Summary: Part 3 in a series through the book of Romans, this sermon provides a practical overview of what to do with God’s message in your life, as seen in the difficult chapters of Romans 6 through 8.
The Remedy for Helplessness
I see the right, and I approve it, too; condemn the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue.”
-Roman poet Ovid, 8 A.D.
Key Scripture: Romans 6-8
Icebreaker: So, now what? You ever asked that question? Like after Christmas when you were a kid and all the excitement started to wear off. Inevitably you think, “So, now what?” Or like after you came back from your honeymoon with your spouse and had to go back to the daily grind of life. And after the first time he left the seat up or the first time she was too tired, inevitably, the thought had to come, “So, now what?” We’ve all asked that question at some point. We go through things in life, either good or bad, that change us and we get to the other side of that experience and wonder, “So, now what?”
Intro: In the first five chapters of Romans, Paul addresses the problem of sin, the reality of God’s wrath, and God’s remedy through Jesus. He then writes in 6:1, “What shall we say, then?” It’s his way of asking, after all he addressed in the first 5 chapters of Romans, “So, now what?” You can probably imagine how intrigued, how captivated, how offended, possibly, the readers of his letter must have been at this point. I mean, Paul pretty much just laid them out through the first 5 chapters of the book. He revealed the truth about God’s wrath against sin, how all of humanity is inherently sinful, and how there’s nothing humanity can “do” or “work towards” to have peace with God, only God sending His own Son to die in our place could do it. And only by having faith in His risen Son can we have it.
-Pretty heavy stuff, right? So then Paul gets to this point in the letter and just when the people reading it think they can catch a breather, he asks them, “So, what now?”
-Would you like to know? Good. Because we’re going to find the answer today in Romans 6-8.
-Now, we could spend months in just these 3 chapters of Romans, but for the sake of our study, we’re going to condense it down to 3 main sections of one message today. And I think that if I had to give this section of Romans a title, it would be, “What to do with God’s message in Your Life.” Because that’s really what Paul delves into in these 3 chapters: What are we supposed to do with God’s message?
What to do with God’s Message in Your Life
-I’ve broken the message today down into 3 main sections, one for each chapter that we’ll be looking into.
Romans 6: Take the 1st Steps of Spiritual Awakening.
-And this is relevant to us, because a survey released last year of 1,400 U.S. adults who haven’t attended religious services in six months found that 72% nevertheless believe that "God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists." And that’s among people who haven’t set foot in a church building in the past 6 months. People in America today are more open to spiritual things than they ever have been.
1. Know what you serve, because everyone serves something. (verse 16)
Statement: Maybe you’re one of those people. If you are, you should really pay attention to what Paul says is the first step to spiritual awakening. The first thing you need to do is to know what you serve, because everyone serves something. What does Paul say in verse 16?
Scripture: Romans 6:16 (NLT)
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
-He says that we are slaves of what we obey. Whatever in our lives takes precedence, that is what we are serving. Some people obey food. Some people obey their sex drives. Some people obey alcohol. Some people obey drugs. You know how we obey things? They take first place in our lives. They become more important than anything else. We will do anything to make sure that that particular part of ourselves is satisfied. You see, we all serve something. And the sooner you come to grips with that, the sooner you’ll begin to really seek God in your life.
-You know why you’ll begin to seek God? Because the harder you look at those problems in your life, the more you’ll come to realize that the real problem is that all of those things really stem from one thing: Sin. Anything in our lives that we obey that is not pleasing to God is a sign that we are enslaved to sin.