Dying For The Right Reason
We celebrate, tomorrow, those who have given their lives for their country. Tomorrow is the day we call Memorial Day. Memorial Day was originally established so that those who died in the Civil War could be recognized. A special day was set aside to honor those who gave their life in the fight to keep our nation from remaining divided. And then, as time went on and our nation was involved in other conflicts the day was expanded to honor those who had given their lives in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Conflict, every conflict and war that America has been in. We recognize those who have given their lives for the freedom that our country enjoys. It helps us to focus and to recognize that we all are going to die.
Sometimes we know that people die for the right reasons. We celebrate the heroes of the great wars who have given their lives that they might save their buddies, save their soldier comrades on the battlefield. Sometimes we question the necessity of death. Just this past week in New York, those working in a fast food restaurant, their lives were required of them because of greed, envy, jealousy, sin in the life of someone else. And we wonder why should a person have to die for that.
And this morning I want us to look into God’s Word and I want us to see that Paul the Apostle tells us that there is another reason that we should die, and it is a death that we should accept willingly.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God," (Romans 6:1-10).
As we look at this passage of Scripture, let me give you a little background of what Paul has been writing up to this point. You recognize that his letter is to the Christians that are in Rome. A lot of times we fail to understand that Paul’s writings were to believers. Paul’s writings were to explain the great truths of God and to explain the great truths of His glory and His mercy to believers. That would lead me to think maybe something has happened that we don’t fully understand. God has done such a great work in our life that we cannot begin to fathom the works that He has done for us. So Paul goes to great lengths to ensure that believers understand...