Sermon Notes from Romans 6:1-2, 15
Here, Paul asks two questions. The first question (v.2) is answered with second: How shall we live in sin when we are dead to it?
Chuck Swindoll says we should recall in our memories – recall our misery, that we couldn’t control our desires – perhaps the victim of a habit? lust, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, food. Recall the feeling you had no hope. This is slavery = addiction at its worst. Shame increased, and overwhelmed you.
Some people, live in freedom in grace, but have forgotten their slavery.
Gordon Seagrave has said: “It is my earnest conviction that everyone should be in prison at least once. Should be in on suspicion, not proof, he should be sick most of the time, at least 4 months. Only then will he realize the value of freedom.”
Ex: Nelson Mandela, John Bunyan
When imprisoned, freedom is much sweeter.
Imagine, wrongfully imprisoned…
Who would volunteer to return to prison?
We are dead to sin, why return? We are freed slaves, freed from sin and shame. Why return?
“Emancipate” means to release from slavery.
In the US, the Civil War broke slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was killed for the cause. The 13th Amendment legally abolished slavery, black slaves emancipated (freed). The President had earlier stated his anti-slavery convictions.
New Year’s Day 1863 the Emancipation was proclaimed but it took until December 18, 1865 for it to be enacted. The newspapers declared: “Slavery: Legally Abolished” It was Good news!
But, the majority of slaves – now legally freed, continued to live as slaves…Former slaves lived virtually unchanged lives.
Shelby Foot in his 3-volume “Civil War” wrote: “The Negro was locked in a caste system of grace etiquette.” All slaves would likely say – “I don’t know nothing ’bout Abe Lincoln, ‘cept he set us free – and I don’t know nothing ’bout that neither.”
Slaves were ignorant of freedom. And that was TRAGIC…There was a war, assassination, amendment, they were emancipated, freed, but- still lived in poverty, fear, and old lives…They often chose to keep serving the same master, until they died.
Would you even know that slavery was abolished?
Plantation owners wanted to“Keep them ignorant, keep them in the field.” What else could they do?
Israelite slaves had an advantage – God was with them – signs and wonders. Exodus. Red sea, manna, pillar of cloud and fire. Manifestations of God.
Not so in America…Tragic?
Here is one WORSE. Christian slaves…
Jesus paid it all! But many Christians act as though held in bondage…Most prefer the security of slavery, to the risks of liberty. Strange, no? But Satan loves it! “Great! Keep it up!” Satan KNOWS we are free – but hates it. He does everything in his power to keep us pinned down in guilt, shame, intimidation, fear.
Romans 3 – this is us before Jesus.
10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
(POINT 1) We had no way of escape. We were unable to change our enslavement to sin.
(POINT 2) Glorious release – Christ has set us free!
Sinners – everyone on Earth – has been set free! The first Easter – is our redemption.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
To qualify, you need no special requirements. Not culture, not skin, not language, ONLY faith in Christ. We were all slaves to sin, to Satan (our master).
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We were spiritually useless, could not escape. Jesus, paid our price to free us. His own blood = price. He said to us all “You don’t have to live under your former master any longer! You’re free! Free to serve me for the rest of your life!”
We were changed from rebels to servants of God.
President Grace freed us from Satan – our master, and his wife Shame.
- Theoretically, we were freed at Jesus death.
- Practically, legalism, old habits, attempt to keep us in bondage – to keep us ignorant, afraid, thinking like a slave.
(POINT 3) Many Christians still live AS SLAVES.
It’s like saying, “I don’t know anything about Grace, cept maybe it set us free, and I don’t know bout that neither…”
We have a Sin-oriented mentality…
- “I just can’t help myself.”
- “I’m only human”
- “I’m not a great guy”
We speak self-defeating references – we look like insecure religious slaves.
We rationalize our sins – hypocrites…
We lie, cheat, steal.
We say “Nobody’s perfect.”But that basically means “I’m still enslaved…”
Chuck Swindoll says: Nonsense! Live like you’re free! Where sin abounded, grace SUPER abounded! Once you were enslaved, now you are freed. Live ABOVE your old habit – old sin. Grace helps us to say “no” to sin and conquer it.
Here’s a Maverick thought:
Once we grasp true freedom of grace, we can spend lengthy periods of time sinless, shameless. Why should sin master us? How un-biblical to say we can’t help but let sin master us. We have been trained to expect and handle sin – rather than freedom. But that reinforces our slave mentality. Wake up, confess, go to bed, confess, anything I missed? confess… Where is the abundant life Christ promised? Are free people to live in such fear of sin?
Let’s live like we’re free!
Your old master doesn’t want you to think like this. He wants to keep you ignorant and in shame, and afraid of him and his whip (sin). Wants you to think you “gotta get beat” every now and then – to keep you in line.
HERESY! Jesus set us free! Satan has no right to put a whip to your back! You are free!
This is Grace Awakening.
We are freed from sin, Satan, shame, old selves…
Old man, new man
McGee tells a story to illustrate the concept of old man and new man:
A lady lived in the deep South – had a close relationship with former boyfriend – ultimately married him, had a rewarding life, though not perfect.
But one day, heart attack took him from her. She didn’t want to let him go – embalmed him, put in a chair, sealed in a glass case, in front of her home. Whenever she walked in, she said, “Hi, John” – walked upstairs, carried on.
One year later, took a trip to EU. Met an American who fell in love with her – married in EU, honeymooned, etc.
What a surprise for the new husband…He picked her up, knocked the door open…And almost dropped her!
She said, “That’s my old man John” – So he buried John. It was finally OVER.
That’s what Christ has done for us.
We died with Christ, raised to new life with him. The revelation of Holy Spirit reminds us of our freedom – Ephesians. We need the spirit of knowing our own death and rebirth with Christ.
Chuck Swindoll – closing part 2.
There are many high passes up mountains. It can be quite dangerous. The Govt. could put EMT at the bottom of hill to be ready for the injured. (This is like 1 John 1:9 for Christians.)
OR they could put warning signs up the road, preparing people for what is ahead. (This is like Romans 6 for Christians – it is our warning, and explains our freedom in Christ). Don’t spend time in guilt, confession, guilt, confession. Our inheritance is freedom! We are not under law – it only magnifies and explains sin. Rather, we are under grace.