Friday, July 31, 2020

Five Reasons Sign Miracle Have Ceased

Five Reasons Sign Miracle Have Ceased

Introduction: What is a miracle?

Definitions: A miracle is...

An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. – Merriam- Webster

A genuine miracle is an unusual event, accomplishing some useful work, and revealing the presence and power of God (Exod. 4:2-5; 1 Kings 18:24; John 5:36; 20:30f.; Acts 2:22). A spurious miracle, if not a mere deception, is a freak exhibition of power, wrought for show and ostentation, and inferior to the genuine miracle. It may also be effected by Satanic or demonic means (Exod. 7:llf., 22; Matt. 24:24; Acts 8:9-11; 13:6-g; 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:13). A genuine miracle is an unusual event in that it is not a mere product of so-called natural laws. In relation to nature, miracles are of two kinds: (1) those in which the natural laws are intensified or augmented, as in the deluge, in some of the plagues in Egypt, in the strength of Samson, etc., and (2) those in which all participation of nature is excluded, as in the budding of Aaron’s rod, the bringing of water from the rock, the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes, the healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, etc. Often the timing itself is miraculous, as in the case of the separation of the Red Sea. A genuine miracle accomplishes some practical and benevolent work. The miracles of Christ were for the benefit of those to whom he ministered.

Genuine miracles are a special revelation of the presence and power of God. They prove his existence, presence, concern, and power. They are occasions on which God, as it were, comes forth from his hiding place and shows to man that he is a living God, that he is still on the throne of the universe, and that he is sufficient for all of man’s problems. – Thiesan Lectures in Systematic Theology.

"Miracle" is the general term for the wonderful phenomena which accompanied the Jewish and Christian revelation, especially at critical moments…  - ISBE

Events which unmistakably involve an immediate and powerful action of God designed to reveal His character or purposes. Words used in the Scriptures to describe the miraculous include sign, wonder, work, mighty work, portent, power. - Holman Bible Dictionary.

An event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message. It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power. – Easton

Miracles by their definition must be rare or they really aren’t miracles.

Definition of a New Testament Sign Miracle

In the New Testament, the miracles that took place after Jesus’ resurrection occurred at the hands of the apostles and others within the church. The purpose of these miracles was to authenticate the church as God’s new house of witness, replacing for this time period the Temple.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  …14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.

1. Miracles occurred in the Bible during specific times of God’s design

We can see from studying the Bible that miracles were rare, occurring only during times of special revelation or workings of God.
1. Week of Creation
2. Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Jacob
3. Moses and the Exodus
4. Elijah and Elisha
5. Christ Ministry
6. First Church
7. Tribulation

Though there are other miracles outside of these time periods, the vast majority of the Bible is without miracles of any kind. It is also worthy of note that most of the times of sign miracles were or will be times of great disbelief and sin.

It has been said, “Miracles do not produce faith.” You can see the sins and rebellion of the Exodus, the disbelief of Abraham, Sarah and Lot, the idolatry of Israel during Elijah and Elisha’s ministry and even the end of Christ ministry of earth, which ends in His crucifixion. All these miracles did not produce faith. The next time of great miracles will the tribulation and we all know how that ends.
Paul said, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” While Jesus was even more adamant, telling the Jews, “A wicked and idolatrous generation seeketh after a sign.” Miracles don’t produce faith but instead are God’s proof of His revelation and at special times in His plan a means by which He helps His people. The church age now is not such a time.

2. 1 Corinthians 13 teaches the Sign Miracles would cease

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity (love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Paul points to the sign gifts, the miracles God used to authenticate the Church of Jesus, tongues, wisdom and knowledge.  He says that these gifts would fail, vanish and cease to exist.

1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Paul says these gifts or signs were partial, we would call them temporary, or imperfect.
1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  

In verse 10 he says when this will take place.  "When that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away."  It is easy to understand "that which is in part" refers to to the sign gifts.   

However, "that which is perfect" has been the source of much debate. 
So in order to interpret this correctly we must first know what does the word “perfect” means.
The word comes from Greek word teleios, which means 1) brought to its end, finished 2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness.
In addition to looking at the definition of the word we must look at the context in which it is being used.

What is the setting the subject of chapter 12 they brought Paul to tell us of the the more excellent way of love? 

The use of gifts in the church, particularly of the sign gifts or miracles of revelation, such as tongues, prophecy, and word of knowledge. 

So we see that in 1 Corinthians 10:10, the word, “that” cannot refer to Jesus or to His return, since Jesus is never referred to the in neuter gender and neither He nor His return are anywhere in the context. Therefore, “that which is perfect” refers to the perfect, complete revelation of God which is in keeping with the context

Perfect does not refer to sinlessness but to completeness. The subject has been imperfect knowledge or revelation which will be superseded when perfect, complete knowledge is given. That will be when God’s revelation for this age was completed. This took place with the completion of the Bible when John wrote the final book of Revelation.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
This is confirmed in other scriptures that deal with revelation from God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
What does it say brings a child of God to completeness?  
The verse says that scripture provides all that is needed to serve God, therefore, we do not need more revelation outside of God’s word, the Bible, unless we would believe that God's word is somehow deficient and incomplete.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
What does the phrase, "faith once delivered unto the saints" mean?  The tense here, is perfect which mean an action in the past which continues into the future.  The faith (truth, doctrine, teaching, way of life) was given one time and no more can be added it.

3.  The Gifts In Romans 12 lack the sign gifts

Romans 12:4-8 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Here are the Spiritual Gifts given to from 1 Corinthians 12:8-11
Word of wisdom: the communication of spiritual wisdom.
Word of knowledge: communication of practical knowledge.
Faith: not saving faith but great faith able to believe and see God do great things.
Gifts of healing: supernatural healing of disease and infirmities.
Workings of miracles: able to do supernatural wonders.
Prophecy: foretelling the future and forth-telling the judgment of God.
Discerning of spirits: Supernatural ability to judge spiritual forces
Divers kinds of tongues: ability to speak different languages.
Interpretation of tongues: ability to understand different languages.

Compare that to the gifts given in Romans 12:6-9
Prophesy (Judging, Discernment)
Ministry (Serving, Helping)
Teaching (Instructing, Guiding)
Exhortation (Encouraging, Uplifting other)
Ruling (Administration, Organization)
Giving (Contributing, Supplying)
Mercy (Comforting, Forgiving)

As you can see the “sign or miraculous gifts are missing.

Also keep in mind when both books were written. 1 Corinthians was written first around 54 AD while Romans was written second around 58 AD. The epistles to the Corinthians was written to deal with specific problems of division and sin within the church, while Romans was written as Paul’s “magnus opus” to give a full instruction of God’s righteousness, the Gospel, Sin, salvation and the Christian life.

It would seem that much had been happening and changing in the life of the church since its founding to the time of Paul’s writing to the Romans. Though the purpose of the gifts within the church was the same, the purpose outside the church was now different. Sign gifts and miracles,  once used to identify God’s new house of witness, were phasing out or Paul knew they would be phased out. This is why the sign gifts were not taught to the church at Rome. The time to “walk by faith not by sight” would be the standard for the church in the future.

This does not mean God no longer heals or performs miracles but that it is not done as a “sign” to unbelievers, nor is it done through “gifted” individuals within the church body. The abuse and foolishness we see today in many churches is due to the belief that sign miracles are for today, therefore God’s Word is only a secondary source of communicating with God. Paul seemed to warn of this when he told the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 14:22-23  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.  If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

4. We can see sign miracles ceasing before the NT was finished.

If it was true that the “sign gifts” were being phased out, we should be able to see instances where they had ceased in the New Testament and that is exactly what we do see.
In Acts we are told “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”

Paul of all the apostles was shown to be God’s man by the miracles he was able to do, even so far as being able to just send a cloth from him to the sick and they would be healed. But consider what we read later in his life.

Paul wrote to his “son in the faith,” 1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

 To the church at Philippi, he wrote concerning their messenger who almost died getting help to Paul, Philippians 2: 25-27  Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Later Paul told Timothy that he had to leave a member of his missionary team behind sick. 2 Timothy 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

Why didn’t the miracle working Paul heal these men? He leaves one man sick, tells Timothy, his right hand man, to drink some wine as a medicine and also prayed to God for healing Epaphradotis, someone who had aided him greatly. Yet instead of healing any of these he prays and asks for prayer, just like you and I do today. The most sensible, Biblical conclusion is that the “sign-miraculous gifts” were fading. And even Pau who had seen the Lord on the Damascus road, was now walking by faith and not by sight.

5. History shows that the sign gifts were not occurring after the first century.

The idea that tongues or other sign miracles should still be happening today was introduced by the teaching of William J. Seymour and others during the 3 year Azuza Street Revival in Los Angeles that began in 1906.  After the idea that sign and miracles were still a part of modern Christians, the participate of the revival began to pray and fervently ask for the Holy Ghost. They were suddenly knocked from their chairs and began to speak in tongues. This is considered the beginning of the Pentecostal / Charismatic movement.

Of course we must ask why did these folks have to ask for the Holy Ghost to show himself through tongues, etc unless such signs had ceased. In fact history clearly indicates that tongues and the miracle gifts had ceased. There is no mention of such miracles recorded by any of the men who followed the apostles. The so called Post-Apostolic Fathers say absolutely nothing about such miracles in their thousands of pages of writing. Later writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine all considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

If the sign miracles were for this age then why did they not continue and why did it take a meeting with people specifically seeking such signs, to see them come back into the church? If however the sign gifts ceased as a part of God’s plan for his children to “walk by faith and not by sight” then this is exactly the history we would expect.

One other note about history and the sign gifts particularly tongues. Christians have long sent missionaries around the world to win others to Christ. If tongues were still a viable gift today as ti was in the infant church, then there would never be a need for a missionary to learn a new language. In fact, in the early days of Pentecostalism that is what they believed and sent out untrained missionaries to just use tongues to convert the lost. They all returned with the same conclusion, it didn’t work. Today if you go to a Pentecostal Bible school or college and attend their missions prep courses you will see that they are all, without exception be told they will have to learn the language of the people they are going to. Nothing could be more convincing that today’s tongues are not real.


The sign gifts were in operation until the word of God was completed. When John wrote the book of Revelation all such communication from God ceased. It was no longer needed. To walk by faith is the opposite of needing miracles to believe God. In fact, miracles do not strengthen faith, but will only weaken it, especially when those miracle are not real.

The word of God is sure and it is all we need to trust, obey and walk with Him.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Living By Faith 4 Faith and Sin Romans 6

Living By Faith 4 Faith and Sin Romans 6

Text: Romans 6

Review Romans Outline

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

Roman’s Themes

Romans 1:16 - 17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

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

Joke: A minister hires a man to ring the church bell.  When the bell breaks the man is afraid of losing his job so he so decides to ring the bell by running into it face first.  This worked pretty well but after many years the man’s face is mangled and from ringing the bell with his face and he becomes so dizzy that one day he misses the bell, falls out of the steeple and is killed by the fall. He is lying on the sidewalk dead when 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.”

Later the pastor hired another man to take the dead bell ringers place. After all the applications were in they hired the man’s brother. And just like his brother he also feel from the steeple tower and was laying on the sidewalk when the police showed up and called the pastor to come down and id the man. The pastor looked at the man for quite a while and then said, “I’m sorry. I just can’t remember his name, but he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”

Now what does that terrible joke have to do with Romans 6? Well besides wanting to preach a sermon that really rings a bell, sometimes as Christians we are trying to get the job done, live the Christian life, but we’re doing it our way instead of the right way. Trying to ring the bell with our face instead of pulling the rope. Romans 6, 7 and 8 are the chapters where we are told how to live the Christian life, the right way.

It begins in Chapter 6 with how to deal with and overcome sin. You’ll never be able to fully live and enjoy the great blessings of the life Jesus has given to us, if we can’t deal with the sin that is still a part of our flesh.

Recognize (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: 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

Breaking the Cycle of Sin

Paul begins by asking a question, “Shall we continue in sin?”

This was a question that was probably in the minds of the Christians at Rome after they had read what Paul had written about Jesus redeeming us from sin. After hearing Romans 4:4-8 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Now after hearing that statement, that sin is forgiven by faith, they might ask, “If sin can be just be forgiven, then what is to stop someone from continuing to sin and then just keep asking for forgiveness? So Paul asks the question for them, “Shall we continue in sin?”

The he answers his rhetorical question with a phrase that the scholars of the KJV translated as, “God forbid!” in the Greek these two words form a double negative, meaning no twice as strongly, no times 2. We may say it, certainly not, absolutely not, by no means possible or if you’re from east Texas, “what in the world are ya’ll thinking?” Paul then finishes his answer, “How shall we who are dead to sin, live in sin?”

Paul says, its not what you feel but what you know, that will break the cycle of sin for the Christian, he emphasizes that word “know” three times in this paragraph.
vs. 3 Know that we who are baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.
vs. 6 Knowing our old man is crucified with Him.
vs. 9 Knowing that the resurrected Christ dies no more, death has no power of Him.

Paul is saying, You must recognize, realize, know that your acceptance of Jesus Christ means that you are in Him, your faith has joined you to Jesus and that relationship breaks the cycle.

Vss 3-5 To remind them and to give them a stronger picture of this truth, he brings up baptism which is a symbol of them being in Christ’s death and looking forward to being in His resurrection.

Vs. 6 We must know that our old man, our former sinful nature under the control of Satan, is crucified with Christ, that we may no longer serve sin.

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

Col 2:11-14 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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Do I Recognize and claim the knowledge That Will Break Sin in my life? 

When you accepted Christ as your savior, you believed that He died on the Cross for your sin. It was not a matter of experiencing it, or seeing it, you could not be there. Nor was it simply based on an emotion or feeling. What it was, what it must be is the reality of believing and because you believed, you acted and accepted Christ as your Savior.

Now, to overcome sin in my life I must believe in a second crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection? My own.

You must believe that when Christ died, you died with Him.  When he was buried your old man was buried with Him, and when he rose from the grave, you rose with Him, a new creature, no longer under the domination of sin. The cycle is broken.

It is not a matter of experiencing it, you must know it. It is not a matter of feeling it, you must believe it. It is not a matter of willing it, you must accept it. And having accepted it you must now live it!       

Illustration  The Bookmark

If I take a bookmark and place it in a book then 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 believe it.  I don't live as though it is true in my life.

Transition:  Now in the first 10 verses of Romans 6, Paul has given us the positive side of breaking the cycle, we are alive in Jesus. In the next 2 verses he gives us the negative part of breaking the cycle, being dead to sin.

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. 

Dead Reckoning

Paul then says, Likewise, in the same way, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ.

The word reckon in the Greek is the word, logizamai. It means to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over. 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, the negative) and I look at the inflow, (the positive) and when it is done I know the correct balance. I know where I stand.

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, the income and the expense.

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, that’s the expense, that is what it cost Jesus Christ.
Through the resurrection of Christ, I have been made a new creature in him. 

2 Cor 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, the income, the coming in, of a new life, through the Holy Spirit. I am now alive unto God. That is the bottom line.  That is the truth.  That is the reality of the Christian life and its power of sin.

Action Reckoning

The problem is not in what God has done but in what I won't believe and act upon. It is too easy for me to not reckon myself dead to sin.

I continue to allow sin to have power over me.  I indulge in it.  I enjoy it.  I think about it. I plan how I will do it. Yes, as a child of God, I feel bad after I have given in to it but I still give in because I do not reckon myself dead to it.

Neither do I reckon myself alive unto God. I don't walk with Him.  I don't talk with Him.  I don't listen to Him when He speak from His word. If you looked deeply at my life you would not know that I truly do believe there is an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God who will one day take me to live with Him for eternity. I don't act like it, because I don't reckon it to be true. I believe it, but I don’t reckon it. I believe in my heart but I too often I don’t act on that faith with my life especially when it comes to breaking the cycle of my sin.

James said this in James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Reckoning is one of the works that accompanies faith. It is not reckoning until there is action, a work, that overcomes my sin in my life.

Gather at the River

Sometimes dealing with our old nature is like the old preacher during 1930’s prohibition.  One Sunday he was getting wound up about the evils of alcohol.  He preached against it, he shouted against it, he pounded the pulpit and leaped from the podium against it.  Finally, at end his sermon he shouted, “All the liquor in this county should be taken and thrown into the river!” Then he called for the song leader to lead in a closing hymn.   The song leader, who liked a little tipple every now and then, stood and called out, “Let's all turn to 199 and sing 'Yes, We'll Gather at the River.’”

Illustration: Dead Reckoning in the navigation

I have a confession to make, I love to read books about the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars. I’m an addict, I really am. I have probably read or listened to over a hundred such books and some of them 2 or three times. Now if you think I believe that’s a sin, well you’re a holier roller than I am. I’m telling you that because of something I read in those books that I’m now going to share in this sermon. See it wasn’t wasted time it was research.

The term “Dead Reckoning” is an actual naval term, long before GPS satellites men were crossing the oceans and sailing around the world. The did it by navigating by the sun and stars and with a chronometer, a very precise clock set to mean Greenwich time in England. But when the stars were obscured by storm clouds they had to go by “dead reckoning.” They would pull out the maps, and charts and using a compass and rulers they would determine where they were on the world’s oceans starting from their last know location or fix. They had to put their faith not in what they could see, but in what was recorded, what was known to be true in the past and recorded on those charts. That is an illustration of our own “dead reckoning” plotting our course of life, overcoming sin in our life by putting our faith in what is what is true in God’s word and especially in this case in Romans 6 and our hearts fixed on the cross of Jesus Christ.

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

Reassign (Yield) Myself to God - Romans 6:13-23

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. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 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? 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. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 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. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Yielded to God.

When I believe these truths. When God reveals them in my soul. Then I must yield myself to God. I must resign my own power and will and reassign myself to God’s power and will.

The word yield here means to present myself, like a servant, before God.  A new creature that will be fit to serve God because I have overcome the power of sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Paul tells the Roman Christians in Romans 6:17-18 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.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

You don't belong to Satan any longer. You are not his servants so quit doing his bidding.  You have been given over to a new Master and new Lord, therefore act like the servant of God that you truly are.

Have I been before God?

With each step in my own breaking the cycle of sin, there must be growing knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him. I must have this undeniable, unshakeable knowledge that I am in Christ. That I was with Him on the cross, in the grave and in the resurrection from that dead body. This is a spiritual reality that occurred through my faith and the foreknowledge of God. I then must take the next step which is to reckon myself dead to sin but alive to Jesus Christ. And yet this process is not complete until I yield myself as a servant to God. There must be a time of reassigning my life from the servant of unrighteousness to being a servant of righteousness. And that must take place in in a face-to-face, heart to heart meeting at the throne of the God Almighty.

How many times have I allowed Satan to defeat me because I would not yield to God.  I would not come before Him in prayer and meet with my Maker.

We can’t call ourselves children of God until we acknowledge our need to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father. It must begin at salvation and it must continue if we are to grow and learn. We must be with Him, we must yield to Him.

Later in this same letter to the church, Paul emphasizes it again in 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…

Yielded Servants of Righteousness

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.”

Conclusion:  What about you?

Have you yielded yourself as an instrument of righteousness to God? 

Have you been before Him and said, “This body is no longer mine. 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 can no longer serve sin they are now instruments of righteousness. These feet will no longer go where Satan pushes, they will only go where the Holy Spirit leads.”

This morning if you would have power over sin, if you would break the cycle of sin in your life, then know that you are in Christ. Reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God. And then yield yourself as an instrument of righteousness before God.