Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

For those of you who missed it, here is my sermon outline from Sunday (the mp3 is here). Susan's baptism after preaching this was such a great visual illustration!

Before I read the passage I reminded us of the account of the exodus out of Egypt (Ex 12v12). Egypt was judged and God’s people spared through faith in the shed blood of the innocent. God then led His people out of slavery by taking them through water (Red Sea) and into freedom.

Read Romans 6:1-14

The Apostle Paul has written about the free offer of salvation by grace through faith. But this truth does create a question (V1) albeit based on a poor understanding of what happened when God made us a Christian (hence this passage).

Do you not know? Knowing truth is fundamental to Christian salvation and maturity (John 8v32). Paul is saying something has already happened to all Christians: at conversion we were joined with Christ’s death and resurrection (v4 & v5). Our old self was crucified with Jesus on the cross; we have died to sin. I am not my sinful body, I am a new creation living in my sinful body. Just as Jesus ‘died to Sin & was raised to life’ ... so too (at the cross) we also ‘died to sin’ and are now ‘raised to a new life in Christ’ – we are no longer slaves to sin. This HAS happened.

Consider this true. We need to consider this true and ‘count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (v11). The Greek word used for ‘count’ conveys the idea of reckoning; aligning ourselves in the right column, under the right heading. We must constantly view ourselves in this light – in union with Christ we have been made ‘dead to sin’ and ‘alive to God’.

Therefore. We need to take control, to assume responsibility for our thoughts & actions (v12 & 13). We are to offer ourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life (1Cor 10v5, Rom 12v2). Our mortal body has not yet been saved; we still live in this tent; we are treasures in jars of clay, prone to think in old ways (Rom 8:23, Phil 3:21, 2 Cor 5:4). Sin has not been eradicated from our body, we must assume responsibility.

Back to the Red Sea. God called a people to himself out of slavery and into freedom. This entailed a people finding mercy and acceptance by the blood of a lamb; and freedom by going down into water. This historical event foreshadowed another historical event - Jesus’ death & resurrection; it foreshadowed God’s people finding life through associating with The Lamb of God; it foreshadowed being buried with Jesus through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead we too may have new life free from our old slave master Sin (v14).

No comments: