Summary: If we are forgiven, why do we need to behave?
Romans 6:1-14 February 15, 2009
Last week we looked at how Jesus’ death pays for our sin, and how his resurrection life draws us into the loving presence of the Father.
At the end of Chapter 5, just in case there are people in Rome that think that there is a possibility that God’s grace would run out, he explains that it doesn’t. You might have that question – you might wonder if you haven’t been too bad – so bad that God doesn’t have enough grace to forgive you. The answer is that God’s grace can never run out. The way that Paul puts it is that if sin increases, then grace increases all the more!
That’s going to make some of you go “whew, that’s good news!” but Paul imagines that there might be others who say “Hey if grace increases when sin increases, and grace is a good thing… we want grace to increase, so we should sin more!”
You might not think exactly this way, but you might say that “if we are saved by believing rather than behaving… then it doesn’t matter how we behave & we can do as we like!”
Fallacy in thinking – sin is good.
Advertisement us words like sinful and decadent to sell products!
Ask the question of how much we can get away with before God brings down the boom – like asking how much poison we can take before we die
Sin is separation – Paul Tillich
Adam and eve
Separation from God
Separation from one another
16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."
Separation from our environment – greed
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."
Separation within ourselves
Sin hurts our psych, it is self destructive.
Sin is toxic
We talk about a toxic situation at work – always a direct result of sin in some one’s life or a corporate culture of greed, avarice, selfish ambition hatred & dissention
We can see the physical effects of “Lifestyle sins” on people’s faces as they age. I really believe that as we age, inner beauty come out.
Sin is addictive
Everyone has stuff in their life that seems to control them rather than they being in control
Sin is punished
Sometimes in this life, sometimes in the next
Dead to Sin - Baptism
In Paul’s day, belief and baptism happened almost simultaneously.
Baptism is a picture of death, burial and resurrection – unified with Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection
Dead to sin – like someone saying, “You are dead to me!” – dead men don’t talk – if we are dead to sin, we no longer listen to it, respond to it…
A bad country
Peterson’s translation – uses the idea of countries rather than death and life – you have come home from exile, why go back to the ways of the old country?
1-3So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
If you have left one country as a refugee, and fled to freedom. To live in the new country in the fear that you lived in in your former country would make no sense.
So many of the old spirituals spoke of death as freedom – it was because death was so much better than the slavery-life they were living! When you die the slave master has no hold on you.