How Can I Live in Christian Victory? \\ Romans 6:1-14 \\ Sermon by Rick Crandall \\ McClendon Baptist Church - March 22, 2009 \\ \\ ~*Don’t you like to be a winner?
Of course, some corrupt athletes throw games.
Sometimes parents will let their children win a game, and I imagine some women have done the same thing for their men.
But most everybody plays to win.
You will never hear an NFL player going to the Super Bowl say, “Man, I hope we lose tomorrow!”
No -- everybody wants to be a winner.
\\ \\ ~*So let me ask you: How much victory do you have in your Christian life?
How much victory do you want?
I want more victory!
And we can have it.
Right here God gives us 4 keys to a victorious Christian life.
\\ \\ *1.
The first key is learning the truth of your new life in Christ.
\\ * \\ ~*You have to thoroughly learn the truth about your new life in Christ.
Paul stressed this three times in these verses.
God wants us to become so fully acquainted with the truth of our new life, that twice He used the same word for “know” that He used to describe the oneness between husband and wife.
\\ \\ ~*Let’s look at the truth of our new life in Christ.
1-3*, the new life starts with a death and a burial.
What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
\\ 2. Certainly not!
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
\\ 3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
\\ * \\ ~*We don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that Paul is only talking about water baptism here.
We are not saved by water baptism.
Being put into the water is an outward sign of an inward reality.
The thing we can see with our eyes is a symbol.
And the thing we can only see by faith is the spiritual reality: The reality that when you receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, He comes into your heart.
And you come into Him to live as part of His Body.
That’s why Paul says in vs. 3 that we believers have been baptized -- not into water, but into Jesus Christ.
And that’s why in *1 Corin 12:12-13*, Paul says: \\ \\ *12.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
\\ * \\ ~*We are in Christ, -- and He is in us.
William Barclay helped me understand it by comparing it to the air we breathe.
He said, “We cannot live our physical life unless we are in the air, and the air is in us.
And we cannot have spiritual life unless we are in Jesus, and He is in us.
But if we have believed in Him, then He is in us, and we are in Him.” (1) \\ \\ ~*This is extremely important, because it means that when we were baptized into Jesus, vs. 3 says that we were “baptized into His death.”
4-7* say: \\ \\ *4.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, \\ 6. knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
For he who has died has been freed from sin. \\ \\ *~*Vs.
6 clearly tells believers that our old man, our old sinful, selfish lost nature was crucified with Christ.
Part of this has to do with the truth that if you execute someone for a crime you can’t put them on trial again.
Jesus was executed for our sins, and we were executed with Him, so in Him, our sin debt has been paid in full.
\\ \\ ~*But there is another way we have been set free by our death in Him.
First you have to know that before we came to Jesus, we were slaves to sin.
Paul mentioned this in vs. 6.
And sin is such a cruel slave-driver.
But believers, sin can’t force us to be a slave for him anymore, because we are dead in Christ!
“For he who is dead is freed from sin.” \\ \\ ~*Believers, when Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, we were there too, -- in Him.
Our new life in Christ started with a death and a burial.
But it ends with a resurrection.
We see it in vs. 8&9: \\ \\ 8. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, \\ 9. knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.
Death no longer has dominion over Him.
\\ \\ ~*Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
And His resurrection belongs to all believers.
For in vs. 5, Paul said: “If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus Christ! \\ \\ ~*You know, that symbol of water baptism would be pretty rough, if it wasn’t for the resurrection.
How long can you hold your breath?
The good news is I don’t have to hold you under the water, because Jesus rose from the dead!
God brings life out of death for all who put their trust in Jesus Christ!
And if we have trusted in the Risen Christ, we have the power of His resurrection working in us right now.
So the first key to victory is learning the truth of your new life in Christ.
\\ \\ 2. The second key is counting on the truth of your new life in Christ.
\\ \\ ~*God wants you to know the truth in the deepest part of your heart, but that is not enough for victory.
You have to start consciously counting on the truth, start taking your new life into account.
By faith, you have to start counting on the reality of this truth in your life.
We see this in vs. 10-12, where Paul said: \\ \\ 10.
For the death that (Jesus) died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. \\ 11.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
\\ 12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
\\ \\ ~*That word “reckon” is a bookkeeping term.
It means to count on something or to bank on it.
Christians, the new life belongs to us because we belong to Jesus, but we have to start taking this new life into account.
\\ \\ ~*A small example is the time change we went through a couple of weeks ago.
“Fall back -- Spring ahead!”
I hate that Spring ahead.
Love the extra hour of daylight, but I hate moving my clocks one hour forward.
Have you ever forgotten to do it?
You got up on Sunday, and you thought, “It’s only 8. -- I’ve got plenty of time to get to Sunday School.”
It felt like 8, all the clocks in your house said 8, but a new time had come.
\\ \\ ~*Then you turned on the TV and it said 9.
You turned on your computer, and it said 9.
You called your best friend and he said, “It’s 9:00!”
It sure didn’t feel like 9, but if the TV, your computer and your best friend say, “It’s 9,” you better set aside your feelings and go by what you know to be true.
\\ \\ ~*Jesus Christ is your Best Friend, and what He tells us in His Word is this: We were crucified with Christ.
We were buried with Him.
We were raised again.
Now, therefore, reckon it, start counting on it everyday.
Or as Paul said in vs. 11, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The second key to victory is counting on the truth of your new life in Christ.
\\ \\ 3. The third key is yielding to the truth of your new life in Christ.
\\ \\ ~*This is the hard part, because in vs. 12-14, we find that we are pulled in two directions at the same time.
The key word in vs. 13 is translated “present” in the NKJ and “offer” in the NIV.
But I like the word “yield” used in the KJV, because it helps us to see that we are pulled in two directions.
Let me plug that word “yield” into the NIV: \\ \\ 12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.