Thesis: Slavery to God leads to righteousness and eternal life.
1. One of the most striking things to foreigners visiting our country is the incredible number of choices we have as consumers. The rest of the world simply doesn't have them. And choices are multiplying. For example ...
a. In 1975 the typical supermarket had 9,000 products; today 30,000 +!
1) Produce section (1975--65; 1992--285).
2) Kiwi (once unheard of) has hit the top 20.
b. The average household in 1975 got 6 TV stations; today more than 30.
c. In 1980 there were 564 mutual funds; today nearly 3,500.
d. A new religious denomination forms every week! [1980s brought]:
1) Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
2) Sernjase Silver Star Center (follows the Twelve Bids from Patule that were given by extraterrestrial space bros. to Edmond "Billy" Meier).
2. Never in the history of mankind has any group of people had the choices we as Americans are privileged to have.
a. In fact, that's how some would define freedom--as choice!
1) Choose whether or not to complete a pregnancy.
2) Choose what substances I take into my body/mind.
3) Choose who, how many, or what gender my sexual partners are.
b. Some view Christianity as restrictive--something that suppresses freedom!
c. Does choice equal freedom? Answer to this is found in Rom. 6.
I. ONE VIEW OF FREEDOM (6:1-2).
A. A twisted view of freedom: the Gospel gives us freedom to sin (There really is "Grace greater than all my sin!)
1. Paul does not deny the limitlessness of God's grace.
2. Paul denies that sin is freedom.
B. Paul says there's a problem with this view of sin:
1. We died in Christ (vv. 3-10).
a. A "funeral" has taken place--you were the guest of honor!
b. Illust. Christians have two-part biographies. Vol. 1: The Old Man in Sin; Vol. 2: The New Man in Christ. Vol. 1 ended with a death and burial. Vol. 2 begins with a resurrection.
2. Sin never gives what it promises--why not be done with it?
a. Illust. Several years ago the Associated Press reported that a man had robbed a convenience store. Gave the clerk a $10.00 bill to get her to open the cash register. It worked. She opened it and he forced her to give him the contents of the drawer. He got everything--a grand total of $4.34--and left the $10.00! Lost $5.66 on the deal.
b. Illust. I remember seeing a movie once where a group of men were shipwrecked and had to spend many days on a liferaft in the middle of the ocean. It was hot and their fresh water ran out. Men became thirsty beyond all reason. One night, while the others were asleep, one of the men ignored the warnings and started drinking seawater. He quickly dies. A good drink of seawater contains 7 times more salt than the body can safely take in. Ironically a person dehydrates because the kidneys demand more water to flush salt out. The more you drink the thirstier you get!
c. That's the way sin is--never gives what it promises!
C. Those who are "in Christ" are to "count/reckon themselves dead to sin but alive to God" (vv. 11-14).
1. The word "count" or "reckon" has to do with your head ... brain.