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Summary: It’s A War! Christians should not take sin lightly, but need to focus on developing their relationship to God as the best way to win the battles. Paul offers several arguments to convince us of this. There are other motivations besides merit and fea

Please note: this is part two; part one is simply called, "Attending Your Own Funeral." In part two, I summarized material I covered in part one and added some new material.

Attending Your Own Funeral Conclusion

(Romans 6:1-23 concluded)

1. The War in Iraq keeps dragging on.

2. We hear both good news and bad news, but all of us have concluded the following: it has not been easy.

3. War has never been easy; that is why we are careful about engaging in it.

4. But there is one war the believer in Jesus Christ cannot avoid: the war against sin.

5. There is no volunteerism in this war ¡V if you know Christ, you have been drafted.

6. If you dodge the draft, you lose the war. In this war, pacifism means defeat. In this war, espionage is common place. We betray our Lord and our own selves.

7. It is a grueling war.

8. One of the longest wars in European history was the 30 years war. Guess how long it lasted?

9. But we are in a war that begins at the point of conversion and only ends at death.

10. There is no retirement, no desk job, no decorations in this life, no discounts, no GI bills, no recognition of heroes.

11. This is Memorial Day. We honor those brave men and women who gave their life¡¦s blood for our nation. In a broader sense, we honor our servicemen and women who offered themselves to be placed or potentially placed in harm¡¦s way for us. And so we should. We have finally constructed and dedicated a World War II Memorial, long overdo. These are completely appropriate.

12.But few people, in this life, will celebrate our victories over sin.

13. So should we ignore this war because it doesn¡¦t get much press? Should we lay down our weapons because there is no holiday?

14. No. There is a holiday ¡V an eternity in heaven with special rewards for believers who battle courageously against the enemy. Our press will be an eternal, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

15. In Romans 6, Paul has been addressing this very issue: the Christian’s relationship with sin, a relationship we find to be too strong a bond and too frequent an alliance.

Main Idea: It’s A War! Christians should not take sin lightly, but need to focus on developing their relationship to God as the best way to win the battles.

Paul offers several arguments to convince us of this.

There are other motivations besides merit and fear (Law); Grace motivates us out of love, appreciation, and relationship. Last week I only addressed the first argument and part of the second. Today, by God¡¦s grace, I¡¦ll continue. But first let me review

I. The Argument of Our Confession of Faith at Baptism (1-5)

1. The question of verse 1 is raised in response to 5:20

In our text, we need to remember that baptism is faith in action for people to see. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7; Romans 10:10, "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified."

Baptism is the final phase of conversion and is used as a figure for the entire conversion process: regeneration, repentance, faith, and finally public confession by baptism. Salvation occurs earlier, during the simultaneous event of regeneration (which logically occurs first), then repentance/faith (the result of regeneration -- see Eph. 2:1-10 for this sequence).

2. But our baptism pictures POSITIONAL truth, what has legally happened?

„h the main concept of baptism is public identification

„h baptism by immersion pictures this completely

„h We identify with His death, burial, & resurrection

„h The result: legally, we "died to sin"

3. Paul claims that somehow the Christian has died to sin. It means that we are viewed as perfect with Christ, seated in heaven: this is our standing;the problem is that our actual state does not always match our standing.

The Christian life is a battleground, not a playground.

Since we have chosen to associate with Christ and we died and rose with Christ, it makes sense to live the resurrected life now with Christ.

4. We are God’s scouts, citizens of His kingdom trying to enlist recruits and trying to stand for His values and purposes in a society infected by sin. But if we are like everyone else, how can we make a difference? Whose side are we really on? Our baptism is our public proclamation that we are on God’s side.

It’s A War! Christians should not take sin lightly, but need to focus on developing their relationship to God as the best way to win the battles.

5. We wonder why the church does not have a better testimony in this nation, and the best answer is "because many of us do not live out our faith."

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