Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Sermon - Fly! Be Free!
These Roman Christians were united with Jesus Christ, united in Jesus Christ and all because of Jesus Christ alone. How could this be? Entirely due to the twin wellsprings of God’s grace and mercy.
And so do we, as all Christians do down through time! In these three chapters, Romans 5-8, Paul is explaining about life under grace – life for all those who claim Jesus to be their Master, their Lord and their God – having responded to God’s free offer!
Here in Romans 5-8, Paul shows from 8 different angles or lenses about life for all those who claim to be a Christian disciple – somebody who has decided to follow Jesus. It’s like he is creating this fabulous stained glass window or a tapestry about life for the Christian believer who is now under grace and has Jesus as their master and Lord.
What’s going on?
What was happening here in Chapter 6? In this section of Romans, Paul wants the believers in Rome to know, understand, recognize and comprehend all that living under grace encompasses. Paul knows that right thinking leads to right living. Paul is writing basic doctrine to this group of believers in Rome. There are 3 possible scenarios in Paul’s thinking – 2 here in Romans 6 and another in Romans 7! Paul had obviously encountered this thinking before – perhaps even in his own life! So let’s look at these scenarios together… As Paul writes, he informs the readers
Romans 6:1-23 - What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.~
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.~
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.~
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.~
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.~
It is Free