Summary: This is a "Independence Day" sermon. This sermon is about how God has given us freedom from sin, not freedom to sin, and opens to us the glorious right to serve him as His children.
PROMPTE ET SINCERE
Romans 6: 12-23 June 29, 2014 Independence Day
Several months ago I began to put the words “COR MEUM TIBI OFFERO DOMINE PROMPTE ET SINCERE” on the top of our bulletin. I remember asking if anyone knew what those words meant and I challenged the congregation to find out for themselves.
What does it mean, well it was the motto of John Calvin, it means “my heart I offer to you Lord promptly and sincerely”. What a great guide post for all Christians. “My heart I offer to you Lord promptly and sincerely”, Over the years it has been shortened by many to just these words, Promptly and Sincerely”
And this morning, I want us to make that motto ours as well. This week we are looking forward to the Independence Day Celebrations that comes Friday. Just think 13 fledgling colonies took a stand against the mightiest nation in the world. It was a time of independence. But truly the state of independence does not exist. We are forever answering to one authority or another. We think we have freedom but in reality we are slaves to one thing or another. You don’t believe me?..... don’t pay your taxes.
Paul wrote, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
In our sermon last week, we learned about the difference of being under the law and under the grace of God. Paul began by asking, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace should abound? A question he asked in response to the statement, “Now the law came to increase the trespass, but were sin increased, grace abounded all the more. His answer was, “By no means”. Paul was reminding us that we are baptized into Christ’s death, and we were buried with him by baptism into death. He said, “Just as Christ we raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
In other words we are dead to sin, and alive to Christ. Sin has no hold on us because we have been reborn. So why sin?
Paul often made his point by asking “What shall we say then" questions. You know when he asks that question, “WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN?” that we are about to receive sound theology.... so listen.
Paul asks, “What shall we say then, Are we to sin because we are not under the law because we are under grace?” Is he saying, just sin away, it doesn’t matter, it will not be held against you?
What Paul is really saying to us, is that we are not to sin, because we have been blessed by God’s grace. This means that every sin we have committed in the past has been forgiven. But not only that, every sin we commit today and will ever commit has already been paid for by God himself in the form of Jesus Christ. If this is true, then we are God’s people and we are to live as God’s people. Now do you think God’s people should be doing what is not pleasing to him? If we have unrepentant sin on our souls, then we have denied God’s salvation and put Jesus back on the cross. But if we accept that our sins are already paid, then we understand what Paul is saying, if your sins are paid in full, then why waste your time sinning. Instead, you should spend your time serving the only holy one, the Great I am….who calls us to be holy as he is holy.
The law cannot make us righteous, only God can. In Jesus, we are no longer under the law, but that does not mean lawlessness. As we are told in 6:4 “Freedom from the law is liberty from sin’s dominion and the Law’s condemnation.” To not be under the law means not to be under the old covenant in which we see many people being judged by their actions. But we are under the new covenant forged in Jesus Christ’s blood and our sins are washed away and we now live in a forgiven state, a state of God’s holy grace.
Remember Paul wrote, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
So freedom from slavery to the law means for us, slavery to righteousness. He further writes, “17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.