneration if you
just kind of read through the gospels
you see where people are being baptized
the spirit shows up
same in acts the spirit shows up
and repentance and the filling of the
holy spirit is what it means
to be a christian a regenerate christian
and so he talks about how we who have
been baptized into christ jesus
were baptized into
his death in other words we
in receiving baptism by faith
are plunged in to the person
and the work and the totality of who
jesus christ
is it is a total participation it is a
descending with him into death
and a ascending with him into glory
and so you could think of him as the
person who pulls you through
not too long ago i believe it was
last summer or something
we all heard the tragic story
of a soccer team
in thailand who went spelunking in these
and they’re gonna go spend a couple days
in there
and then a torrential downpour came
and monsoon type thing and it filled up
the caves and it trapped them
in the cave and it would have trapped
for months and they would have all died
in fact the pressure was
going up in the cave and so there was no
out and to go back through the passages
you couldn’t hold your breath long
enough it took about a half hour
underwater to get back up
and so these scuba divers
uh who were part of the
thai military
went into the caves in their scuba gear
and they went all the way down
and they had to teach them how to use
the scuba gear
and then they tied them into stretchers
and bound them
and led them through the cave
they didn’t even let them swim on their
own they just bound them on these
stretchers and
two or three of these special operations
type scuba
divers would bring them to the cave and
that is the kind
of leadership that jesus does for us in
the gospel
there was no way for these people to get
out of the cave
without the knowledge the experience and
the gear of these guys to come in and do
it for them
it takes a while to learn it so they had
to teach them
just how to breathe and then carry them
through the cave
that’s how radical well maybe that’s
just a sliver of how radical
it is in the gospel for us to plunge
into the death of christ
and to come up on the other side
and so our baptism is both symbolic
and sacramental and we don’t get to talk
about this a lot in our
anglican tradition we put a lot of
emphasis on the sacraments on baptism
and the eucharist the lord’s table
it’s good to review very every now and
then what we mean by a sacrament
a sacrament is a physical sign imbued
with a spiritual reality and this is the
really important thing
is that spiritual reality comes by faith
it’s what we call a means of grace
and by that term by that phrase we mean
a way
grace is conveyed okay it’s a way it’s
conveyed it’s not the grace itself
the grace is conveyed through it and so
as you
come up to the the the table
or you come and receive the wafer
you are doing so by faith and by faith
you receive the body and the blood of
and it is a conduit of sorts
for faith and membership in the church
that’s what we call an ordinary means
an ordinary means of grace that god
saves christians through baptism and
continues to nurture them
through the eucharist there’s also what
we call extraordinary means of grace
where god in his own sovereignty saves
outside of the church
outside of the means of grace but that’s
not our business that’s god’s right
all right so god does that but baptism
works by faith alone that’s what paul
has spent all his time on here
okay that that our our our justification
comes by believing in the person and
work of christ
and are we always aware of our faith no
and are we always faithful
not always at all god
uses the littlest
faith the faith of a mustard seed
i remember one time i i heard a minister
state that someone went to heaven
because they were baptized wrong
no one goes to heaven simply because
they’re baptized
if you were baptized at any time
either as a child or an adult but in
your heart
you’re thumbing your nose at god you’ve
got work to do
you have something that you have to deal
and a minister a good minister who sees
a rebellious heart
is not going to give assurance of
to someone who is rebelling against god
in their heart
that would be a horrible thing to do
that would be like looking at someone
who’s on fire
and not telling them you’re on fire
that’s like telling somebody who’s in a
very dangerous situation
not telling them that they’re in a
dangerous situation
and putting themselves at risk
and so the idea that sacraments in and
of themselves
save us is not an idea held by the
ancient church or
the anglican communion or evangelicals
anywhere god can save us apart from
baptism but it is the ordinary way
he saves through it and so
like in all things god gets to use that
the way he wishes we don’t get to
dictate it so if you
are preaching the gospel and somebody is
responding to you
what’s the normal thing to do we offer
them the waters of baptism because god
knows the weakness of us we need
symbolism we need images
and so this all comes down to what does
it mean
to be baptized into his death what does
it mean
to be baptized into jesus’s death
basically through baptism we are made
to participate in christ but that’s
through faith
and by our faith we participate fully
because by faith
it it is by faith that the spirit is
poured out it is by
faith that god justifies
and so in obedience as an act of faith
we are baptized or we baptize
the new christian and god works through
and that brings us to verse 5 which is
extremely important for us to understand
what it means
to be baptized into jesus christ
look what he says here in in verse 5 for
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
well i think i could preach a sermon
series on those two verses right there
lucky for you i’m not going to do that
but let’s talk with him let’s talk right
now about what it means to be united to
united with him in his death what does
this mean
well that word united is a very powerful
idea there and it really has more the
idea to be
co-planted or of the same stock
the word united we throw around a lot
we talk about united we stand we we talk
about being the united states
and these are powerful concepts
we also talk about united airlines
and things like that but when he’s
talking here he’s talking about
almost being of the same route
and stock this this this word here
can mean plants of the same genus and
species and so the uniting here i don’t
i don’t think that
you know english translations are always
any translation is never
perfect and united was probably the very
best word to put here
but it goes much deeper than how we
typically use the word united
because it gives the idea that like
paul’s going to talk about later about
being grafted in
of the gentiles being grafted in but the
the uh you know the jews are of the same
root and stock
and that’s what this kind of means and
that when we are grafted in now we
are of the same root and stock and we
we completely participate
jesus you know it’s kind of like the
pinocchio scenario where pinocchio goes
from being
fake to becoming a real boy and to to
to participate in real humanity
and that’s what we’re doing here is is
the gospel and being baptized by faith
into his death
we come to fully participate
in god and that’s why the ancient
fathers of the church would say
god became man so that we might become
that we would participate fully and so
in baptism we descend with christ
into his passion and death but we also
are raised with his resurrection to new
and so our participation is total
your participation in jesus is total
we participate in christ as much as god
reckons us as righteousness
you see that’s going back to everything
he’s been talking you remember he’s been
talking all about
abraham was accounted as righteousness
when god looks
at you because of faith
he looks at you and sees the
righteousness of jesus christ
he doesn’t see your sin anymore
he doesn’t see your sin in a way to
condemn you there is therefore now no
condemnation to those who are in christ
who walk not according to the flesh but
according to the spirit
that’s coming up chapter eight right
right there there it is total
it’s true true righteousness is total
and are so our participation
is total and look what he says here our
old self what it literally says there is
old man 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
we are freed from the body of sin
and so the power of sin over our mortal
dying body
is broken
it’s broken by the indwelling spirit and
by the resurrection of our body from the
we follow christ into death and follow
him into resurrection
and this is why our body still dies but
still hope for resurrection
we can’t overestimate
how important this is and i think the
first thing
we have to realize is you you we can’t
fully get our minds around it in this
life and we certainly can’t fully
appreciate it
i just want to put that out there
there’s no way in this
life to fully appreciate what that means
because we’re still in the fight right
we’re still in the fray we’re still in
the struggle
we don’t see the glory
that will be revealed but look what he
says he said that we
would no longer be enslaved to sin
god is freeing us he’s putting to death
the old man the old man
is the person before faith came that god
is putting that to death
in the person of jesus christ and then
what we’re going to learn
when we get to chapter 7 is about that
war in our members
how we put to death the deeds of our
and what the horrible struggle that is
and that if you feel that struggle in
your body
that if you feel that you’re being torn
at times between wanting to do the right
and sometimes doing the evil you’re a
normal christian
wasn’t that encouraging
it is there’s always
a tug of war and so what is the point of
the gospel
it is change lives that reflect the
character and goodness of god that we
were designed to we go
back to the garden we go back to adam we
go back to eve
and they were made to live in fellowship
with christ and glorify him with their
and sin wrecked it and the gospel is
putting that back together but it’s
doing more than just
putting back together it’s giving us
it’s bringing us to the kingdom of god
you see adam and eve
were were born sinless and brought into
the world sinless
but they were still going somewhere they
were still learning they were still
moving towards something they were
still moving toward the kingdom of god
and they went backwards instead the
human race went backwards
but we get all of it in christ
you see it’s the king of kings that
saves us from
our sin and so the old man was crucified
so that we might
no longer be enslaved to sin
look what he says here in verse 7 for
the one who has died has been set free
from sin
now if we have died with christ we
believe that we will also
live with him we know that christ being
raised from the dead will never die
death no longer has dominion over him
what that means is death no longer has
dominion over you
and me
jesus as a dead man just as a dead man
no longer commits evil so those who have
died to sin
in christ should no longer sin either
we’re set free from its power and we are
no longer
enslaved the justification of god is
ours it’s imputed to us
and even though we still struggle in the
the justification of god is ours because
we believe
in jesus christ and so he says in verse
10 for the death he died he died to sin
once for all
and that’s so important because of what
i said in chapter five
and what he’s saying here is that
death burial and resurrection is more
than sin and death more powerful
than sin and death it’s more powerful
than any
sin guilt jealousy wickedness
or insecurity you have or i have
in our heart jesus will overthrow it
in the resurrection jesus will overthrow
but the life he lives he lives to god
and that’s powerful because we live in
jesus so if jesus
is now living to god we live to god
because we are in jesus so you must also
consider yourselves dead to sin
and alive to god
in christ jesus
and so what is paul doing here he’s
establishing the relationship between
our new
identity in christ and our new
way of life
back in chapter 2 he said this
it will render to each one according to
his works
to those who by patience and well-doing
seek for glory honor and immortality
he will give eternal life but for those
who are self-seeking and do not obey the
truth but obey unrighteousness
there will be wrath and fury this verse
here is a watershed these couple verses
here in romans 2
6 through 8 are a watershed in the book
and now it’s starting to come together
of what he means
is that if you embrace the gospel by
justification is yours
and you because of
the justification of god you now seek
for glory
honor and immortality it’s not something
you’re just doing in your own strength
the grace of god is the gift of god
but for those of us who are in the fight
jesus accounts you as righteous
it means he accounts us as
perfect that when he sees us
he sees the righteousness of jesus
and he says clean pure
holy there’s no condemnation
for us who are in christ jesus
and so as he says in 6 4 we were buried
with him by baptism into death
in order that just as christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the father
we too might walk
in a newness of life
that is our calling
and we can live boldly to god in spite
of the indwelling sin that we still
struggle with until that day we finally
go to be with him so i encourage you
brothers and sisters
to believe and trust him boldly
amen god bless

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.