Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Romans 6:1 – 14
Because of the Resurrection

Do we have a gap between how we want to live and what we live? There are several traps we can fall into in our thinking. We can think that “God wants to make us better” or “We can change if we only had better self-esteem.” I’ve got news for you. God does not want us better or to feel good about ourselves. God wants us resurrected.

I. Because of the Resurrection... the believer is “dead.”

A. The effects of sin:

1. Sin causes conflict between people.

2. Sin brings shame, guilt, fear, and numbness.

3. Sin makes us emotionally and mentally unstable.

4. Sin separates us from God. The Bible says it cause physical and spiritual death.

Augustine admitted to praying three types of prayers in his life. First he prayed, “Lord, save me from my sins, but not yet.” Then he prayed, “Lord, save me from my sins, except one.” As he got older and more mature in the Lord, he gained understanding and prayed, “Lord, save me from my sins, and save me now!” [Source: Unknown]

B. The effects of dying to sin.

1. We “may” live a new life [v4].

a. The choice is yours, it is possible (but not automatic).

b. Possible does not make it so... God does His part and you must do yours.

2. The power of the resurrection at work in our lives:

a. Right now... spiritually.

b. Later... physically (eternally).

This leaves the question: “how can we live in it (sin) any longer?” [v 2] Answer: not well.

II. Because of the Resurrection... the believer is “free.”

A. The effect of the sin “nature” is slavery.

1. We have an “old man” [v 6].

a. The “old man” loves sin, it argues for sin and against righteousness.

b. The “old man” strains against what is right.

2. We have a “body of sin” [v 6].

a. The power of temptation over the body makes it hard/impossible to say “no.”

b. Here is a test, is there something you can not permanently do without? If so then it is an indication that something has control over you that you do not control.

B. The effect of the Resurrection.

1. The “old man” (self) is a nasty person.

a. It betrays us and sells us into slavery (of sin, things we do not control).

b. Sin becomes a brutal dictator, uglier than the ugliest because it eventually sends us to eternal hell.

2. This freedom from the “old man” (self) means:

a. Temptation is not removed or its pull over us (we may even suffer).

b. The power of sin and temptation is broken, making it possible to say no.

John Wesley said, “Sin remains but does not reign.” The problem is that we try to do this ourselves and end up with what A. B. Simpson said, “We become like the ghost who through self effort tries to die to sin and self and with the same self-effort gets back up and tries to live.”

III. Because of the Resurrection... the believer is “alive.” [v 9]

A. The effect of the end of sin’s reign in life:

1. [v 12] “do not let sin reign” (have control).

2. [v 13] “do not offer the parts of your body to sin.”

3. [v 13] “but rather offer... as instruments of righteousness.”

a. An “instrument” is a fine object, not a common one.

1.) An instrument must be maintained.

2.) An instrument must be used (played) regularly.

b. To get good at an instrument you need:

1.) Constant instruction.

2.) Constant practice.

Once there was a ship’s captain that went insane. He was replaced by the first mate. Yet the old captain roamed the ship barking out orders even though he had been stripped of his authority. The crew could obey him (but the orders were often nonsense or dangerous) but didn’t have to obey. What we need to do is replace the “old man” (self) with Jesus Christ. [Source: Unknown]

B. The effects of the resurrected life:

1. Count (reckon – deliberately reason) yourselves dead to sin but alive to Christ. [v 11]

a. This counting means we count ourselves dead to sin and we count ourselves alive to God.

b. Say, “I am dead to sin and I am alive to God.”

2. Counting is in the continual sense.

a. It starts as a one time surrender (where you chose to chose).

b. It becomes a daily commitment (where you take one day at a time).

c. The habit that develops is a moment by moment response to temptation and to God (where you take one step at a time).

“The rest of the story” of the poem “Foot prints:” the man looked back and saw the foot prints in the sand. He saw the times when he struggled to follow Jesus, he saw the times when Jesus carried him, he saw the times when his foot prints were in Jesus’ foot prints. But after those came a strange sight. Both sets of footprints were all over the sand. He asked, “Master, why are our footprints all over the sand? Was I unfaithful to you?” Jesus answered, “My child, the time that the footprints were scattered all over the sand is when we danced with joy.” [Source: Unknown]

That is the resurrected life. Because Jesus is resurrected, you can also have new life and get rid of the sin that keeps you down. You can be free from the slavery of sin and its brutal demands on your body, life, and soul.

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