Summary: This sermon is from the “exchanged life” perspective and seeks to teach that you can live in victory over sin in your life if you know the truth, will believe the truth and bring the truth on line in your life.
Have you ever been in a court of law to testify to the truth in a legal case? Well, the Judge says, “Place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?” Then you respond by saying, “I do.” Well, I intend to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth today so that you may live in victory over sin. David Kuykendall in his book “Here’s Life” printed by FBC Dallas, Texas says, “There are things that are true of us in the Christian life we will not experience until we believe they are true of us and choose to experience them.” Verses 3,6 and 9 all contain the word “know:” “don’t you know,” “For we know,” “For we know.”
Paul instructs us with the truth that there are some things we need to know if we are to live a sanctified, victorious Christian life free of sin. In fact, Romans 6 gives us the basis for victory over the power of sin in our lives. It’s one thing to know that you are forgiven for your deeds of sin. But it’s quite another thing to know how to resist the power of sin and stop sinning. Would you like to know how to stop sinning? Well, God’s power in you can enable you to live in victory over the reign of sin if you’ll believe the truth and nothing but the truth and bring it on line in your life.
A young woman went to see if a plastic surgeon could help her. She hated the way she looked! Everybody else in her family was quite attractive, but she had never liked herself because of her oversized nose. He promised that her “problem” could be corrected and proceeded to do surgery. When the bandages were removed, the surgeon was delighted to see how beautiful she was. He couldn’t wait to see her reaction. He held a mirror before her and immediately she began crying, “It didn’t work!” she sobbed. She was convinced she was still ugly. She didn’t accept the truth that she had changed. She believed she was still that unattractive girl with the big nose.
The doctor persuaded her to see a counselor. After months of counseling, she began to believe that she wasn’t ugly after all and began liking herself. She became more outgoing and confident because she was acting on the basis of the truth of what she had come to believe about herself. When you see and believe the truth of what is already true about you as a believer, a radical change will take place in you. You will begin to live out in everyday experience, who you really are “in Christ.” So let me explain the truth and nothing but the truth of what is already true for you. The first truth is:
I. You Were Baptized Into Christ Jesus verses 3-4a
Verse 3 reads, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” You have a need to know and understand what it means to have been baptized into Christ Jesus. You were baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. “Baptized” is a transliteration of the Greek word baptize. It means literally “to place into,” “to change the identity of something or someone.” In classical Greek it was used of bathing or of dipping something repeatedly. In the NT it is used in two major ways: baptism in water and uniting believers with Christ by Holy Spirit baptism. You were dynamically, vitally, spiritually, powerfully and permanently placed into Christ. And when you were placed into Christ, your identity was changed, who you are was changed.
Now the last part of verse 3 says we, “were baptized into his death.” Then verse 4 carries this idea deeper as it reads, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death.” Why is that true? Because through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, spiritually, when Jesus died – you died with Him, and when Jesus was buried – you were buried with Him because of your union with Christ, your baptism into Him by the Holy Spirit. This is that Jewish idea of corporate personality or responsibility I shared last week. Paul’s Jewish readers would have had no problem with the concept of a big group of people corporately, that is, tribally, nationally or spiritually being “IN” one person.
The NT scholar, Kenneth Wuest notes the significance of baptism as: “The believing sinner is introduced or placed in Christ, thus coming into union with Him. By that action he is taken out of his old environment and condition in which he had lived, the First Adam and is placed into a new environment and condition, the Last Adam.” So baptism by the Spirit is the invisible, spiritual operation which unites you to your Savior, you are placed into Christ’s death. And to say you were buried, could be no more final. When you died in Christ your old spirit identity “in Adam” was buried. No one can raise it. You can’t go back. And who would want to. That’s the truth and nothing but the truth, believe it. The second truth is: