Summary: PENTECOST 7 - The apostle Paul teaches about life an death matters. Believers are to be dead to sin but alive to God.
LIFE AND DEATH MATTERS (Outline)
July 31, 2011 -
Pentecost 7 -
INTRO: Each of us has life changing events in our lives that we remember. Some events are happy and others not so pleasant. Joyful life changing events include: graduations, weddings, births, etc. As believers each of us also has soul changing events that happen to us by the grace of God. Our souls are changed every time we hear God’s word, read God’s word, and study God’s word. Today we want to remember these vital, valuable soul changing events that God graciously provides. The apostle Paul was a man of wealth and honor. God changed his dark, earthly life with a soul changing call into God’s divine light. "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…." (PHILIPPIANS 3:8). Believing in Christ as Savior makes everything else pale in comparison. LIFE AND DEATH MATTERS. I. Believers are dead to sin. II. Believers are alive to God.
I. LIFE AND DEATH MATTERS TO THE BELIEVERS WHO ARE DEAD TO SIN.
A. Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 6 ask whether believers should sin more that God’s grace would increase.
1. God’s answer is a resounding, “No!” Why not? Verse 3: Believers are connected to God.
2. At their baptism these believers were united with Christ Jesus into his death.
B. Verse 4a. The old, sinful nature would now be buried by virtue of saving baptism.
1. Verse 5a. One did not often connect baptism, a new birth in Christ, with death.
2. These believers needed to hear time and again the power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
C. Verse 6a. These believers once lived lives of pagan immorality. Their sinful man needed to die.
1. Verse 6b. These new believers would no longer have to serve sin, Satan, or their own flesh.
2. Verse 7. Being dead to sin provides freedom from serving sin and the guilt of sinfulness.
D. We are faced with many temptations in this life. Satan knows where we live. Satan wants us to spend the rest of eternity in his domain: hell. The world offers many things that all too often seem to be the most important things that we need. Our sinful flesh rebels against God from the moment of our conception. It does us well to remember God’s definition of sin. "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin"(1 JOHN 3:4, 5). Anything that anyone does that breaks the law is sin. Transgression, trespass, and iniquity are different, Biblical words for the word sin. As believers we still break God’s laws with our sins. We sin daily and we sin much in thought and word and deed. We commit sinful acts in our lives.
E. The Scriptures also speak to us as believers about the good that we do not do. "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (JAMES 4:17). When we do not show the love to others that God wants us to show, this is also sin. We omit the good we ought to do. This happens in our lives when we do not love our neighbor. Our neighbor includes all people. God’s standard for believers is much higher than for this unbelieving world. Jesus reminds us to love our enemies. After all even the pagans love their families and friends. As believers we are to go beyond that as we show love for and pray for our enemies. This is not easy to do. We may quite often omit praying for or loving our enemies.
F. How can we or will we be able to count ourselves dead to sin? We cannot nor will we ever be able to do this on our own. On our own we are lost and condemned creatures, wretched sinners. We have the power, the strength, and the ability to be dead to sin only by the power and strength that is ours by faith. In our weakness we look to Christ who is our strength. In our sinfulness we look to Christ who is our sin-less sacrifice. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed" (1 PETER 2:24). Consider Christ wounds whenever tempted by sin. His wounds were: crown of thorns, nails in the hands and feet, and finally an agonizing and torturous death. All this, all of this, Christ did for us. Now we will live lives dead to sin.