A Matter of Life and Death -
If you have your Bibles and veg to turn with me to the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans were going to be in chapters 5 and 6 today If you don't have a Bible and you like to use one of the blue Pew Bibles in front of it, you can turn the page 770.
Once heard a story about a preacher and one of the further his studies and so he moved halfway across the world to Germany in order to attend a very prestigious University there. I was Canadian. He didn't speak much German. He was fluid in French, which is why he was excited to meet another man at the Seminary who happened to be from West Africa and spoke French as his native language as well. So every once in a while because they both spoke French, they would get together and talk about their lives and it turns out even though they came from different parts of the world. They both had a lot in common. They were both married. They both consider themselves to be Christian and they both love learning about the Bible. As I got to know each other the Canadian friend found out something that was pretty concerning about the way that his West African friend lived. As it turns out that African man's wife. Did not live with him in Germany, but was actually studying in London at the time. And so because she wasn't with him. A couple of times a week he would make his way down to the red light district of town and his spend his money in various ways, and I'm just going to leave it there. That's how I say it. To the Canadian asked his friend. One day they got together. What would you do? If you found out that your wife was doing the same things in London. He said without skipping a beat. Simple, I'd killer.
I said hold on a minute. Is that fair? Do your wife. He said you don't understand. He said in my Village in my Village in my culture where I grew up. It's okay for the men to do these kinds of things, but it is not ever acceptable for a woman to do those things.
What's the Canadian was shocked by this? And he said the hold on? Is it that may be the way it is in the culture that you grew up in but you call yourself a Christian you you know the Bible, you know that God doesn't have different standards of right and wrong between men and women aren't you concerned about sinning against God?
Enter this his friend replied. You worry too much. God will forgive me. That's his job.
That's his job.
should Christians Be concerned. about Sin As Christians we celebrate the grace of God and we should we sing how amazing it is because God's grace is truly amazing. It's saves Sinners just like you and me. He has saved us and he is Forgiven us not because of the good things that we have done. But because of the wonderful things that he has done for us when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. We know that our sins are wiped away because he has paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. This is the good news of the Gospel that while you can do nothing to earn your salvation. God gives it to us freely to be received by faith. But the story that I've just told asks an important question. What did God save us for?
Why did he save us? When you think about the story? You think about the way this West African man lives? I'm not not judging him because there are many others like him. When you think about the way that he lives his life. Ask yourself the question. Is that really what the Christian Life is supposed to look like this God save us from our sin so that we can reject his word. Throw it out the window and live. However, we want confident that we are going to heaven.
Let me say it this way. Does God give us his grace? So that we can live in disgrace.
You know this question. Is as old as the gospel itself. It's not a new question since the beginning since Jesus died on the cross and his message has been preached there have been people. Who the fastest question that's why 2,000 years ago the Apostle Paul wrote this question this way in Romans chapter 6 verse 1. He says this he says what shall we say, then shall we and he's talking to Christians. Shall we go on sinning so that Grace may increase There have always been people. Even people in the church even people and Seminary for crying out loud who will use God's grace as an excuse for sin. And we reason with ourselves that since Jesus took away the punishment for our sin that everything's fine. Sending is no big deal. But you know how the Apostle Paul answers his question. Shall we go on sinning? So that Grace may increase it depends on your translation. Some of them said God forbid some of them say by no means the translation the way I would say it is absolutely not sitting should be a big deal. I can send is a big deal to God. In fact Paul is going to explain today that's in. Is a matter of life and death? And Grace is not given to us as an excuse to send. But rather as a means to help us. refuse it So the question is should send matter to Christians. Yes. Send should matter to us and we should make every effort to turn from our sin and from our old lives because first and foremost because Jesus died. 4 Hour soon
look at me Romans Chapter 5 Verse 6 Paul writes this he says you see. I just the right time when we were still powerless Christ died for the ungodly.
If you are ever tempted. To think that sin is no big deal to God. think of the cross
think of the great sacrifice that was made for us there think of the suffering of Jesus and what he went through think of the thorn.
And a whip and a nail and the spear.
the block Jesus crying out. I got my God. Why have you forsaken me?
Think of all that he has given for us.
But why did Jesus go through all of this for us?
He went through it because he loved us Romans chapter 5 verse 8 pulses this he said yes, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Some people think of the church is a place where people get together. And celebrate the fact that they're better than everyone else.
And to be fair, there may be some Churches who have given that impression, but that's not why we're here. Is it Church?
We're not here because we think we're perfect in that. We've got it all together.
God didn't die for you because you were good.
Are the preacher wants to say this and I think it's very true that if you have to be good. Forgot to save you. You're going to hell.
Because I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.
And yet this verse reminds us. That when we were at our darkest moments and you and I can all think back two times like that. Can we? When we were at our darkest moments God's love is still there. And it was still reaching for us because Jesus Paid the price for those things and we have to admit that it was such a high price to pay. We have to admit how in the world.
Can we see? That when we look at the cross. We went to see arsene not there.
the Jesus died for we even sing the song. I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon the cross. But you see Jesus did pay the price for our sin and he paid it willingly because he loves us and because he saw exactly what sin was doing to us. Is it Jesus looked? And he saw house in enslaves US. Romans chapter 6 verse 16 Paul says don't you know that when you offer yourself to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey whether your slaves to sin which leads to death or to obedience which leads to righteousness.
Why did Jesus feel the need to die for arson? Pick a sin. And hear me all sin. slavery the you might think that this is an exaggeration.
You might think that yeah, I can see how sin is slavery in some extreme examples. But let me give you some extreme examples and show you how just not the case. Is an alcoholic slave or free?
Is someone who visit certain websites even visiting them at work even though it runs the risk of getting them fired?
Is that person slave or free?
As someone who bust out in uncontrollable fits of anger. I slave are they free? And you might think oh, yeah, these are extreme examples, but they're more common than you think but I'd also say this. But even though these examples seem extreme. They illustrate for it's clearly exactly. What all sin is meant to do for us. It's meant to convince us that we need whatever our desires tell us that we need. To the alcoholic even though they know even though they hate themselves for taking another drink. They need that other drink and they surrender themselves to that desire. Someone who looks at those website so different things. I need the pleasure that comes from this. I need it more than I need anything else a person who burst out and uncontrollable fits of anger. They need to control the people around them and their situation and they use anger in order to do it. What you see send tells us that we need other things send tells us that we need the approval of people around us send tells us that we need to do whatever it takes to be popular because that is the most important thing send tells us that we need success. Even if we have to cut corners and do wrong things in order to get it the quickest way to get it the better. Send tells us that we need that drink. We need this we need that we need the other and even the desires that are seen most harmless.
Tell us that we need. these things
Send tells us that we need these things more than when you got.
And so what we do? We walk away from God. And where to get them. The only problem is that God is the one who created us. God is the source of life. And when we walk away from him. If you walk away from life, where are you headed?
So send not only enslaves us but it puts our lives on a trajectory. Where we are headed? Ford F. Why did Jesus die for our sins because he loves us because it enslaves us and because it kills us Romans 6 verse 20 and 21.
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? You know what relationships die.
No marriages end. Now people murder what people hate each other and hate themselves. You know, why send?
Does all these things?
It is always think. And it never ever delivers it always disappoints in the end. It is never satisfied in the end. It always tells you that you need more and more and more and I just because Cindy has only one goal. Is it in slaves? And that is that
we think that soon is going to make us happy.
But it only leaves your gut. I want you to take a moment and just think about the regrets if you have in your past or Christian or not for the regrets that you have in your past. Let me ask you cuz I come from the times when you were living for God or the times when you were looking for yourself.
You probably don't regret.
the times when you were kind and you were loving my Jesus
you probably to regret the times when you acted like a total jerk. Because you weren't getting your way.
You probably don't regret the times that you woke up on Sunday morning, and you came to church.
But you might regret times. Did you stay up late on Saturday night and went to that party?
Send looks good to us. Feels good. It sounds good. It taste good smells good. There's an attraction there's the reason why we do it.
But isn't it true that you and I have enough regrets to know that? the only thing It delivers. We going down that road. The only thing that it delivers so Paul saying the only thing that it delivers is shame and regret.
Jesus sees our sin. And he sees the things that we've done any sees that we cannot get out. And so He willingly died on our behalf. But what does it say?
When a Christian believes that Jesus Paid the ultimate price for their sin. died for their sin
and then to have them turn around. And go right back to the old life that they were living. and to say
I'm forgiven so it doesn't matter if I continue doing these things.
What does that say? What does that say to the one who gave so much for you? receipt to do this It's a spit in the face of the one who gave his life for you. And because Jesus loves you because he sacrificed so much for you because he died for that very sin. Send should make a big. a big impact
it should be a big deal. And those of us who are Christians. UC the fact that Jesus died for our sins and prove his love for us is not the only reason why we turn from our sin y sin is a big deal. You see it's not only that Jesus loves it said he also died. To set us free. from our sin You see some people think that the reason Jesus went to the Cross was simply so that he could prove his love for the world. And let me tell you why that is only partially correct.
imagine if you would imagine a man Who is running full speed? There's a 500 foot cliff.
And ask this man is running. He begins to shout out. World, I love you. World, I love you. That's all he's saying. And everybody watches in horror as he runs and he jumps off of this cliff and he falls to his death. How did he make his point?
Did he make his point?
Do you make his point that he loves the world? He was willing to sacrifice his life for that love if he was in his right mind, but do you think a person like that is in their right mind? How can we say that Jesus was doing the same thing? You see this guy who jumped off the cliff. He may have tried to prove his point that he loved the world. But did he accomplish anything? Did he help the world? Did he do anything to save them from their situation? No. BC Jesus accomplish something very real on the cross. He normally died to say I love you. But he dad died to give us the means to be free from the things that caused all of our problems. You see here's how it works through Jesus death. We die to our sinful life through Jesus death. We die to our sinful life Romans chapter 6 verses one again. What shall we say? Then? Shall we go on sinning so that Grace may increase by no means we We are those who have died to send. How can we live it any longer now? That sounds good, right. We are those who have died to sin. How does it work? In verse 3 Paul explains. He says it or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We make a big deal out of baptism here for one simple reason. The Bible makes a big deal out of baptism. We Believe that when someone is baptized and baptism should be by immersion full immersion under the water. That when a Believer goes under the water it is a picture of death.
It's a picture of the death of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and was buried in the Tomb for 3 days. But not only that. It is a picture of us being united with his death being one with his death. So that like Jesus died we to die to our old sinful self our own sinful past and patterns.
We believe that when a person goes under the water in faith that this picture of death to their old cell is made reality in their life. That's why Paul says this and versus six and seven pieces 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 slave to sin. You see Jesus didn't save us. $0.04 he saved us from it. And this freedom from sin is something that we grasp that we get through the gift of Grace that he gives to us. But this is what we might ask. What does it mean to be dead to our old sinful life. Is it mean that we don't send anymore? No, does it mean that we're not tempted to send if I told you that every single one of you would be disillusioned with Christianity before the day was over. I don't think that's exactly what Paul means because we are still tempted and we still do sin. but
What death to send actually means? Is that sin? No longer has the ultimate control over the things that you do in this life one writer said it this way sin for the Christian has become a Force tempting us rather than a power controlling us. In Christ Jesus, you are no longer a slave to sin because you are dead to it and because of this. You think about this picture if a slave has died is that slave have to obey his master's orders any more?
Through Jesus death, we die to our sinful self. But is this all there is to baptism? No, because if it was we'd all still be underwater wouldn't we? That's supposed to be a joke. If it was we'd all still be underwater. You might be physically that at this point some of your back has a long long time ago. No, it's not just URS death. We die to her old simple sale through his life. We live a new life Romans chapter 6 verse 4 & 5 Paul says, yes, we were there for 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. When Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. He was a little bit different than before wasn't he? Not different in moral quality or character, but he was different. In fact many of the disciples didn't even recognize him at first. He could do things that he couldn't do before he was crucified or at least that he didn't do.
You see when we come up out of the water. We are united with his resurrection. And when we come up out of the water, we are meant to be a little bit different.
then when we went under because you see the promise of the Gospel the promise of Jesus Christ is not just that you get baptized and you go to Heaven someday, but that you can experience a new life in Christ from the beginning of this relationship with him. And with a new life comes a new Direction. Look at what Paul says in verses 8 through 11 Paul right 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 now. when Jesus lived Who did he leave for where was his Direction? Where was his goal? It was his father. It was God. Was it not? And Paul said the same thing should be true of the Christian in verse 11 in the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Earlier I said that sin takes us away from God.
But the grace of God in Jesus Christ recalibrates are Compass so that it points back to him and I want you to pay special attention to this next statement. a Christian who does not live for God Is a contradiction what does it mean to be a Christian? It means to be a Christ. like person so what should be the ultimate goal of the Christian Life it is to glorify God to live for him. This isn't mean that we live perfectly for God not a single one of us can but It does mean that he is the one that you serve. Ultimately and not yourself. Let me ask you a question.
How often how often? You think of got?
And I just talking about in church this day today. How often do you think of God? How often does he come into your mind? How often are you aware of his presence? And your life at your job play today in the things you do.
Do you ever talk to him?
Do you have a relationship with him? Does he know you and do you know him? How often do you consciously try to please him in the things that you do?
Now this isn't a Christian spitting contest.
To try to compare ourselves with others. But the question the reason I ask these questions is just simply did if the answer is rarely. are never
what does that say about who you live for? If the answer is rarely or never, are you really living for him in the direction that God has called us to because serving God is the new direction to walk away from God is to go towards what we said earlier death. But then go towards him to live for him is life verse 13. So Paul says do not offer any part of yourself to send as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God in Christ. Jesus is his excuse me, but rather offer yourself 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,
You see when Jesus died and when he came to life he was giving us a pattern to follow. He was giving us the power to carry it out. He died so that we could die to our old selves he lives again so that we can live a new life and through his obedience because Jesus was obedient in ways that you and I never would it be able to be through his obedience. We can obey a new master.
Romans 6 verse 17 but thanks be to God that you used to be slaves to sin. You have come to obey from your heart. The pattern of teaching that is now cleaned your Allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
You see what the gospel does that nothing else can do? It's through the gospel and to the power of the Holy Spirit a believer's heart is changed. Our hearts are changed so that we no longer convince ourselves that we need the approval of people. And we no longer convince ourselves that we need whatever our slave master sin is telling us that we need. And our hearts are giving Allegiance instead. the god
and this is the picture of the Christian Life that Paul. Showing us. because if we live for God Even though none of us does it perfectly? If we are living for him, and we are walking in that new Direction. In the results of that kind of alive are way better.
In the shame and regret that sin gives to us.
verse 22 But now that you have been set free from sin. and it become slaves of God the benefit you reap leads to Holiness and the result is eternal life and maybe you've heard this next verse before for the wages of sin is what is death? but the gift of God Is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord?
To the question I asked.
Cent only leaves us with death. shame and regret and we know that we've experienced it. And Jesus offers us. a new life
I wouldn't we want to take it. If the gift of God knows is not wages, it's not something that we aren't. With sin we get what we deserve with God we didn't get what we never ever could deserve on our own. Why wouldn't we want to serve him? I want we want to walk in that way. Why wouldn't we want to turn from those things that God has told us. I'm not good. And walk with him.
Unless it is we don't really. believe this to be true
then maybe people in this very room. I don't know you and I'm not targeting anybody. Remember. I actually heard something that I think my wife sent it to me on Facebook and it said don't get mad at the preacher. He didn't know what you did before he preached the sermon. and I don't I don't know.
So if I'm speaking to you, I'm not going to apologize for let's just say that God speaking to you cuz he knows. Are there people In This Very Room who live and why is very similar to the West African man? I described earlier not saying that you're unfaithful to your spouse. But what I am saying is that you live in consistent and unrepentant sin against God and you're not even trying to fix it. You're not even trying to serve him anymore. You just going and doing what you want to do and maybe you're confident that you know, you got your golden ticket to heaven in your pocket because you've had a religious experience. And so to call another preacher you walk you acknowledge Jesus with your lips, but you walk out the door and you continue to deny and buy your lifestyle the things that you say and do.
if that's you
maybe you're young person. And you say you know what? I've got a lot of time before I actually kick the bucket. I don't want to enjoy the pleasures in the things of this world while I still can and I'll make it up to God later.
or maybe you're someone who puts on this good Christian front you come to church and you smile and you got everything together and yet there's something going on your life that only you and God know about. veda's know
if your confidence
Is based on religious experiences maybe something that happened when you were a kid, maybe something that happened a long time ago.
If your confidence with God is bass in that limit. Let me just say this.
The grace of God is truly great.
and you may think that sin is not a big deal because you say well God is going to forgive me and maybe he will I'm not going to stand up here and say that he won't but I can't tell you that scripture presents many many warnings about people on the day that Christ returns who thought that they were Christians.
People who had lots of religious experiences. People who say to Jesus, hold on. Did not preach in your name.
Hell I did not I did not cast out demons did not help people be better didn't I do this that and the other for you and he's going to say what he's going to say. I never knew you.
That when a person becomes a Christian. They become like a tree Damon red versus more than become like a tree that produces good fruit.
Godly fruit and Jesus has any tree that does not produce good fruit is going to be cut down and thrown into the fire.
It's not encourage you to look at the words of Paul. You may not like what I'm saying?
But the question is not do you like at the question is is this true? I can't tell you the God is not going to forgive you I can say this that if you are living in continual and unrepentant sin. Then you are missing out. On the Blessed peace and joy of Jesus Christ in your life today. And it is never never too late. To turn from your sin. It is never too late. To go back and begin living for him. We we said this last week and you didn't have to be here last week to understand it, but it doesn't matter how you are living that God is not far from any of us. All he wants from us is from our hearts to turn to him in faith and trust is there liver calls on the name of the Lord You can call women. And I would encourage you to do that because if you think I've got plenty of time left. Listen, I'm not going to try to convince you that you're going to die tomorrow if your Center that's not what I'm going to try to do. I know you've heard sermons like that. I'll just tell you this there are consequences to your actions. the wages of sin is death, but got offers everyone of us a free gift of eternal life. To take it. There are others here. I'm done after this. There are others here.
And you struggle with sin?
Paul's actually going to talk about that the Apostle Paul who wrote our Bible he struggled with sin. We're going to talk about that next week, so I want to encourage you to come. But if you're here and you struggle with sin.
I encourage you to keep fighting.
The keep your face and what Christ has done for you to count yourselves dead to that to convince yourself to help God ask God to help you convince your heart that you don't need those things. And it all you need is him. Interfaith, it's the work of God's power through the Holy Spirit. He will use your life as imperfect as it is to produce good fruit for him and his kingdom.
My goal today is not to make anyone here worried about their salvation. That is unless you're not really sick.
because the last thing that I want it's for somebody to get before Jesus Christ.
and hear the words Never knew you.
tennis in matter in life of Christians Church you bet.
a matter of life and death
heavenly father. I thank you for this time that you've given us to come together. I thank you for your words as challenging as they are. Got an I pray that the Holy Spirit? You begin to work on our hearts. Are you ever going to show us the areas of Our Lives that we need to to turn over to you? The areas of Our Lives that we need to offer to you.
Father help us to glorify you at our jobs. The glorify you and our families to glorify you with the things that we choose to entertain ourselves to glorify you. in every area of our life
and God help us to walk down this imperfect broken road. because we know that the destination is your eternal life and you we thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ. And we give you glory praise and honor in Jesus name. Hey, man, would you staying with me Church mass going to come up is going to lead us and one more song and then will be dismissed if you're here today and you need prayer for anything the elders and I will be here to receive you. May the Lord bless and keep you charged.