Romans 6:1-4 and 15-23
In our reading the apostle Paul is talking to believers and those who have been baptised he says that we “died to sin.” If we are honest, we would have to admit that we don’t feel very dead to sin. Personal there have been a few times when I’ve felt kind of further away from sin. But, dead? No!
But this is important Paul says this nine time is thirteen verses. Paul wants us to get this because it is central when it comes to living a godly life.
To living a life that honours Jesus that honours what Jesus did for each one of us by dying on the cross for each of us.
And you have to ask yourself why would Jesus do that, the answer is Jesus is part of the God head and that God loves each one of us.
Paul is asking if we have been justified by faith, how do we grow in the likeness of Jesus?
In the first part of our reading verses 1-4 Paul is saying that Gods love for us knows no bounds the more we sin the more we will be forgiven, there is no sinner who cannot be forgiven on matter what he or she has done, but and there is a but the sinner has to repent, and many find this hard to believe or to accept but hear it is in God Book the Bible, one of my brothers who was defiantly the black sheep of the family says there no hope for me with what I have done, that in not true God loves each and every one of His children no matter how big the sin, if we repent,
turn away from our sin and are truly sorry God will give us His grace and forgiveness.
Some miss read this and say “If God’s response to increased sin is to pour out super-abundant grace, then maybe we should sin all the more so that God can be all the more gracious!”
Paul noted this where he acknowledged that some were accusing him of saying, “Let us do evil that good may come.” His response was, is, “May it never be!”
Then Paul goes on to talk about believers being united with Christ in His death and resurrection.
We must understand that when we are baptised, we are united with Jesus, united with him in His death and resurrection and this is the foundation for separation from sin and walking in newness of life.
Look at Verse 1 it is a test of whether we have understood Paul’s message so far. Now Paul knows what his readers are thinking and may be what you are thinking “If God’s response to increased sin is abundant grace,
then why not sin more?” or you may be thinking “If God is gracious towards sinners, then I’ll just sin and ask for His grace.” Or, as Douglas Moo put it “I like committing crimes. God likes forgiving them. Really the world is admirably arranged.”
But what is God’s grace! God’s grace is His undeserved favour love.
But note that Paul doesn’t modify his teaching that God justifies the ungodly apart from their works,
note that people who do good works are not necessarily followers of Jesus not Christians, this will show up in other aspects of their lives.
In Ephesians 4 29 Paul said Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, (we back to last week and gossip) but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
In Jesus we died to sin, so we cannot still live in it. Verse 2 says By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
The answer “There is no way that those who died to sin with Jesus can still live in it!” It should be obvious. If we follow Jesus, we are dead to sin, it hurts us to sin and grave our Heavenly Father.
But this raises a lot of questions. If Christians are dead to sin, then why do they sin? Can we achieve sinless perfection in this life? So, what does Paul mean when he says that we “died to sin”?
There are a lot of commentaries on this. This is what I think it does not mean, and then what I think it does mean.
Paul does not mean that believers cannot sin or that they are immune to temptation. Some say Christians are dead to sin. It can’t tempt them.
But, apart from the obvious fact that there are no such Christians in existence and there never have been, and never will be, such a view makes all of the moral commands in the Bible to be unnecessary. Why command me not to lust if I can’t lust because I’m dead to it?
Why command me not to steal if I’m dead to greed? Besides, there are many examples in the Bible of otherwise godly men falling into serious sin. Noah got drunk. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all lied. David committed adultery and murder after he wrote many of the Psalms.
Peter denied Jesus and later acted in hypocrisy toward the Gentile believers in Antioch. And in Romans 7 14-25, Paul shares his own struggles with sin. So, he does not mean that believers cannot sin or that they are immune to temptation.
What does Paul mean? We are identified either with Jesus or not with Him. There are just two categories: By virtue of our physical birth, we all enter this world not in Jesus but in the world as sinners. When we trust in Christ, we are transferred from the world order to Jesus leadership.
And just as Adam’s one sin condemned all of us, so Jesus one act of obedience on the cross justified all who receive His free gift of eternal life.
So, Paul means that if you are in Christ, when He died on the cross, we died in Him. It is not something that we feel, but rather a fact that is true because God declares it to be true. If Christ our Head died, we who are His body died with Him. This is our new position before God. Since Christ died to sin (6:10) and we are now in Him, we died to sin. We get the benefits of His death because we are now in Him.
In the Bible, death is separation. At physical death our soul is separated from our body. When we died with Christ, we were separated from the reign of death and put under Christ’s reign of righteousness. As a result, Paul implies that we cannot continue in sin or live in it. He is not talking about committing acts of sin, but rather about living in sin as a way of life.
So the second part of our reading
Verse 15 - 18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!
16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Paul is saying you now follow Jesus you offered yourself to him,
many of us may have been christened as baby’s, so as baby’s we cant offer ourselves to Jesus our parent’s did it for us, but we can be re-baptised as I and my family were or we can be confirmed in our faith which is the same thing it is us saying yes I want to follow Jesus.
I was talking to a couple of people this week and both remarked how swearing is so much worse today than it ever was a simple thing, but it shows the power that the world has on people. When I was young no one swear in front of a women, or child now that is not the case on debate.org
the question was asked is swearing bad 42% said yes 58% said no one blogger said — Swear words are not only considered rude, but the words themselves mean very rude things as well. They are used frequently despite their vulgar meanings and can be considered offensive. The argument that even though society may tell you that they are bad, it doesn’t matter because you can be whomever you want, is flawed.
Society tells you that murder is bad, so it would be unacceptable to murder and then claim that it is alright because you are being yourself.
And most of all it is bad because the bible says so in Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths. Are we following the world or Jesus, if Jesus we are set free from conforming to what the world wants us to do, set free from following the crowd?
And in verse 19 we read Paul says - I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness,
so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
Have you noticed how some people shine with the light of Jesus and others do not even in church, you can look at certain people and you know that they are not right, people who only want their own way and don’t care about others.
If that is you turn away and walk with Jesus and have His peace and have His Joy, turn to following Jesus, Paul said in Ephesians 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour,
for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 …
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit .., with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.
And if you do this the world may see you as weak but in fact you will be stronger than the world.
Through Jesus God has forgiven us and given us His grace, are we willing to accept that and repent of our sin and turn to Christ.
In verse 20 and 21 of our reading it says When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
What good did it do you, evil is a downward spiral, have you ever noticed, no lasting good ever comes to those who do evil, and if we chose that way then it will result in separation from God and that cant be good, in this life or the next.
In verse 22 and 23 of our reading it says But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness,
and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Last week we started with but and this week we are ending with But – But there is a way out, now you have a way out you can be set free, it is a free choose, a person in a church I was in went on an Alpha course and draw closer to God but then something happened and that person moved away from God, when they were close to God people would say what has happened to so and so they have changed,
so much happier so much nicer, and after they said so and so back to normal. We have a choose to accept the free gift of Gods Grace or not, to live a life that has peace and Joy or one that has hate and bitterness and to live with Jesus now and forever or to be separated from Him now and for every.
So in conclusion. Do not presume on God’s grace as permission to sin. Many so called Christians think, “I can go ahead and sin and just get forgiven. After all, I’m under grace.”
That is stupid because it ignores that sin does not move in to help you achieve your objectives. It moves in to reign and its reign is one of death. God’s grace does not mean that He is tolerant of your sin. Grace does not excuse us. God is committed to our holiness, and if we play with sin, it will not go well!
If you have given your life to Jesus, make a break with your past life and declare it publicly in baptism or conformation. Becoming a Christian means burning all your bridges to your past life of sin. If you do drugs or porn stop,
if you drink to excess stop if you use bad langue stop, stop being bitter get rid of rage and anger, stop slandering others. Trust me I know; the rewards are beyond belief in this life let alone the next.
If you are now in Christ. Think about it and act. The power of the world is broken. You can walk in newness of life.
In Christ we die to sin. We who have accepted Jesus longer have to live under its power. We don’t have to obey it.
We have been raised up in Christ so that we can now walk in newness of life with Jesus who wants to be with us always.