Summary: Dead to sin, alive in Christ
August 1, 2010
I heard a story about a man caught rolling through a stop sign. He complained to the officer who stopped him that he had at least slowed down. When he heard this, the officer commanded the man out of his vehicle and began beating him with his asp. After a couple whacks, the man fell to the ground and curled up. The officer paused and asked, “Now, do you want me to stop, or do you want me to slow down?”
Our text tonight deals with the believer’s relationship with sin and his union with Christ. We haven’t been saved so that we’ll be better than the godless pagans or the self-righteous Jews—we’ve died to sin and we have nothing to do with it, and we’ve been joined with Christ so that we’re now one.
Last week we saw that we’re born into sin because of the sin of Adam and that we suffered under the reign of death. “Even so” we’ve been justified by grace which abounds even more than our sin.
Tonight we’ll see that being justified means that we’ll also now be sanctified. The basis of Paul’s argument is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Since we’re united with Him, we’re free from the grasp of sin and death, and we’re alive in Christ.
Last week we saw death through Adam and life through Christ; this week we see that we’re…
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
1. We have been joined with Christ so that we are now dead to sin (:1-11)
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
“If our sin causes God’s grace to abound, then shouldn’t we sin even more?”
That’s a ridiculous thought, and Paul rejects it. I’ve never heard anyone make this argument verbally, but we’ve all seen it practically. How often is sin committed knowing that grace covers it? We give in to our temptations knowing we’ve got grace.
Certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude :4)
There’s an expectation that believers will stop living in sin. Paul argues, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” When we continue on, claiming grace, we’re not much different than those who deny Christ as our Master.
3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,
The basis for his argument is our union with Christ through baptism. I want you to watch for words and phrases that deal with being “with Christ” in some manner. We’ve been joined with Him, so as He has died, so we died; as He was buried, so we were buried; as He was raised, so we are raised. This one point is the entire argument for our new position and attitude towards sin.
As a result, baptism is much more than just a water ritual; it symbolizes our union with Christ. We’re buried with Him!
The old man born of Adam is sent to the grave, so that we now no longer have to submit to sin—“how can we who died to sin live in it any longer?”
4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Our new life comes from the fact that we were buried with Him. Since He was raised through the glory of God, we, being with Him, are also raised in new life.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (II Cor. 5:14-17).
Everything changes with the new life in Christ!
5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
The Greek word for “united” means “of joint origin.”