Romans 6 pt 2
Men - Gather at 8 am on Friday
After service - Jayden’s birthday
No Wednesday service this week
Last week we started into chapter 6 in the book of Romans - continuing our study through this book.
And I pleaded with you that you wouldn’t just check out - because these chapters in the middle of this book don’t exactly fit into the mold of exactly what we want in sermons or even scripture as believers. I compared these passages to fly over states, like the one we live in. It is really easy to just pass all of this up - and jump to the next passage that deals with the things that FEEL more pressing in your life. How to raise a family - how to steward your finances - and so on. But there is so much contained in the middle of this book that we NEED.
This should not be a time when we check out. These passages are some of the most important and foundational passages that exist in the entirety of scripture.
Learn this stuff. Try hard to understand it. I will try to weave in situations to bring understanding and application, but the doing - is between you and the Lord. And there is always doing to be done. As we develop understanding - we build our trust in the lord, in what he is doing and has done. And then - when the winds blow, and the stuff doesn’t go right - and the things you thought you had figured out go totally wrong - you have this unshakable bedrock of faith. This I AM SAVED foundation of your life, that can not be shaken. That is where we want to be.
I want to tell you about an experience I had this week.
I was in a church the other day for my other job - and the fellow walking around showing me facility and the repairs that they needed done said a cuss word.
And he looked up at the ceiling and asked for forgiveness - which I thought was cool, a good, fast response to his misstep. But then I started thinking very quickly through the realities of our relationship with God, the truths in this book of the Bible, and I said “It’s a good thing we are under grace and not under the law, isn’t it”
That guy’s face turned so quickly. A second before that, he was walking with a contractor - suddenly he was reminded of the grace that God has for us in our lives. The change in our position for eternity.
That is the treasure of this chunk of scripture in the middle of Romans. It matters - so much.
Let’s pray and then we will get into the word together.
One of the beautiful things about preaching through books of the Bible like this is that we get to see how everything fits together.
The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul goes through this beautiful explanation of grace and how it interacts with sin. When there is sin, there is grace. When there is more sin, there is exponentially more grace. You can not out sin the grace of God.
When you sin God sees the need for grace in your life and pours it out of his abundance of it. Rivers of grace. oceans of grace.
And when that is taught correctly, it should provoke some funny thoughts in our minds.
Grace should be understood, taught, and preached in such a way that it causes people to think that sin is a good thing - because it makes God look better.
And so Paul starts to work through that by posing the question in verse one, which we dealt with last week.
What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?
If you missed last week, I recommend you go to our website or the facebook page and listen to that message, I believe God has some incredible things to share with us in the first part of this chapter. So he asks this question in verse 1, And then the question in verse 15.
What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not!
He seems to be dealing with the thought processes of someone who claims to follow Jesus, but want to sin a little. And so they keep poking holes… can I sin a little because of this? Can I sin a little because of that?
Paul wants us to understand grace so well, and describes it so beautifully… we come to this conclusion, well it doesn’t matter if I sin or not, because if I DO sin… grace abounds.
Paul wants us to understand grace so well - that we don’t want to sin.
And boy do we WANT for sin. We want it. We need it.. we are addicted to it. Paul wants us to see grace so wonderfully that we want to separate ourselves from sin. So he asks this question.
Should we sin so that there could be more grace?
Should we sin because we aren’t under the law?
What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The first argument that Paul makes in this passage of scripture is that we exist under grace. We have the ability to live under grace.
What is : Under Law vs Under Grace?
When we talk about under law or under grace, these are really two ways that a human can live their lives. Pay attention here… we are talking about the gospel again. A way to share the gospel - explain the gospel - which we know is part of our calling as believers… When we talk about being under law or under grace, these are two different ways of living our lives.
The end of our lives will be judged based on our righteousness at that time.
Under law means that there are a set of rules - laws - that exist, and as I live my life - my right standing with God depends on my ability to follow those laws. If we view - Keeping rules as our means of right standing right standing with God - we are choosing to live under the law.
Do we do this?
The churches in Galatia struggled with this. Paul came through and taught the churches in Galatia about Christ and his righteousness and about living under grace and how wonderful it was and then paul moved on. that is one of the reasons that we have the book of Romans, in the depth that we have it - Paul couldn’t get to Rome… he writes these theological gold mines because he wasn’t able to be there in person. But with Galatia, he was there in person, and so when he writes, he is correcting the things that have gone wrong since he left. One of the things that he has to deal with is that after he left - some people came in and convince the church that they still had to follow the law.
They said - what Paul told you was good… but you still need to get circumcised.
So Paul dealt with this in his letter.
Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law. You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
When we try to live as though our righteousness depends on our ability to follow the law… we live under the law. God will judge us, according to the law.
Now let’s modernize that.
How do we “live under the law”
We set up our own Righteous to-do list - and we impose that list on ourselves and any one else who will listen.
And we FEEL like if we check those boxes each day… then we can have righteousness.
Are the behaviors we want bad - no. But when we - in our minds - tie those behaviors to our righteousness - it becomes very dangerous. We can do this with all manner of good things. We can make reading our bibles a law unto ourselves. Is reading your bible bad? No! In fact, you should be reading your bible, a saved person should want to read their Bibles. But do you tie that reading to your salvation - or do you read because you love the Lord and you want to be closer to him?
No amount of right behavior is going to get you into heaven.
Did Jesus save you? Or did he just throw you a lifeline for you to save yourself?
Did Jesus pay it all? Or did Jesus just help you get caught up on your payments and you are handling the rest from here?
The world lives under the law. You can know this by asking someone if they are going to heaven or not. Ask someone if they are saved. IF they say they think they are going to heaven, it will most likely be because they believe they are a good person.
Being a good person doesn’t get you there.
as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
And so the answer is to live under grace. To accept the gift of God, which is Christ’s righteousness and eternal life.
That is our way of living life.
So If that is the way the way that we are living - if we understand that....
Then why does it matter if I sin?????
Because you are under grace!!
That is a promise. You are under grace - sin will have no dominion over you!
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.
For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.
This is grace. The command, and then the power to complete it. Grace. Grace. Grace. Grace. Grace.
The instruction is to not let sin reign, and then the reality is that sin cannot reign over you - because of your new reality.
Don’t give it any ground. It doesn’t rule here.
Sin cannot be sovereign - don’t let it pretend to be.
There is still a battle to fight with Sin..
But when we understand justification..
When we understand our place with God, that when he sees us he sees Jesus. That we have been recast, made new and we look like Jesus....
We know that when we sin, God doesn’t distance himself from us. He isn’t suddenly disappointed in us. All of the work that was needed to be done to cover our sins - was done two thousand years ago. It was already paid for!
So what is God to do now?
God is in the restoration Business. He is in the justification business. Does he still have wrath to pour out? Yes. For you in christ? No.
He does not distance himself from us for any reason.
This is something that I have struggled with.
The weeks that I don’t feel like I have checked all of the boxes, or I have fallen into sin - I have failed in some great big way....
Those are the times that I have felt that Jesus was distant.
Because my understanding of justification wasn’t right.
My understanding of grace wasn’t right.
When we get all of that - in our hearts and minds… the conversation changes very drastically.
Paul recons that we should not want to sin - and goes into an in depth discussion to say why. He describes what happens when we give into sin, and compares it to slavery.
Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?
We shouldn’t keep on sinning when we understand that it means that we are surrendering to something that should have no power.
But when we want to sin - when we say yes to sin willfully - because we have thought it all out, we have decided that we like it - we submit ourselves to it as slaves. Paul says we are slaves to the thing that we obey.
But thank God that - those of us who have surrendered our lives to Christ, we are freed from that.. Don’t go back.
We want to obey righteousness. We want to surrender righteousness.
When that becomes the desire of our heart, sin loses power.
Sin loses authority.
Any one of you ever called an old boss to see what time they wanted you to clock in today? No? Because that is foolish. You don’t work there anymore. You found something better. A job that paid better, better hours, better benefits, or simply the place you know God was calling you to be for one purpose or another.
Side note - Paul tells us here that he isn’t totally comfortable with the slavery analogy. He doesn’t really like it, it doesn’t do the best job describing what is going on, he is speaking in human terms. He is trying to use things we understand.
When you serve sin, when you willingly give into sin… .you earn death for yourself.
So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death.
Now that you have been set free, surrender yourself to God. Instead of submitting to sin, submit to the Lord.
Because he has already given you his gift.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He has already given us the gift of eternal life. He has given us righteousness. Already. It’s yours. You have it.
Our response to that is to say to God
I will do what ever you want me to do.
I will go where you want me to go
I will work where you want me to work
I will talk to the people you want me to talk to.
God even if I do not want to - I will follow you and your will for my life.
Because you are God.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we do for you. May he make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Amen.