Summary: You can walk in the newness of life because God makes a difference, God makes us distinctive, and God makes us determined.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
“Walking in the Newness of Life”
Text: Romans 6:4
We should now be able to proudly proclaim that we are free from the addiction of sin. After our 12 steps in nine weeks program which was designed to break that addiction, every one of us should be able to identify an addiction and understand the steps necessary to ask God to take the appetite for that sin away.
Lest anyone starts to feel overconfident that they have reached a new level in their lives; let me remind you that for every level, there is a new devil.
Satan is a roaring lion, who is older than any of us, more devious than we can imagine, and has only one mission in life to kill, steal and destroy.
Therefore, if you may have forgotten the steps, allow me to remind you: admit that you are a sinner,
recognize that God is greater than sin,
give yourself to God,
become addicted to Jesus,
count the costs,
create yourself anew,
understand that a lion is loose,
realize that you need God every moment,
and then celebrate your victory by walking in the newness of life.
A story is told of a man with a horse and wagon that delivered goods in his town. Each morning after hitching his horse, he would get in the wagon and grab the reins. Instead of saying get e up. He would say come-on lighting, come-on trigger, come-on steely, come-on Becky, come-on Danny. People would hear him and ask why you call your horse by so many names. He remarks, if the horse thought he was pulling this load by himself. We wouldn’t get anywhere.
In a humorous way, that’s the power of Jesus Christ. He enters into our spirit and let’s us know that we are not by ourselves when we wrestle against sin and all of its effects.
No never alone, no never alone, God has promised never to leave us alone.
Sometimes we need more than comfort,
sometimes we more than peace,
sometimess we more than strength.
sometimes, we need to know that God forgives us.
However, all the time, we need to understand that it’s God’s grace that has kept us.
It’s God’s grace that sustains us.
It’s God’s grace that propels us.
It’s God’s grace that compels us.
It’s God’s grace that tells us everything is going to be alright.
All the time, we need to know that if it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be?
Paul tells us that it’s God’s grace that is sufficient.
It's God’s grace that begins us with a new walk,
provides us with a new talk,
endows in us a new perspective on life and in life.
The old folks would say that I looked at my hands, and they were new and I look at my feet, and they were too.
In this text Paul deals with grace head-on.
1. He tells us that grace makes a difference in our lives.
Paul tells us that through the sin of Adam, we are born spiritually dead and in need of restoration to God through Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that even though sin abounds, grace abounds even more because Jesus death and resurrection canceled out the penalty of sin. Paul wants to make certain that in this text you do not make the mistake of thinking that one should continue to sin to magnify the grace you will receive. To eliminate that misunderstanding, Paul explains the meaning and uses the imagery of the Baptism. Going down in the water symbolizes “our old self” being crucified with Jesus. Coming up out of the water symbolizes “our new self” in Christ after we place our faith in him. The “new self” is not just the individual, but the community of God’s people who trust in God’s son Jesus Christ. It’s the community that is the new creation. It’s the community that comprises the church. When Jesus Christ comes again it’s for the community of individuals that are in the church – his bride.
Paul explains that the old self is the body of sin; not a sinful body. It is the struggle we all have with bodily desires.
However, when we give ourselves to God through Jesus Christ, it should cause a change in our lives. The old has passed and the new has come.
Grace makes a difference in your life.
2. He tells us that grace makes us distinctive for our lives.
Paul tells us to stop offering the parts of our body to sin as instruments of wickedness. The Greek word for instruments literally means “weapons.” And the word picture is that life is a battlefield, and we are on the battlefield with the various parts of our bodies are the weapons in our arsenal. So instead of offering our body parts as weapons for sin, through the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our body parts are weapons for righteousness.