Summary: If we are trying to live our lives under our own steam then we are under legalism. Jesus has set us free from rules and regulations in how we live our life – so we can freely worship Jesus and experience freedom living for him.
“The New Life in Christ”
Intro: Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome addresses:
1. Who needs to be a Christian?
2. Why I need to be Christian?
3. How Can I become a Christian?
4. How does a Christian live his/her life?
We have already looked to the first three of these
To the question: Who needs to be a Christian? Everyone
Why I need to be Christian? Only God can save people from their sins
How Can I become Christian? By accepting the gift of God’s salvation
So tonight we talk about “The New life in Christ.”
[Rom. 5:1] “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1. There is peace to be found
Who doesn’t want to experience peace?
[Describe the world we live in]
Who would want to experience peace in a world like that?
Well, we can – through our Lord Jesus Christ
Tonight you can experience peace in your life
[READ vv. 10-11]
2. There is life to be found
Death through Adam
ILLUSTRATION: A MOTHER DIES SO HER BOY MAY LIVE – From D. L. Moody
When the California gold fever broke out, a man went there, leaving his wife in New England with his boy. As soon as he got on and was successful he was to send for them. It was a long time before he succeeded, but at last he got money enough to send for them. The wife’s heart leaped with joy.
She took her boy to New York, got on board a Pacific steamer, and sailed away to San Francisco. They had not been long at sea before the cry of "Fire! fire!" rang through the ship, and rapidly it gained on them. There was a powder magazine on board, and the captain knew the moment the fire reached the powder, every man, woman, and child must perish. They got out the life-boats, but they were too small! In a minute they were overcrowded. The last one was just pushing away, when the mother pleaded with them to take her and her boy. "No, they said, "we have got as many as we can hold." She entreated them so earnestly that at last they said they would take one more.
Do you think she leaped into that boat and left her boy to die? No! She seized her boy, gave him one last hug, kissed him, and dropped him over into the boat. "My boy," she said, "if you live to see your father, tell him I died in your place." This is a faint type of what Christ has done for us. He laid down his life for us. He died that we might live.
Now, will you not love Him? What would you say of that young man if he should speak contemptuously of such a Savior? May God make us loyal to Christ! My friends, you will need Him one day. You will need Him when you come to cross the swellings of Jordan. You will need Him when you stand at the bar of God.
Life through Christ Jesus
Therefore we are now – Through Jesus
3. Dead to sin & Alive in Christ
[READ Rom 6:1-23]
Abraham Lincoln said of the American Civil War in his 2nd inaugural address in 1865 only weeks before his assassination: “Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained… Each looked for an easier triumph… Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. [How strange it is] that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces.*”
It wasn’t until December 18, 1865 that the 13th Amendment was officially adopted, abolishing slavery in the United States. However, many slaves continued to live on as slaves. Shelby Foote, in his three-volume work on the Civil War, documents an unexpected reaction: “[Most slaves] could repeat, with equal validity, what an Alabama slave had said in 1864 when asked what he thought of the Great Emancipator whose proclamation went into effect that year. ‘I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout Abraham Lincoln,’ he replied, ‘cep they say he sot us free. And I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout that neither.’**” Precious blood was shed on the battlefield to set those slaves free, yet many continued to live on as slaves for fear that free life would be dangerous. Even more disturbing and sad is the fact that the precious blood of Jesus Christ was shed on Calvary to set us free spiritually, but we still remain enslaved. And they remain enslaved on a sprawling plantation known as legalism.