Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 6 – Part 1

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This Sunday we are continuing in Romans.
Because it is also Mother’s Day and we will be honoring those who have given us life by highlighting the new life we have in Christ Jesus. Today, we will begin chapter 6 where the Apostle Paul, sheds light on what it means to be dead to sin, but alive in Christ.

Paul Just has introduced the parallel between Adam and Christ as the second Adam. In this we have seen the compare and contrast between Adam and Jesus Christ. Adam’s disobedience/sin that brought death and condemnation. Verses Christ whose obedience to God’s will that brought justification and life eternal.

Today my prayer is that by hearing the preached word of God, together we will be empowered to examine our spiritual condition and be challenged to moved closer to Christ.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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. 5 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.

Romans 6:1-5

Leave Your Sinful Past Behind

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6:1-2

Paul is using his standard of asking a predicted question and then answering it himself. His clarity in the answer leave no question to his intention. By no means! The apostle clearly intends to say that those who are given over to Christ should indeed, be different than before. There is an expectation of an outward modification of behavior. In dealing with the woman caught in adultery…

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:10-11

 We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6:2

We have died to sin. This is a step by step process. Each step requires choices and action. Dying to sin or choosing to be rid of it. Requires a decision to repent turn 180 degrees away from sin, while turning to God.
Placing our faith in God’s word and moving through that faith into a new reality. Let’s look at that for a moment.

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. 

Romans 6:4

Friends that new reality is life in Christ Jesus.
Do you out there today believe that you can die to sin and live in Christ.

Church, Paul uses the analogy of baptism to demonstrate that by way of our entering into that relationship with God, we gain the ability to move out from under the dominion of sin and into the kingdom of God.
This is a perfect example of why some of us struggle in our faith. We love the idea of God, but we won’t let go of the thing that is so familiar. We want to be free from sin and darkness, but we refuse to let go of the dysfunction of your past. We receive our new identity in Christ, but we keep using our old ID card. We will hold on to the silliest things… I hear it all the time, Pastor I have anger issues; It’s because I have red hair. I’m naturally predisposed to being angry, there’s nothing I can do about it.

Many of us are like the man in the river, he desperately wants to get across.
He’s watching the tide and the current, calculating the optimum time to make the swim. But he’s holding on the bank for dear life. After hours of agonizing over how and when to start his swim across. He realizes that he will never be able to reach out for the other side until he lets go of what is holding him back.
Today someone watching is holding onto old patterns of sin and discouragement. You hold on to this negativity because many times it seems that it was all you had. And some of you hate that place you are stuck in but you won’t leave it behind, because in some way it seems like an old friend. Leaving your sinful past behind requires a belief that God has something better for you. It requires putting that faith into action.

Your Future Lives In Christ

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. 5 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.

Romans 6:4-5

When we were condemned by our own sin, we sat helpless awaiting God’s wrath to be poured out on us. Yet in God’s mercy and grace Christ died so that we might live. Friends, do you know good news when hear it?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:11-12

Church, our future is alive in Christ Jesus. Let’s remember for a moment, The Israelite slaves in Egypt. For 400 years they were slaves in a foreign land. Their enslavement for us is a symbol of the hopelessness of life apart from God. In their rescue they were required to first believe. Then as God continued to give direction, they were required to put their faith into action by leaving their old life and old thought processes behind and begin reaching by faith to a new life in the presence of God. Remember they spent 40 years in the desert working through the slave mentality. They had to work through the victim mentality. Cultural shortcomings that were ingrained in the minds of the people.
For us today, we have the advantage of the Holy Spirit living in us helping us and advocating for righteousness in our hearts. God has not called us just to be good. He has not called us to modify our behavior. He has called us to lean into him and be transformed as a result of our relationship with him. We are changed from the in-side-out by virtue of our proximity to Him. We are by faith leaving our sinful pasts behind and choosing to participate in the new life we have in Jesus Christ. Let me ask you this. Will you choose new life in Jesus Christ? Or will you be stuck in unbelief?

Your Reward Is Eternal

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.

Romans 6:5

Let’s think this through for a moment… We know that if the Lord tarries, our bodies will one day die. Verse 5 again states that we will be united with Christ in a resurrection like his. As He was exulted to the right hand of the father so will we be seated next to Him. Our reward is eternal. Our inheritance is eternity in the presence of God. 

Can you imagine living your life rejecting the existence of God and going to the grave so certain that God could not possibly exist only to find out that God Is true and Christ is his Son and the Judge of all humanity.

We spend so much time plotting and planning for life in this world, however we neglect our preparation for eternity.

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19:9

Revelation 21 Teaches us that only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into the New Jerusalem. The very place where Christ will reside. We will see the very face of God.

Here is why this is so important for us to get today. Our opportunity in Christ is like a double-sided coin, it’s a win-win situation for us. Accepting Christ on one side empowers us to overcome sin and darkness of this world with the love and care of God. We are freed from guilt and shame of our past and made righteous in the blood of Jesus.
I’m not afraid to tell you today that being free in Jesus is a great thing.
And on the other side of that coin our hope is that in Christ Jesus we will escape the decay of death and the everlasting separation from God that I can only assume is the pinnacle of eternal torment.
Let me ask you this . Friends, will your life be a story of victory in Jesus Christ?

As I see it, today each of us is presented with an opportunity.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

The questions you should ask yourself is why wouldn’t I want to be forgiven?
Why wouldn’t I want to experience the unconditional love of God?
Why wouldn’t I want to leave my sinful past behind?
Why wouldn’t I want to live in Christ?

God’s desire is that none should parish, but he will respect your decision to do just that if you so choose.
Remember the words of the Lord to Jeremiah

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:11-12

Will you open your hearts today and receive what God has for you?
Will you call on him today?
Will you ask Him to Help your unbelief today?
Many of you need a fresh touch from God today.
Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today?
God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?
He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today
You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today.
He wants to bring healing in this area today.
There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today.
Will you say yes to Jesus, today?
Will you bow your heads with me?

Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today.
If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here.
Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.
If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here.
Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 ““The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26