Summary: Living free in Jesus Christ means: 1. We can be ruled by God's righteousness (vs. 14-18). 2. We get a brand-new beginning (vs. 19). 3. We get holy shame for our sins (vs. 20-21). 4. We get a holy harvest (vs. 22). 5. We have God's greatest gift (vs. 23).
What It Means to Live Free in Jesus Christ
The Book of Romans
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 26, 2016
(Revised December 12, 2020)
*Please open your Bibles to Romans 6:14. Remember that in the first 5 chapters, Paul made the most compelling case that all of us are guilty of sin, and we all deserve the righteous wrath of God. Thank God, Paul also explained the forgiveness and eternal life we can have through faith in Jesus Christ.
*Paul summed it up for Christians in Romans 5:6-10, and said:
6. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
*The Lord Jesus Christ has given Christians everlasting victory over sin and death. And last week in vs. 1-14, God's Word showed us how to live in the victory Christ has provided for us.
*Tonight's Scripture focuses on the freedom we have in Jesus, so please think about our God-given freedom as we read vs. 14-23.
*Marilyn Murphree told about something that happened years ago at a farmer's market. A man saw some quail walking in circles around a pole. Each bird had a string attached to its leg, and they continued to walk around and around the pole for hours.
*The man felt sorry for the little birds, so he paid the price and bought them all. Then, he began to cut the strings off their legs. "What are you doing?" the seller asked in disbelief? "I'm setting them free," the new owner replied.
*But even though the strings were cut, the birds continued to walk around the pole in the same old circle. They didn't realize they were free to fly, until their new owner began to shoo them away from the pole that held them down. (1)
*Christians: Jesus Christ paid the highest price to set us free! But sometimes we don't feel like it, and sometimes we don't live like it. Sometimes we keep going around in the same old circles, but the Lord wants us to live in the freedom He has already given to us. Tonight's Scripture shows us what it means to live free in Christ.
1. FIRST, IT MEANS WE CAN BE RULED BY GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
*This is God's message for Christians in vs. 14-18:
14. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
16. Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
17. But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
18. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
*As Christians, we have a new owner, a new Master. It's the Lord Jesus Christ! That's why vs. 14 tells us that "we are not under the law but under (God's) grace."
*Of course, the problem is never with God's law. Good rules are good for us. And God's rules are perfect! God gave His Law to us, so we won't hurt ourselves, so we won't hurt other people, and so we won't hurt Him. I say that because our sin grieves God.
*God's rules are good for us. Moses put it this way in Deuteronomy 10:12-13:
12. "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
13. and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today FOR YOUR GOOD?"
*God's rules are perfect. The only problem with His law is our total inability to obey it on our own. We were all born with a selfish, sinful nature. That's why we sin. And that's why vs. 17 tells us that before we got saved by the grace of God, we were all "slaves of sin."