Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sin - No Way

Intro: There is a underlying rule in parenting that says, “If we don't give children the attention they need, they will find a way to get it.”

  1. By his or her behavior

  2. By acting out

  3. Through disobedience

Our scripture this morning suggests a similar problem in our spiritual lives.

Read Romans 6:1-18


T.S. Paul has told us why we need a savior – we are sinners Paul has told us who that savior is – Jesus Christ Paul has told us how to be saved – by grace

And that presents a problem. It goes something like this – if God is going demonstrate his grace because of my sin. Then the more I sin, the more of God's grace I will need to experience.

And this is a good thing?

Paul's initial answer is “No, let it not be.” μὴ γένοιτο But then he goes on to give two clear reasons for walking away from sin:

  1. We are alive, and no longer dead

  2. We are free and no longer slaves.
  1. We are alive – not dead.

      1. There is a parallel between our lives before we came to Christ and our lives now and Christ's death and resurrection.

(Ill.) 21X Paul uses the words life or death in these eleven verses. Sometimes referring to Christ's death and sometimes to our state without Christ in our life.

      1. Christ died – in a few weeks we will be celebrating that death on Good Friday.

      2. We too were dead – Paul tells us that “The wages of sin is death.”

      3. When we live our lives separated from Jesus – there is something missing.

(Ill.) In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” Without Jesus, life is does have something missing.

      1. But just as Christ is no longer dead after the resurrection on Easter Sunday morning, so we have experienced the resurrection in our own lives when we received Christ.

(Ill.) In the Methodist church we allow each person who chooses to be baptized to also chose the mode of baptism. The most common mode in the Methodist church is sprinkling – that is why we have a baptismal font in the front of the church. But the church also allows a candidate immersion – where the pastor and the candidate are in a shallow body of water and the candidate is completely immersed during the ceremony. When we consider this passage, immersion makes sense. In immersion, the candidate is buried and raised. Immersion may illustrate it best; but regardless of the mode of baptism, the parallel remains -

      1. But the miracle of being raised with Christ, is not some miracle that happens at baptism. It is a miracle that happens when we place our faith in Christ.

(Appl.) So what does all this mean. It means that as Christians, we do not need to continuing living our lives as if we are still dead in our sins. God has given us our life – we have a new life. Paul, here, calls it a resurrection. But whatever we call it, it means that our hearts, our view of life, our choices will be different. In Christ we are not the same person we were. And we will live our lives differently as well.

    1. We are free – not slaves.

    1. But there is another contrast here that Paul uses to answer the question of sin in the Christian – We are no longer slave, but we are free.

(Ill.) Freedom House, a respected organization has for many years been gathering data about the personal freedom people experience around the world. Using their definitions, 66% of the world has no experience of personal freedom in 2005. Two of those countries are in North America – Cuba and Haiti. I expect that you, like me, might say, “Whew, I am glad I don't live there.” Yet, as long as we live a life separated from Jesus Christ, we do not have freedom. Paul says we are “slaves to sin.”

    1. You see, until we are willing to place ourselves at the feet of the savior and determine to learn from him, we are slaves to sin.

    2. So how do we place ourselves at the feet of Jesus. Let me suggest five steps for living at the feet of Jesus:

        1. Ask Jesus to speak to you. A simple prayer - “Let me hear your voice.”

        2. Spend time in his word each day – three minutes a day in the word of God is sufficient time to allow God to transform you. And more time is even better.

        3. Spend time speaking to God. There are times when we have heavy hearts. We have concerns about our lives, or concerns about our loved ones. A relationship requires two way conversation – we will allow God to speak to us, we also need to speak to him.

        4. Spend time with believers each week. This is time over and beyond our hour or so on Sunday morning. It might be our midweek Bible Study, it might be one-on-one time with a Christian believer that will leave you stronger.

        5. Talk about your faith. We talk about what is important to us – and as you spend time at the feet of Jesus, He will become important to you and you will want to talk about Him.

Conclusion: I was reminded this week of that well known story, “Footsteps in the sand.” I am sure that you have heard it ...

  1. God wants to walk with us

  2. Will you allow him to come close.

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