Summary: The believer who is justified is to work toward holiness and righteousness. The believer is to live a holy life and become a servant of righteousness. A genuinely saved person cannot abuse the mercy of God. He cannot walk in sin; he cannot make a habit
By: Mark Engler Mt. Vernon Christian Church, Mt. Vernon MO.
Sermon done with help from the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible.
The Believer is Not to Continue in Sin (Part 1):
He is to Know His Position in Christ
Intro: Saving Private Ryan clip (scene on bridge when Captian Miller tells Private Ryan to "earn it" by living a good life) We don’t earn salvation, but we should do the best we can in living a good life because Christ died on the cross for us.
The believer who is justified is to work toward holiness and righteousness. The believer is to live a holy life and become a servant of righteousness. A genuinely saved person cannot abuse the mercy of God. He cannot walk in sin; he cannot make a habit of sinning. To do so is to tread upon the mercy of God and make a mockery of God’s grace. It is to say that God’s grace gives a person the license to sin, and such is a contradiction of terms – as much as it is a contradiction of terms as to say that a dead man is alive.
The way for a man to break the habit of sin is for him to know the glorious position he can have in Christ. One thing is certain: every believer should definitely know the position he holds in Christ. It will revolutionize his life.
The point of this passage is so that every believer knows his real position in Christ, the knowledge of his position will help keep him from sin. I want us to note this morning the word “know.” Note that it is used 3 times in our text. It’s used in vs. 3, 6, & 9, and each time it tells of a different position we hold in Christ. In vs. 3 it tells us that the believer is immersed, placed into Christ. In vs. 6 it tells us that the believer’s old self was crucified with Christ. And in vs. 9 it tells us the believer lives with Christ – now & forever.
I want to cover briefly this morning in the first 2 verses about the believer and the question of license. In doing so I think we need to talk about a few things.
First, Does the grace of God give a person a free reign to sin? Can a person just go ahead and do what he wants expecting God to forgive him? Grace means God’s undeserved and unmerited favor. It means that God freely accepts us and forgives a person’s sins; that he freely justifies a person by faith. Even though common thinking says that if God will give more grace to cover more sin then I should sin more in order to get more grace, it’s not true. God has enough grace to cover all the sins you could ever commit, but after we become a believer we should strive to become righteous and holy, not strive to sin so God will give more grace.
Paul answers his own question “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” And the answer he gives is a one of righteous indignation. “By no means!” Away with such a thought. Far be it that we could think such a thing! Especially as believers.
The believer’s position in Christ shows the utter impossibility of a true believer continuing and going on in sin. What that means is not that we don’t sin, we do, we all know that, but we should not continue in sin, we should not habitually do the same sin over and over again. We cannot say, “It’s ok if I do it just one more time, after all that’s why Christ died for me on the cross.” We all know that one more time leads to one more time and then one more time and then one more time. No! When you do that you make Jesus’ sacrifice null and void. Heb. 10:26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” It is of the utmost importance that we strive for righteousness and holiness.
1. Know 1st: By position the believer is immersed, placed into Christ. Vs. 3-5
This is the first thing the believer should know about his position in Christ. This is one of the most glorious truths in all of Scripture, yet so much controversy has raged over what is meant by baptism that the meaning has often been bypassed and misunderstood. We will talk more about what baptism is later for now lets just say that Christians everywhere agree that baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When one is immersed in Christian baptism he is being identified with Christ.