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Summary: Christians should not take sin lightly, but need to focus on developing their relationship to God instead. Paul offers several arguments to convince us of this. There are other motivations besides merit and fear (Law); Grace motivates us out of love, app

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Attending Your Own Funeral, Part One

Note: When I preached this sermon, I found out I really had two sermons (time wise); so I preached part two (labelled, "Attending Your Own Funeral Conclusion" in which I summarize my first point and then half of the second point (which is far as I got), and then hit the third. In the process I added some new material.

1. Last Sunday was Mother¡¦s Day. After church, Luke went home, and, as he was unlocking the door, the lock fell apart.

2. So I hurried home to cook the ribs, and we ate well. We relaxed, took some naps, and did a few things around the house¡Kthen I remembered the lock¡K

3. Menard¡¦s¡Kthen more keys¡K.Lowes..7:01, Meanard¡¦s closed¡KWalmart¡K7:31...Monday, Marylu stopped on the way, no one in the key dept. then; Tuesday, Lowe¡¦s; none worked; no time to go back¡K.hardware¡K1 out of three¡K

4. Finally on Wednesday I went back to the hardware store with old keys and their top expert made me some new ones¡K

5. Some things just do not have play. You have to get it right or it doesn¡¦t work.

6. So it is with the Christian life. There are a lot of things to get wrong: salvation, sanctification (growing in spiritual depth and character), participation in the body¡K

Main Idea: Christians should not take sin lightly, but need to focus on developing their relationship to God instead.

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.

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

(1) I said it last week and I¡¦ll repeat it: if you present salvation as Paul presents it, this question will be raised¡K.

(2)The problem with the question is that it presumes that the only motivation for living for God and combating sin that is effective is fear of losing salvation

(3)In a future sermon, we are going to see that this was one of the main motivators under the Law¡K.but we are not under Law, but under grace¡K

„h As we look at this text, many people tear it out of the context of Romans and teach that people are saved by baptism¡K.

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¡K¡¨

3.Faith saves a person, but, in the early church, a person was recognized as having saving faith by his willingness to follow Christ in baptism. Baptism is not the point of regeneration; it is, instead, the formalization of conversion. Baptism is often used as a figure to include everything that led up to the point of immersion: regeneration, repentance, and faith.¡¨ EJV

„h John Stott writes, ¡§To be sure, the New Testament speaks of baptism in terms of our washing away our sins¡K but these are examples of dynamic language which attributes to the visible sign the blessing of the reality signified. It is inconceivable that the apostle Paul, having spent three chapters arguing that justification is by faith alone, should now ¡K contradict himself, and declare after all that salvation is by baptism. No, we must give the apostle credit for consistency of thought. ¡¥The baptized¡¦s faith is, of course, taken for granted¡Knot forgotten or denied¡K¡¦¡¨


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