Summary: What to do about sin?
"Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ"
Romans 6:1-4, 8-14, 20-23
When I gave my life over to Jesus Christ, deciding to die to self and live for God, I was convinced that I would never sin again.
And I didn't...for a few hours or days that is.
Our passage for this morning can be kind of troubling for some.
It can almost give off the impression that Christians don't sin, and if Christians don't sin: wow!!!
I guess I'm not a Christian!!!
But that is not what Paul is getting at in our passage for this morning.
If we were to go back a few verses to Romans Chapter 5 Paul is describing how the Law is in place in order to show us that we are, indeed, sinners.
It's there to show us that we can't save ourselves, we must rely completely on Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, "because while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
And the more we study the Law of God, the more we realize how far we fall short.
Paul explains that through the disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden, sin and death entered the world.
But then he goes on to say that through the obedience of One Person--Jesus Christ--LIFE and GRACE--has entered the world.
"So now the righteous requirements necessary for life are met for everyone through the righteous act of [Jesus Christ]," Paul explains in Romans 5:18.
Then he goes on to say that the Old Testament Law "stepped in to amplify" just how sinful and lost we are, and then he writes: "but where sin increased, grace multiplied even more."
In other words, the more we see just how sinful and fallen we are--the more we understand just how much God's grace has saved us through God's love for us!!!!!!
Remember last week?
"While you were at your darkest, I loved you."
That's what God says to us.
That's how much God loves us!!!
Long before we even thought of God--God loved us and died for us!!!
God loves us even in our darkest most sordid moments.
And because God loves us--even at our worst, we can love ourselves; we can love God; we can love others!!!
And, and...we are transformed by accepting this love, believing in this love--Big Time!!!!
If someone knows they are loved, they act, feel and are a lot different than if they believe that they are condemned, hated, worthless, you name it.
But no one is worthless.
No matter who we are and no matter what we have done--God loves us just the way we are!!!
That is what Paul is explaining.
But it's easy to misunderstand this.
So Paul says in Romans 6:1, "So what are we going to say?
Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply?
My aunt told me a story about how, on an airplane ride she sat next to a Christian man.
They got along very well, and talked about God and faith the entire flight.
As the plane descended toward their destination, the man turned to my aunt and asked her if she would like to get a hotel room when they land.
My aunt was floored.
"After all this talk about Christianity and Jesus?"
The man's reply, "We are saved by grace. That means we can do anything we want."
He was kinda missing the point a bit.
And we all do that at times.
Paul writes: "all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death...Therefore, we were buried together with him through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life."
We "CAN walk in newness of life."
Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we, who are dead in our sins can be raised to new life in Christ.
Sin is a glorified lie of the devil.
It may look good and right.
It may smell appealing.
It may seem to make sense.
But all it does is leave us unfulfilled and unhappy.
Sin leaves us dead inside.
And so we continue on the never-ending trek in search of something that will make us happy.
Have you ever bought a new car, thinking, "Oh boy. Now that I have this new car, every time I get behind the wheel and take it for a drive--my life will be better"?
That wears off pretty quick, does it not?
It's the same thing with sin.
We might think it will fill the void, but it's just empty calories.
Jesus came to give us life and give it to us in the full!!!
Jesus came so that we can live the lives we were created to live.