READING: Psalm 13: 5-6 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
PRELUDE: SONG # 49
TITHES AND OFFERINGS:
SERMON LIVING TRIUMPHANTLY
In Paul’s letters, the word therefore serves as something of a hinge; it connects a theological principle with an application or suggestion of that principle. In verse 11, Paul has just noted that as believers, we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Therefore, there are some implication to be alive to God in Christ.
Paul wants us to understand that being alive to God in Christ produces a triumphant existence characterized by an entirely new kind of life.
What does it mean to be alive to God in Christ Jesus?
I. vv 12-14 Tells us that being alive to God means we have a new lifestyle.
a. The power of sin has been broken, and we are free to live for God rather than being bound to sin.
b. Living Godly lives is not an option of the Christian walk, it is a necessity.
c. Paul assumes that sin is still present and still a concern for believers.
d. We have not been mystically transformed into a state in which we are no longer tempted, we are tempted, and we do fail at times.
e. The believer must not allow sin to reign or hold dominion in his or her life; Christ alone must be Lord.
f. You and I face the constant temptation to yield to sin; sometimes we even rationalize that it is just a tiny sin and it won’t do any permanent harm. It is no sin to be tempted, the sin lies in the yielding.
STORY: There was a buzzard flying over the Niagara River on a bitterly cold freezing day, when it spotted a carcass floating in the river toward the great falls. The buzzard knew it could feed for a brief time before his dinner went over the falls, so the bird landed on the carcass. Moments later as the falls approached ,the buzzard attempted to fly away but discovered its talons had frozen to the carcass, and it went over the falls to its destruction along with its prey.
g. Evil can be seductive, and it may seem harmless, but we have been made alive to God in Christ, and sin has no place in our lives. We have been called to a new lifestyle.
II. vv 15-21 Tells us that being alive to God means we have a new priority.
a. Paul uses slavery as a metaphor for human existence. It is not a question that we are slaves; the only question is to what or whom do we owe our allegiance.
b. We were once slaves to sin, but Christ purchased us. We owe our allegiance to God; we serve a new master.
c. Sin once held dominant influence over our lives, we now have a new priority: to live for Christ.
d. You cannot be a slave to two different masters, for slavery implies an absolute allegiance and obedience.
e. We are to be just as wholehearted in our commitment to walk with Christ as we once were in our bondage to sin.
What is the ultimate priority in your life? If priorities are measured by our investment in them—in time, resources, and enthusiasm—what would you identify as your most significant priority?
III. vv 22-23 Tells us that being alive to God means we have a new future.
a. In our former life as slaves to sin, our future was mapped out; death.
b. The inevitable consequence of sin is death.
c. The word Paul uses, wages, was the tern used to describe the payment given to the Roman soldiers.
d. His point is clear; if you serve sin and evil, you will receive the promised payment for such service, which is death. (The second death, everlasting torment in hell.)
e. By contrast, because we have been freed from sin and placed into a new relationship with God in Christ, we have a new future: eternal life.
f. Eternal life is not something we can earn, like wages, it is a free gift from God. It is a new kind of life to be experienced now and beyond this present life.
That is how we are to live triumphantly; we have been freed by Christ from our bondage to sin, and we are assured of eternal life with God.
Conclude with a tie to 4th of July---Independence day.
COLSING HYMN: 44