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Summary: Dying to sin means living for Christ.

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August 22, 2004

Morning Worship

Text: Romans 6:1-14

Subject: Grace and Sin

Title: Wanted - Dead and Alive

We welcome all of you on this special day. This is a day when we celebrate with six believers in Christ as they profess through baptism what Christ has done in their lives.

Baptism has been the subject of many disagreements over the last 2000 years. Who can be baptized? What is its significance? Is it OK to baptize infants? And not only who, but how much water – sprinkled, poured, or immersed?

A group of kids were playing church, and decided to have a baptism. The

problem was that the only candidate for baptism they could find was a cat. Needless to say, the cat didn’t take kindly to being dunked under the

water. Finally, after wrestling with the cat for over an hour, one of the kids

took a handful of water, poured it on the cat’s head and said, "OK, fine, be a

Methodist then."

Since baptism is a natural step in the life of a true Christian it is only right that I speak to you today about what it is that makes you different from people in the world. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

There is something different about you. What are you going to do about it?

I. THE BENEFITS OF GRACE. (1-4)

A. More Sin – More Grace. Paul begins this part of his letter with a question concerning his statement in 5:20, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound.”? My goodness. That sounds like the perfect answer. If grace abounds where sin is abundant, then let’s please ourselves with our sin and God by giving Him opportunity to give more grace. I mean, if God loves us so much why worry about sin. His grace will cover it. Right? In the early part of the 20th century Russian monk Gregory Rasputin taught and lived out the idea of salvation through repeated experiences of sin and repentance. According to his philosophy, those who sin more require more of God’s forgiveness and therefore receive more grace. But Paul is adamant about that line of thinking. In verse 2 he emphatically states, “Certainly not!” “NO WAY! It doesn’t work that way! Don’t even think about it!” Because you have died to sin! Paul establishes an important principle here. You have been born again. You have new life. That means that you have died to sin. When you trusted Christ as your Savior your relationship with sin changed. You have died to sin. Your inner man no longer lives under the oppression of sin but is freed from it. Death to sin came through eternal life. You once were dead in your sin, now you are dead to sin.

B. Baptism into Death or Baptism into Life? Yes! Look in verse 3. “or do you not know…?” Paul is dealing with the basics of the faith that he believes everyone should understand. “As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death.” “Baptized into Christ Jesus” does not necessarily mean water baptism. It more likely refers to salvation. The Greek word translated baptized literally means to be immersed or covered over or overwhelmed by something. When we are baptized in water we are covered over. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we are completely overwhelmed by the Spirit. When we are baptized into Christ we are completely covered with Christ. We are baptized into His death and we are dead to the old man but we are also baptized in Him to eternal life.

C. Buried With Him – Raised With Him. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life.” Water baptism is the believer’s outward expression of their identification with Jesus in dying to the old self and rising to new life. The emphasis here is not on the burial but on Christ’s death. It is in His death that we are saved from our sins. It is through the shedding of His blood that we gain eternal life. If Christ is still in the grave then we have no hope. And, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” But if He has risen from the dead (He has) and is declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection, then we to shall walk in newness of life… If we are buried with Him we will be raised with Him too for He is the first fruits of the resurrection.

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