Summary: Things should become different in our lives once we renounce our former life of sin and selfishness. Our union with Christ enables us to live our lives completely for Him.
Wanted: Dead and Alive
Romans 6:1-13 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Intro: We are planning to have a baptism service in a few weeks, so I wanted to spend a little time looking at some Scripture that shows us the significance of water baptism. Let me just say that if you are a Christian, but you have never been baptized in water, you should make plans to be baptized. Does it save you? No. However, we find that it was practiced by Jesus and expected by Him for all new believers. Believing and being baptized generally went hand in hand. Now, what if someone was baptized as a baby? Well, because we do not believe that baptism saves you or erases your sins, we do not embrace infant baptism. Baptism is something that should accompany or follow a confession of faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. A baby is not able to make a confession of faith in Jesus; therefore, if someone was baptized as a baby, we believe they should be baptized in water when they confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
-One of the amazing things about baptism is the symbolism it gives us, regarding the old life and the new. Things should become different in our lives once we renounce our former life of sin and selfishness. Life should take on a whole new meaning, because we are given a new heart and a new nature. We will look at this contrast more in a few minutes, but here is what God is saying to us through His word today:
Prop: Our union with Christ enables us to live our lives completely for Him.
Interrogative: What is this union with Christ, and how does it affect our lives?
TS: Let’s take a look at Romans 6 and we will see a picture of water baptism, and how it symbolizes our new life with Christ, helping us give ourselves to Him.
I. United with Christ (5)
-Our union with Christ is the key to life! Verse 5 talks about being united with Christ. This word united means far from being divine, but growing up in the very midst of the divine; growing up together with Christ. “United” means being closely associated in a similar experience - 'to be like Christ, to be one with Him.’
-When someone hears about Jesus, and responds favorably to Him, something happens in their heart. When someone hears that Jesus loves them, regardless of what they have done in the past, I believe their heart begins to cry out to Him in some way. When someone hears that Jesus can and will forgive them for every bad thought, every bad word, and every bad deed they have done, hope comes alive in their hearts. “Could it be? Can I really find peace? Can I be forgiven for my past? Oh, if it were only true!” Well, as the truth of the good news finds its way into their hearts and minds, faith builds up in their hearts, compelling them to call on Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing. When they do believe and ask God to forgive them, they experience the beginning of what it means to be united with Christ. From then on they begin to grow up in Christ, becoming more like Him. They begin to share in His life. As Peter says, they become partakers of the divine nature. That does not mean that they become divine, but they do share in the good nature of God – and it changes their life!