Summary: The one thing that keeps most Christians out of Christian service is a sense of unworthiness--a guilty conscience.
DEAD & ALIVE
The one thing that keeps more Christians out of Christian service is:
. Not a lack of time…
. Not a callous heart… but,
A guilty conscious!
That’s right: A sense of unworthiness.
We simply have a dirty conscience.
I’m talking about real… born from above… spiritually alive believers… people like you and me!
There are those who religiously come to church, because it is the thing to do.
They are the real zombies…
The walking dead.
They are trusting their religion… and
They have never yielded, by faith, to Jesus as their Christ.
They are dead … and don’t know it.
They sin and don’t care…
And come to church anyway… because it gives them at least a veneer of righteousness.
I’m not talking about them.
They are in need of Jesus as their Christ.
But, I’m talking about…
. People who have accepted Jesus as their personal savior…
. People who are real disciples …
. People who are bothered by their sin.
. People who realize that their sin nature is still a problem.
How do we shake this…
This feeling of guilt?
This feeling that everybody knows how sinful I am?
How do we explain it to ourselves… to others?
This is the guilt that keeps our mouths shut!
This is the main constraint that keeps us from sharing Christ!
Just HOW do we overcome it… so that we can openly … and effectively… share Christ?
That’s why we are in Chapter 6 of Romans today.
Paul has just completed a convincing explanation of eternal security.
He has established the fact that once God accepts us through our faith in His son… there is nothing that can undo what God has done.
It is by Grace that we are saved… through faith.
It is impossible for us to out sin God’s love.
But, Paul realizes that even though we are saved through all of eternity… we are still burdened with a carnal mind.
And ‘stupid us’ might think that… if we are saved by Grace… then the more we sin… the more it illustrates this great gift of God.
That is… the more we sin… the more of His Grace he has to pour out.
This is where chapter 6 takes over… and Paul offers us:
. A better way…
. An accepted way…
For the believer to deal with our sin… and
still be an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
6:1 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
2 "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Here’s the crux of our problem.
Once we accepted Jesus as our Christ… we DIED to sin!
Sin as an acceptable lifestyle belongs to our OLD nature… not the new one.
Remember! None of the old went into the making of the new.
Old things are passed away… all things become new.
3 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?"
When we trusted Jesus as our Christ… the Holy Spirit immersed us into the Body of Christ.
This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit… and it occurs the moment we trust Jesus as our Christ.
It is not a mark of passage to a higher plane.
It is not a mark of maturity.
It’s the mark of salvation… and the guarantee of sanctification…of being ‘set aside’ in Jesus Christ.
4 "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."
Our choice, to trust Jesus as our Christ, gives us the Spiritual birth.
With the Spiritual birth comes the Spiritual baptism… the identification with Jesus… in his physical death …and in his resurrection.
And this gives us:
. A new set of priorities …
. A new set of standards to live by…
. A new set of goals in life … and
. All of the resources of the Godhead to reach those goals.
5 "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"
6 "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. (not serve sin,why?)"
7 "For he that is dead is freed from sin."
Here’s the verse to be memorized.
In Christ… we are dead to the old nature that was a slave to sin.
Now… In Christ… we are FREE from the eternal condemnation of sin… its grip… and its penalties.