Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Victory Over Sin Romans 6

Victory Over Sin

Text: Romans 6

Introduction:  His face sure rings a bell.
A minister hires a man to ring the church bell.  When the bell breaks the man is afraid to tell the preacher so he rings the bell by running into it face first.  After many years the man is so mangled and disoriented from ringing the bell with his face that he missed the bell and falls out of the steeple and is killed by the fall.  The police arrive and ask the minister who the man is, “Well I can't quite remember the name, but his face sure rings a bell." 
I want this morning to preach a sermon that rings a bell.  I want to tell you something that strikes a chord in our heart and in your life.  I want to share with you "how to find truly overcome sin in your life.

How many of us wrestle with sin? How many of us have habits, and weakness that we just can't seem to overcome? We can't quit smoking. We can't quit drinking.  We can't control our tongue, whether it be cursing, gossip, or a sharp offensive tongue.  We can't quit overeating. We can't hold our temper. We can't stop ourselves from reading pornography or viewing it in movies or videos. The list can go on and on. Some sins we think of as great some as small, but the common denominator is that they control us almost at will.

How can we stop living this way? The Bible has the answer in the sixth chapter of Romans. Turn with me there.  

Romans Outline
Chapter 1-3 God’s Holiness in Condemning Sin
Chapter 4-5 God’s Grace in Justifying Sinners
Chapter 6-8 God’s Power in Sanctifying Believers
Chapter 9-11 God’s Sovereignty in Saving Jew and Gentile
Chapter 12-14 God’s Glory the Object of Service
Chapter 15-16 Epilogue

Romans Themes
Chapter 1-3 Sin
Chapter 4-5 Salvation
Chapter 6-8 Sanctification
Chapter 9-11 Sovereignty
Chapter 12-14 Service
Chapter 15-16 Epilogue

I. Know Romans 6:1-10

 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

A. We must know we are in Christ
1. Paul begins by asking a question.
a) Shall we continue in sin?
b) A question which was probably in the minds of those he wrote to.
c) They would ask, "If my sin can be forgiven through Christ, then what is to stop me from sinning continually then being forgiven continually?
d) Paul responds, "God forbid!" in the Greek a double negative, meaning no twice as strongly.  How shall we who are dead to sin, live in sin?
2. Paul then uses the word know or knowing three times in this paragraph.
a) vs. 3 Know that we are baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.
b) vs. 6 Knowing our old man is crucified with Him.
c) vs. 9 Knowing that the resurrected Christ dies no more, death has no power of Him.
3. Paul is saying, "You must realize and believe that your acceptance of Jesus Christ means that you are in Him."
a) Baptism is a symbol of you being in His death, and looks forward to us being in His resurrection.
b) Our old man, our former sinful nature under control of Satan, is crucified with Christ, that we may no longer serve sin.
4. Scripture: 
a) Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
b) Colossians 2:9-12  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.   And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:   In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

B. Do I possess the knowledge?
1. Do I really believe, understand and act as though I am "in Christ."
2. When you accepted Christ, you believed that He died on the Cross for your sin.
a) It was not a matter of experiencing it, you could not be there.
b) It was not a matter of feeling that it was true
c) It was a matter of believing and because you believed it you acted and accepted Christ as your Savior.
3. In order to have power over sin you must believe in another crucifixion, your own.
a) You must believe that when Christ died, you died.  When he was buried your old man was buried, and when he rose from the grave, you rose with Him a new creature no longer under the domination of sin.
b) It is not a matter of experiencing it, you must know it
c) It is not a matter of feeling it, you must believe it.
d) It is not a matter of willing it, you must accept it.
e) And having accepted it you must act like it.

C. Illustration.  Bookmark and Make me a flashlight
1. If I take a book mark and place it in a book. it is in the book. Wherever the book goes the bookmark goes, whatever happens to the book happens to the bookmark.  For all intents and purposes the bookmark and the book are one and the same.  The same is true of my relationship with Christ.  I am in Him. The Bible says so, Jesus prayed so, it is so.  It is already a fact, it is already true, it is already done. My problem is I just don't know it.  I don't fully believe it. I don't live as though it is true in my life.
2. I tell you what this is like.  It is like the story of The Little Flashlight and the Wise Lantern.   This little flashlight was frustrated and sad.  He did not have the abilities that other flashlights had.  And even though he hated the dark he was always in the dark for he could not act as a flashlight should act. 
3. No matter how he tried, he simply couldn’t make himself shine. The flashlight often prayed to God, "Lord, make me a flashlight, give me power to shine in the darkness and be what you want me to be."  But it seemed God never answered his prayer.  And so the little flashlight stayed in the dark, alone, afraid and helpless.
4. One day the little flashlight met a wise lantern, who always seemed to be bright for Christ.  The little flashlight worked up his courage and then asked the great flashlight, "Why can't I be a great light like you?  Why won't God answer my prayers to make me a useful flashlight."
5. The wise lantern said, "What do you mean?  Do you have batteries?  Do you have a bulb?  Do you have a switch?"   The sad little light said, "I think I do but I have never tried them, because I didn't know if they would work."  The wise light said, "It's time you stopped praying for what you already have.  If you believe then turn on the switch." 
6. The little light did and shined for the Lord all his days.
7. We are like the little flashlight praying for things which have already been given to us.  Lord, help me stop smoking.  Lord, help me stop drinking, Lord, take away my temper.  Lord, stop me from viewing pornography.   Lord, help me to stop over eating.  When all the time God is saying, "It is already done.  It was done on the cross in my Son. You must now know it and begin to act in that knowledge?"

D. Transition:  This is the positive side, being in Christ, now let us look at the negative side, being dead to sin.

II. Reckon Romans 6:11-12

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 

A. I must reckon myself dead to sin.
1. Paul then says, Likewise, in the same way, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ.
2. The word reckon in the Greek is the word, logizamai.
a) It is translated in the AV - think 9, impute 8, reckon 6, count 5, account 4, suppose 2, reason 1, number 1, misc 5; 41
b) It means to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over
e) It was a word used by stewards, accountants.  It has the same idea of someone balancing the books. It means I look at the outgo and I look at the inflow and when it is done I know the correct balance.
3. When Paul tells us to reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God through Christ, he is giving us the outgo and the inflow.
a) Through the death of Christ and my being in him I am now dead to sin.  That old man was crucified with Christ and buried.  That's the outgo.
b) Through the resurrection of Christ, I have been made a new creature in him.  2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  This is the inflow, a new life, the holy Spirit, I am alive unto God.
4. This is the bottom line.  This is the truth. This is the reality of the Christian life.

B. Will I act in accord with the reckoning?
1. The problem is not in what God has done but in what I won't believe.
2. I won't reckon myself dead to sin.
a) I continue to allow it to have power over me.  I indulge in it.  I enjoy it.  I think about it.   I plan how I will do it.  Yes, I feel bad after I have giving in but I still given in because I have not reckoned myself dead to it.
3. Neither will I reckon myself alive unto God.
a) I don't walk with Him.  I don't talk with Him.  I don't listen to Him from His word.  If you looked at my life you would not know that I believe there is an omnipresent God in heaven who will one day take me to live with Him for eternity.  I don't act like, because I don't reckon it to be true.
4. Sometimes dealing with our old nature is like the old preacher during prohibition.  One Sunday he was getting really wind up about the evils of alcohol.  He preached against, he shouted against, he pounded the pulpit and leaped from the podium against it.  Finally, to end his sermon he shouted, "All the liquor in this county should be taken and thrown into the river."  He then called for the song leader to lead in a closing hymn.   The song leader stood and called out, "Let's all turn to 199 and sing 'Yes, We'll Gather at the River."

C. Illustration: Feeding a corpse.
1. Imagine if you went to a funeral and there in front of all the mourners.  You saw the family members bringing in a fast food lunch and a Dr. Pepper walking up to the casket and begin to feed the deceased.  "He always like a cheeseburger and fries."  
2. Can that corpse eat?  Can it enjoy the meal now that it's dead, no matter how much it liked it in life?  No, it is dead to cheeseburgers, fries and soft drinks.  We must come to the same realization in our own spiritual life.  The person that used to be overpowered by sin.  Used to cuss, used to drink, used to smoke, used to lose their temper, used to overeat, that person died in Christ and the new one is hid in Christ and will not be overcome by sin. 
3. Will you believe it?  Will you reckon it to be true?  Then act like it.  Walk away from the sin.  Turn away from the temptation.  Look to Christ not to yourself.

D. Transition:  Now that we know we are in Christ and reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, what's left?  Yielding ourselves to God.

III. Yield Myself to God Romans 6:13-23

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

A. Finally I must yield (present) myself to God.
1. When I believe these truths.  When God reveals them in my soul.  Then I must yield myself to God.
2. The word here means to present myself before God.  A new creature who knows he can serve God because he has overcome sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
3. Paul says in verse 17, "you were the servants of sin, but being made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness."
4. You don't belong to Satan.  Quit doing his bidding.  You have been given over to new ownership.  Act like the servant of God you are.

B. Have You Presented Yourself To God?
1. With each step in my relationship with God there must be an intensifying of the person of Jesus Christ.  This must be followed with a time of coming before God.  A time of yielding myself to God in a face to face, heart to heart meeting at the throne of the creator.
1. Paul said Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God…
2. How many times have I allowed Satan to defeat me because I would not yield to God. I would not come before Him and yield myself.
3. How can we call ourselves children of God when we don't acknowledge our need to be in the presence of our Father. How can we hope to grow and learn if we don't come before Him? 
4. Have you yielded yourself to God? Have you been before Him and said, "Lord, this body is not mine any longer.  It was purchased by Jesus shed blood. This heart no longer can love the things of the world it has been given a higher love. These arms and hands can no longer serve sin they are instrument of righteousness. These feet will no longer go where Satan pushes they will go where the Holy Spirit leads."

C. Illustration:  Yielding To God
Florene Nightingale “I have kept nothing back from God.”
Jim Elliot “Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine.
George Mueller “There was a day when I died, utterly died to George Mueller.”
William Booth “I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was.”

The Dedication of Jonathan Edwards.
 I claim no right to myself, no right to this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither do I have any right to this body or its members, no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears or eyes.
  I have given myself clear away and not retained anything of my own.  I have been to God this morning and told Him I have given myself wholly to Him. 
  I purpose to be absolutely His.

IV. Conclusion:  What about you this morning?

1. Do you know you are in Christ?  If you haven't accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior this would be you time.  If you do know you are in Christ then...
2. Will you reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God
3. And if you will then will you yield?  Will you present yourself, all our yourself before God as Paul said in Romans 12 "a living sacrifice"

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