Summary: Hearing the good news of Jesus demands a response… will it be to die with him in baptism in order to live a transformed life?
What will you do with Jesus?
Die with Him Romans 6:1-14
Focus: Hearing the good news of Jesus demands a response… will it be to die with him in baptism in order to live a transformed life?
Function: to call hearers to commit their lives to Christ in baptism and to live a new life in Christ!
Let me tell you about a movie I’m going to see this week: Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ
• I have been extremely impressed by interviews I’ve heard with Gibson about his dedication to accuracy and presenting the story of the final 12 hours of Christ as it actually happened.
• He makes no excuses for its graphic violence and its R-rating, afterall crucifixion was the cruelest and most horrible of ways of execution ever devised.
• Next week we will be taking a look at the “Passion” from the Bible and I’ll tell you what I thought of the movie, but for now I’d encourage you to go see it, take a non-Christian friend with you and talk about it with them.
• There is a lot of opportunity in this for us as Christians—as so many all over the world are talking about Jesus. My brother-in-law has a Moslem friend who he’s going to see the movie with.
Is there anyone in this world that YOU would die for? Your wife? Your husband? A child? Perhaps a parent or other loved one?
The Bible says, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8NIV
• That’s the gospel in a nut-shell! That’s the good news Christians are called to proclaim to the world!
• When WE didn’t deserve it… when HE didn’t have to… Christ died for us as the ultimate demonstration of God’s love!
• As we’ve been talking about for four weeks now, that good news calls for a response on our part. We’ve got to do something because God has done so much for us!
• So, I’ve asked, “What will YOU do with Jesus?”
• Hearing about the Christ demands a decision! What will it be?
This morning I want us to see that it calls us to do nothing less than to DIE WITH HIM!
• Sound too radical? Too extreme? “I could never do that!”
• Yet that is exactly what is referred to in the text read a moment ago…
1 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. NIV
To understand this great text, we’ve got to remember where Paul was coming from…
• From the mid-point of chapter 3 to here, Paul has been talking about the wonderful grace of God which has come about thru Christ, because “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” - Romans 3:23-24 NIV
• But can you believe that there might be some who would pervert this wonderful gift of grace? … who might argue something like this: its good to have the grace of God; the more sin I commit, the more grace I can receive; so I should sin as much as I can!
• Paul wants to counter this notion. Nothing can be farther from the truth, he says! “By no means!” It’s a strong statement against that idea.
• Perhaps there were Christians there at Rome who were being tempted to go back to their old patterns of sin?
• Paul says, “You can’t go back to your old sin… don’t you remember that you died to it?”
And he says in effect, “Remember your BAPTISM!”
• What? What does that have to do with anything, Paul?
• I’m being tempted to slip back into my old lifestyle, my old habits, my old sin… and you say to “remember my baptism”.. what are you talking about?
• I told you last week that I can remember well my baptism. I remember coming forward on a Sunday night and telling the minister that I wanted to ‘get baptized.’ I remember going down into the water—all of me! And I can remember the hugs and well wishes that I got from a wonderful church family when I came up out of the water.