- Sermon Notes
Be Alive to God
Paul has been telling us that the gospel is God’s answer to the sinner’s dilemma; how can an unrighteous sinner have a relationship with the holy,
righteous God? That’s why Paul is not ashamed of the gospel, it’s the power of God for salvation to those who believe.
Last week in Romans 5 Paul told us how we became sinners in the first place; we were born into the sin of Adam. In other words, we’re sinners because
we were born that way. A person does selfish and self-centered things because they were born selfish and self-centered in Adam.
A sinner can be set free from the condition he was born into. You were born in the sin of Adam, but you can be born again in the life and righteousness
of Jesus Christ.
The result of being born in the sin of Adam is death, but the result of being born again in the righteousness of Jesus Christ is life. Over and over
Paul made the comparison between being in Adam and being in Christ.
Then in the first verses of chapter 6, Paul gave us some amazing insight into what it means to be born again in Christ. He wrote that the Spirit baptized
us into Christ’s death and we were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through
the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Because we’re born again in the life and righteousness of Christ we have a standing before God now we could never have had before. Our sins have been
removed from our account and placed into Christ’s account and His righteousness has been added to our account. This is amazing grace; this is the
Now, as we move further into this chapter, Paul wants us to understand that our standing in heaven should have a direct bearing on how we live our
lives here on earth.
In other words, it’s about sin versus righteousness. The reason Christ died on the cross has everything to do with our sin. He paid for our sin so
we could receive His righteousness.
The point he makes in chapter 6 is that sin has consequences, it produces death. You can’t get away from it, it follows you; it will find you out.
Speaking of sin finding you out, that reminds me of a story.
Illus – John’s mother became suspicious that his “roommate,” Julie, was more than a roommate…
The problem with sin is that it has consequences; it insists on being paid its wages and ultimately produces death. Many in the world would say in
response, “Let’s be more sensitive here. Let’s be a little more politically correct; it’s not nice to use the word sin and talk about it like that.”
Okay, well we could sugarcoat sin and be politically correct all day, but the fact remains that the result of sin is death and you can’t sugarcoat
that; although some try. One hospital didn’t want to admit that anyone died there so instead of the word death they tried to some doublespeak,
“There was a diagnostic misadventure of high magnitude.”
Sugarcoating sin is like sugarcoating a habanero pepper. The sweetness lasts about two seconds and then you’re on fire!
Paul speaks the truth because he understands that what we know – the knowledge we have – when we take hold of the truth, will transform our lives.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I. Be Dead to Sin and Alive to God
- There’s a theme that runs through this chapter and many other places as well; we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Truth sets us free from the lies and deception of the world.
- Paul begins verse 6, “Knowing this…” If you know what God has done for you; if you know who you are in Christ, you will be changed.
Isaiah 40:21, 27, Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?… So why do you say…?
- So what is it we need to understand? What do we need to know that will transform us?
A. Christ died to sin so you can die to sin
- Our old self was crucified with Christ that our body of sin might be rendered powerless; nullified.
- The old self with all its sin and unrighteousness has died in Christ. Sin is no longer master over us. Judgment is no longer hanging over our heads.
We have a new standing before God; we’re now adopted.
- Our old self has been crucified with Christ, but this body of ours, the body of sin as Paul calls it, is still here with its desires and lusts.
What are we to do about that?
- It has everything to do with what you’re dead to and what you’re alive to. We have choices we can make. And those choices
are based on what we know.
- Paul is saying, “Look, you were crucified with Him and anyone who has died is freed from sin. He died to sin for you and so you should consider yourself to be dead to sin as well.” How? By being alive to God in Christ Jesus.
B. Consider yourself dead to sin
- Verse 11 is a key to this chapter. What does he mean, “Consider yourself dead.”? In the same way, he wants you to consider yourself alive. What
does he mean?
- It’s like saying, “Considering what God has done for me… Taking that into consideration…. Taking that into account… I reckon
myself dead to sin.”
- You have a part to play. You realize what God has done and then respond with how you live.
- When you realize what God has done you’re saying to yourself, “I need to take into account the fact that…
Galatians 2:20-21, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
- Verse 12 – “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.”
- “Do not let…” You have a say in the matter.
- Sin does not have to be the master (verse 14.) You do not have to obey its desires.
Illus – The body doesn’t do any thinking, it just has cravings, like the cravings of a pregnant woman. Those can be very powerful cravings.
- But you do not have to obey; those desires do not have to have dominion over you. God gives you spiritual power to be victorious.
Galatians 5:16-17, Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are in opposition to one another.
- But walking by the Spirit is a choice.
Illus – It’s like power steering, when you decide to live by the Spirit, He empowers you in that direction.
C. Consider yourself alive to God
- Verse 11 – not only are you to consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but you’re also to consider yourself alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- Verse 13 – present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead. “Here I am, Lord, I have been raised from the dead; I’ve been born-again in Christ.
My heart is yours.”
- A great principle I once learned is that it takes a passion to kill a passion.
- Many people are spiritually empty and it’s that emptiness, loneliness, despair and longing for love that gets people into so much trouble, because
they are looking for love and life in all the wrong places.
Nehemiah 8:10, He said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.”
Illus – In other words, if your soul is alive you have strength.
Galatians 5:22, 25, The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
II. You Choose what You Reap
- The key to these last verses is verse 21, “What benefit did you gain from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.”
- God wants us to consider ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God by taking into consideration what God has done for us through Christ Jesus and
then living according to it; living with that as a backdrop, or with this in view.
- But now He also wants us to look forward and understand that sin has an outcome. It wants to be paid its wages, but righteousness also has an outcome.
It’s the principle of sowing and reaping.
A. You choose whom you obey
- Last week Paul answered an objection he knows people might raise, “Since where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?” Paul answers the question, “God forbid!”
- Here in verse 15 he adds to it, “Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid it!”
- That’s actually quite a common thought…
Illus – When I moved out of my parent’s house to go to college, I found myself out from under their law.
The rest is history and not very good history at that. I’m not alone, however, no doubt many of you did the same.
- When I’m under obligation, the law, there’s something inside that doesn’t want to do it. But something changes when the desire is written on my heart.
Jeremiah 31:31-33, “I will make a new covenant,” declares the Lord, “And this is the covenant I will make with them… I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it…”
- Paul wants us to understand that we choose whom we obey. If we obey the desires of the flesh, it becomes the master.
- It insists on getting paid and it’s always very costly. There is an old saying, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
Illus – Sin is like a pet tiger. Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy used to tame tigers, until a 380 lb tiger almost killed him. “Nice tiger, good tiger. I need it; it’s part of my act.”
- There are many things that make cruel masters. Alcohol is a cruel master, emotions are meant to be servants to us; they make terrible masters. Food
is meant to be a servant, not a master.
1 Corinthians 6:12-13, I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food… The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.
Illus – I used it to allow everyone to “push my buttons.” I easily took offense at the slightest word against me. My emotions were the master, but no longer.
- Paul wants us to understand the principle of sowing and reaping so we can decide what we want to sow based on what we want to reap.
Galatians 6:7-9, Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Do not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
- We can add some details to the principle…
- 1.You reap after the same manner you sow. You don’t so sin and reap righteousness.
- 2.You reap later than you sow.
- 3.You reap more than you sow.
Hosea 8:7, They sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.
Illus – How many people would say, “If I had known what it would cost me, I would not have done it”?
- What Paul wants us to understand is that we eventually become our choices, it defines our character…
Illus – Sow a thought; reap an action. Sow an action; reap a habit. Sow a habit; reap a character. Sow a character; reap a destiny.
- Be set free from sin and shame and have new life.
Romans 6:6-23 NASB
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to
sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ,
having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for
all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin
shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For
just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves
to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit,
resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord.