Summary: If the sinful nature has been crucified with Christ, why is it still so active?
March 11, 1974: Japanese Lt. Hiroo Onoda, a World War II holdout for nearly 30 years, emerged from the Philippine jungles yesterday (this was 21 years ago yesterday). He told Japanese newsmen he had not come out before be cause "I had not received the order." Onoda, who turned 52 yesterday, met with searchers briefly and then returned to his hideout to retrieve his Samurai sword. In a formal act of surrender, he presented the sword to Maj. Gen. Jose Rancudo, commander of the Philippine air force. Officials said they expected Onoda to be flown today to Manila. "I am sorry I have disturbed you for so long a time," he told his elder brother, Toshiro, 62, who was part of the search party. A Philippine news agency said Toshiro placed his hands on his long-lost brother’s shoulders and told him, "You did well." In Tokyo, Onoda’s parents, in their 80’s, burst into tears when they learned their son had been found. Onoda’s last order was to keep up guerrilla warfare . . . and word had never reached him that the war was over.
Imagine fighting a war for 30 years without knowing that it was over!
Crazy insn’t it … but there are many Christians who are still fighting this battle against the sinful nature, without realising that Jesus has already won the battle … and it is finished.
Read Romans 6:1-14
The sinful nature is dead!
Gala 5:24 (niv) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Colo 2:20 (niv) Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:
Colo 3:3 (niv) For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Gala 2:20 (niv) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
But Christians still sin …
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to commemorate the death of a friend who … WILL YOU LIE DOWN! … sorry about that.
There are some problems … and this is the issue that Paul addressed when writing to the Romans. There were some crucial issues that they needed to know about their death.
1) We must know the facts about our death to sin
a) It is connected to the death and burial of Christ (3,4)
i) Sin came as a result of Adam … because Adam sinned, we are sinners. We have a sinful nature
ii) Our death to sin is connected to the death, burial and ressurection of Jesus … therefore because Jesus rose to life, we can have life
iii) This is why baptism is so important, it is a visual sermon of a person dying, being buried and rising up to a new life.
iv) NB that Paul mentions death and burial … emphasizing the point. You’re dead … don’t bury someone who isn’t dead!
b) Death is followed by life
i) Some people want the life without first dying.
ii) We don’t identify only with Jesus’ resurrection, we identify first with his death
c) Our death to sin frees us from the slavery to sin (6,7)
i) When a slave died he was no longer a slave
ii) 2 Cor 5:17 “when anyone becomes a Christian, he is a brand new creature, the old has gone, the new has come.
The “old man is dead” and there is a new man.
iii) Before becoming a Christian, you were a slave to sin BUT that old man was dead. The new man, being human, still has a sinful nature, BUT IS NO LONGER A SLAVE TO SIN
iv) The power of sin has been broken. You can now choose not to sin.
v) The old body of sin is dead … dead men don’t sin!
2) We must count these facts as true (act on it)
“count” means ‘cement it in your minds and get ready to act on it’
a) Consider yourself dead to sin
i) You know you’re dead, now act like it.
ii) Missionary: "If you go to that God-forsaken place you will die!" The man of God replied, "I died before I left London."
iii) Dead battery … pushed the car; jumpstarted the car … Imagine if I bought a new battery, and kept the old one. … because it was a favourite … Why do we try to hold onto things from the old life?!! We keep going back to the places we used to go to. We still do the things we used to do. Get rid of the old battery! IT’S DEAD