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Summary: Too many Christians settle for being forgiven and fail to recognize that dead sinners do not disobey God. We can live in obedience because we are alive to God and dead to sin.

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My purpose is to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to surrender their lives to Jesus and to live in obedience to him.

Response Goal: Individuals prompted by the Holy Spirit will surrender their lives to God in prayer – at the altar rail if they want to prayer there.

REPENTANCE POINT {paradigm shifts or changes in our thinking}: Too many Christians settle for being forgiven and fail to recognize that dead sinners do not disobey God. We can live in obedience because we are alive to God and dead to sin.

PATTERN: TEXTUAL – EXPOSITORY

Visual/Sensory Illustration(s)

A new pencil and a new pocket calendar

This is a PDA and a Stylus

IDEAS for Bible Readings, Prayers or Songs

Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

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Introduction:

Did you hear about the old-time farmer who wanted to save money? He decided to teach his mule to eat less food. He cut the poor animal’s oat ration in half for a week. The faithful mule did the same amount of work as it had always done, do the farmer cut its oats in half again. The mule kept on working hard. The farmer was elated and after a few more weeks decided to see if the mule could work on no food at all. Two days later, he found the mule dead in the barn. The farmer whined, “Just when I got him down to working for nothing, he up and died on me. Now who will pull my plow?”

It’s true. Dead mules don’t work. No matter what the farmer may have tried, that dead animal would never pull a plow again. The Bible says people who follow Jesus are like that mule. Look up Romans 6:1-14 so we can read it together. (Page 1116 in the Blue Bibles in the bookracks)

Context:

Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget that many of the books in the Bible, like this one called “Romans,” are actually letters. A committed monk in a medieval monastery added the chapter and verse numbers to simplify Bible study for us. This morning we are jumping into a letter shortly before the middle. Let me quickly review the message of the first part of this letter to the Romans.

This letter is from the apostle Paul to Jesus’ followers in Rome. He was coming to their city and wanted to introduce himself to them. He points out that all human beings have sinned and the result is a deadly separation from God. Paul also notes that no one can do enough good to make things right with God – not Gentiles living by the sense of right and wrong we’re all born with, not even the Jews living by the Law of Moses. Our only hope is God’s grace and mercy. God promises to forgive our sins because Jesus died for us. If we believe his promise, we are justified or made right with God by faith.

Paul goes on later to say God has an absolute right to show mercy on whatever terms he pleases, and to withhold it from those who will not accept it on his terms.

In the verses right before the ones we will read together today, Paul says there is no sin too big for God to forgive. “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more….” God’s sovereign choice to forgive our sins can stretch and expand forever. It has no breaking point. That thought brings us to Romans 6:1-14.


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