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King of Hearts

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Believers are dead to sin and alive to Christ

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Last week, as we studied , we looked at what it meant to be justified. And, if you remember, we worked through our thinking or our attitude as those who have been justified. Of course, we know the realities
We have been forgiven and given undeserved favor before God
We have been given security and confidence in what is as well as what is to come
We have much to boast about in our Lord.
Today, we move from ATTITUDE to ACTION, FROM PRINCIPLE to PRACTICAL.
Because we are justified and we have this great new attitude, how is that lived out in our lives?
Paul begins with a question by which we can see the heart of the matter. And this is the exact RIGHT question to ask.
Something I hope to learn better is to ask the right question. I was counseling a couple and after hearing them out, I wondered what the right question would be that would reveal not just their obstacles, but their heart- their motives and their desired outcome. It’s only when I understand these things that I can point them to how they compare to God’s Word. Paul asked the right question

How Shall We Live? (1)

Romans 6:1 NASB95
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
“Romans 6:1
Another way to ask is: “Since God’s grace is inexhaustible, since He loves me so much and is faithful to forgive me, wouldn’t it make sense that I could just keep living life however pleases me?”
Or perhaps another way to ask: “Can’t we just exploit God’s character and grace? Why not?”
This is indeed a heart question. Why ask? What does that kind of question reveal about us?
It is like asking, “Could I date other people after I am married if I thought my wife would forgive me?” (BTW- this is not a question I have asked or would ask!)
“Should politicians take money from corporations in under-handed deals because there is no punishment?”
Truly, this question is meant for us to ask, “What is right? What is true?”
Of course, Paul answers his question with an emphatic “NO!” but he goes even farther in order to demonstrate to us what is at stake here.
Listen to
: “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
In other words, how can we live as if nothing has changed?
And here’s the thing: SO many people in Christian churches- people who claim to be believers and people outside the church think of Christianity as merely a decision to say a prayer and get dunked in water with no change in life whatsoever. They do not have a complete picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Listen to this truth:
Believers live li

Believers Live as Dead to Sin and Alive to Christ (2-7)

What does that mean?
If you have been justified, you have been baptized into Christ’s death and raised to a newness of life! (3)
This means that because Christ died the death we deserve, we no longer live under the reign of sin as it was through Adam. Humanity has been slaves to sin since the Garden of Eden- our nature is fallen and broken, and thus we have been hopelessly sinful. But, having trusted in Jesus’ for salvation, we no longer are in the bondage of the sin which formerly ruled us. We have been set free from it and from the guilt and shame that accompanies sin.
Not only set free through Christ’s death, but raised with Him to a new life, filled with the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live in harmony and communion with God Almighty.
BTW- this is the picture we see when we baptize a new believer by immersion.
What picture does immersion baptism give?
So, as we think back to Paul’s question, we ought to recognize that we are indeed NOT the same. The image of a true, Gospel changed life is not where we can live however we want and pretend that we have received some special exemption from God’s judgment. In fact, sometimes we our language in sharing the Gospel is so soft that we miss the message that God is holy and just - He is perfect and He is mighty. The Gospel isn’t a picture of us accepting God into our lives, but rather that God would accept us because of Jesus’ blood shed at Calvary! Hey, listen, God indeed loves you, but don’t kid yourself- it is not He who is fortunate that you would accept His grace. And would you dare attempt to exploit the mercy of God?
The truth is, we do it every day.
How do we attempt to exploit God’s mercy?
Paul reminds us that because we are dead to sin, sin has no place in us
And because we are alive to Christ, He is our purpose and desire.
That is to say,
We cannot live with one foot in and one foot out. There is no such thing as a “good Christian or bad Christian”; there is no such thing as a part-time Christian. Friends, you are either justified or you are not. You are either saved or you are not. You are either born again, or you are not.
So what? Paul gives us some

Practical Points (11-23)

Serve the right King (11-12)

In verse 11, Paul gives us the premise - dead to sin, alive to Christ
Verse 12, he gives us the illustration of a ruler- “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts”
In other words, don’t give the throne of your life back to your old self. That old self is dead! Dead people don’t rule…
Don’t put yourself back in the chains that were taken off you!!
Paul uses the illustration of slavery because we can grasp this concept. We are either a slave to sin, resulting in death (16) or we are slaves to righteousness which results in our sanctification and eternal life.
Now, I know that we don’t like the word slave… some of you watching right now are triggered. Hang on- let me help you through this:
Basically, we all obey whatever/ whomever we have set up as lord / master of our life.
If money is what we are aiming for, we sacrifice time, family, relationships, ethics, etc, to get it
If it’s sex, we sacrifice money, time, relationships, etc. to get it
If it’s pride, we push everyone else down to elevate ourselves
We can go on- politics, fame, material gain, etc.
If Jesus is truly on the throne of our life, we will obey Him because of WHO He is- Lord, master, savior. He’s our king and we desire to obey Him.
Who/ what is sitting on the throne of your life today?
So, first we anoint the right king. Next we

Be available to the right master(13)

Paul gives first a negative and then a positive to help us understand what he means.
Listen: Do not go on (continue) presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.
Don’t make yourself physically available to bring about unrighteous acts.
We saw in a whole list of unrighteousness- envy, murder, strife, arrogance, disobedient, idolators, fornicators, etc.
Don’t put yourself in the position to be tempted by sin
Don’t go to that party, don’t go on that website, don’t be alone with that girl/ boy, etc.
Don’t sit idly by and entertain those sinful desires.
I heard a story of a young boy whose family lived near a creek. At this creek, there was a swimming hole and the boy loved to go swimming. But, one day his mom told him specifically not to go swimming in the creek. He agreed and left to go play outside carrying a towel and swim trunks. When his mom questioned him about it, he told her, “Oh, I don’t plan on getting in the creek. I’m just going to go play by the bank… I was just bringing this stuff in case I got tempted!”
Friends, This is wisdom. Do not put yourself in those situations. Do not go looking for sin. Don’t play by the creek.
What situations do I need to remove myself from so I will be unavailable to sin?
That can be difficult, but Paul doesn’t stop here, he goes on to say, “but (instead) present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God”
Make yourself physically available to God in order to be used by Him for righteousness!
Go to church, get involved in a small group
Set time aside to seek God in prayer and study
Be available to visit the sick and go on mission trips
Be available to share the Gospel with your neighbors and to serve them
How can you be physically available to God this week?
If you are a Christian, then you will obey Christ because He is the King and Lord of your life.
So, let me ask you,
Who is occupying the throne of your heart today?
What are you living for?
If it’s anything other than Jesus, it leads to death.
Romans 6:23 NASB95
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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