How the Gospel Transforms You

Dr. Steve Viars March 8, 2020 Romans 6:1-23
Outline

3 admonitions to help you transform gospel realities into Godly living

I. Learn to Factor Your Position in Christ into the Way You Think about Your Practical Spiritual Growth

A. A reasonable objection to chapters 1-5

Romans 6:1 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

B. Paul’s summary answer

A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will…

Grace and assurance will get you further down the sanctification trail than fear and uncertainty ever will.

C. We have been united with Christ in His death

v. 2 – we who died to sin

v. 3 – baptized into His death

v. 4 – buried with Him through baptism into death

v. 5 – united with Him in the likeness of His death

v. 6 – our old self was crucified with Him

Romans 6:3 - Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Acts 2:41 - So then, those who had received his word were baptized and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

1 Peter 1:15 - …but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior…

1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…

“…the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition.” (Kenneth Wuest - Romans in the Greek New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955], pp. 96–97)

“This truth is far too wondrous for us to understand fully, but the basic and obvious reality of it is that we died with Christ in order that we might have life through Him and live like Him…By trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we were, by an unfathomable divine miracle, taken back 2,000 years, as it were, and made to participate in our Savior’s death and to be buried with Him, burial being the proof of death. The purpose of that divine act of bringing us through death (which paid the penalty for our sin) and resurrection with Christ was to enable us henceforth to walk in newness of life.” (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 322)

D. We have been united with Christ in His resurrection

v. 4 – …so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

v. 5 – …certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection…

v. 8 – …we believe that we shall also live with Him…

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

“There can be no participation in Christ’s life without a participation in his death, and we cannot enjoy the benefits of his death unless we are partakers of the power of his life. We must be reconciled to God in order to be holy, and we cannot be reconciled without thereby becoming holy.” (Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d.], p. 195)

E. This means we have been freed from the power of sin

Romans 6:6 - …knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him…

Romans 6:6 - …knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with…

“katargeō (done away with) literally means ‘to render inoperative or invalid’, to make something ineffective by removing its power of control” [John MacArthur, p. 325]

Romans 6:6 - …knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin…

F. We can/must learn to consider this to be an essential aspect of our identity

Romans 6:11 - Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

II. Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Life Anymore

Romans 6:12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts…

A. It is time to evict the tyrant

“Take the case of the slaves in the United States of America about a hundred years ago. There they were in a condition of slavery. Then the American Civil War came, and as the result of that war, slavery was abolished in the United States. But what had actually happened? All slaves, young and old, were given their freedom, but many of the older ones who had endured long years of servitude found it very difficult to understand their new status. They heard the announcements that slavery was abolished and that they were free: but hundreds, not to say thousands, of times in their after-lives and experiences many of them did not realize it, and when they saw their old master coming near them they began to quake and to tremble, and to wonder whether they were going to be sold…You can still be a slave experientially, even when you are no longer a slave legally…Whatever you may feel, whatever your experience may be, God tells us here, through his word, that if we are in Christ we are no longer in Adam, we are no longer under the reign and rule of sin…And if I fall into sin, as I do, it is simply because I do not realize who I am…Realize it! Reckon it!’” (Romans chapter 6, pages 25, 28)

B. You no longer have to obey its lusts in your heart

James 1:14-15 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

C. You no longer have to present your body to sin

Romans 6:13 - …and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness…

D. Remember that ultimately, sin never brought you anything but death

v. 16 – …either of sin, resulting in death…

v. 21 – Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

v. 23 – For the wages of sin is death…

III. Joyfully Present Yourself to Your New Master

A. Present yourself to God

Romans 6:13 - …present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Romans 12:1-2 - Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

B. Now grace can reign

Romans 5:21 - …so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. We are all slaves of something

v. 17 – …you became obedient from the heart...

Romans 6:18 - …and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

D. There is great benefit in doing so

Romans 6:22 - But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

- when I was a sophomore in high school, I asked my parents if I could transfer from the large public school up in Merrillville where we lived to a small Christian School in Griffith, IN for the second semester of that year…

- in my case that turned out to be beneficial in all sorts of ways…but one of the upshots was that I had to learn some new sports because their limited resources meant they didn’t offer as many as I had been used to at Merrillville…

- in the fall of my junior year, that meant going out for the soccer team because that’s what all my new friends were going to do…

- the challenge was – I had never seen a soccer game in my life, I didn’t know any of the rules, strategy, skills…nothing…

- but that didn’t matter because I was never that good at sports anyway…so I didn’t really need to understand the game if I was going to do was sit on the bench during the games…

- so, we had our first few practices and they informed me that I was going to be a fullback…

- I eventually figured out that that meant I was a defenseman who played back near the goalie…

- so, I went to the fall practices…had fun spending time with the teammates…and didn’t give the game itself much thought…

- then we had the final practice before our first game…and toward the end the coach had everyone gather around this white board so he could explain the game strategy for the guys who would be starting the next day…

- I was sitting in the back and not really paying attention…and honestly our coach’s handwriting was so bad you couldn’t really read what he had written on the board anyway…

- so, he had all the positions marked out with the player’s name of who was going to start in that spot the next day…

- so, I was kind-of matching up the guys I knew with the places I could kind-of see they were going to be playing…

- but for right defensemen…it really looked like the first letter of the name he had on the board was a “V”…

- and I’m looking around thinking…I don’t think we have any other “V’s” on the team…I wonder who that is…

- then it dawned on me – no way, I thought…there is no way he’s planning to start me tomorrow…I’ve never even seen a soccer game…this must be some cruel joke…

- well, as it turned out – that’s exactly what was going to happen…so the very first soccer game I ever saw…was from the vantage point of the field itself…while I was supposed to be playing…

- let’s just say I’m so glad my sports career pre-dated cell phones with video cameras…

- here was the lesson from that day for me – there’s a big difference between knowing a few abstract ideas about your position…compared to actually having to put those ideas into practice in a real-life game…

- and on the other hand – the fastest way for me learn everything else I needed to learn about the sport – was to be tossed right out the field and try it all out…

- that’s essentially where we now are in our study in the book of Romans…we’ve had five chapters to learn about our position in Christ if we’ve trusted Him as Lord and Savior…

- we’ve learned words like justified, and redemption, and propitiation, and gospel…

- but now its time to put all of that into practice…because the question now is – how does all of that help you play the game?...

- how does any of that, or all of that…help you live in a way that is practically and progressively pleasing to God?...

- that’s why this morning we’d like to study How the Gospel Transforms You

- with that in mind, lease open your Bible to Romans 6 – page _____ of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

- this year we’re working our way systematically through the book of Romans as part of our annual theme of Celebrating God’s Truth

- last week I gave a brief quiz where we listed the words propitiation, redemption, and justification on one side of the screen, and the possible definitions on the other – but the definitions were mixed up, so you had to match the appropriate word to the correct definition…

- well, that exercise was so popular that I thought we might build upon it even further this morning…

- [and btw, if you ask, well—just how popular was it?...technically, I liked it]….

- but here’s what we’re going to do…we’re going to list the 7 major sections of verses in chapters 1-5, and then let you match the verses to the appropriate subject of each section…

Introduction to the gospel

The immoral are lost

The moral are lost

The religious are lost

Everyone is lost

Example of Father Abraham

Benefits of the Gospel

- now, that’s what it’s like to be sitting in front of the white board the afternoon before the first game…

- but now it’s time to suit up and take the field and talk about what we’re supposed to do with this…

- because there is a storm cloud looming…you know what it is?...

- people saying – if that’s the way salvation really works…it won’t produce holy living…in fact it will produce the exact opposite…

- now it’s time to blow the whistle and think about the relationship between the position of righteousness, and the practice of righteousness…

- read Romans 6:1-25 [as I read, please be looking for the imperatives, the commands, the controlling verbs – what you and I, in the power of the Holy Spirit, are supposed to do with all of this truth we’ve been learning…]

- so, we’re talking this morning about How the Gospel Transforms You…and with the time we have remaining, let’s think about 3 admonitions to help you transform gospel realities into Godly living.

I. Learn to Factor Your Position in Christ into the Way You Think about Your Practical Spiritual Growth – vv. 1-11

- you probably noticed that this chapter began with…

A. A reasonable objection to chapters 1-5

- Romans 6:1 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

- in other words – Paul, how is this going to work out in practice?...

- how could this grace-based approach to salvation produce genuine holy living?...

- those are very fair questions…because can we acknowledge, if you and I were sitting down and designing the salvation process, it would be almost the complete opposite of Romans 1-5—assuming the goal was producing people who lived godly lives…

- here’s why I say that – the price would have to be different, the assurance would have to be different, and the permanence would have to be different…

- we’d make it such that a person would have a pay a great price in order to be saved, and we’d keep them guessing about whether they really had, and the first time they messed up – we’d take it from them…

- and that’s not because we’d be trying to be mean…it’s just that’s what we would assume would be the best way to motivate people to live the way we desired…

- lest that sound far-fetched…think about the hiring practices at many of our local factories…do you hire in with full tenure on day one?...(you can’t ever lose your job?)…

- not quite – you start as a temp, you may not know in advance how long it may be before you’re transitioned to a permanent position…and if you mess up during that temp period, you’re done…

- and the assumption is – that’s how you motivate human beings to be good employees…

- so when Paul says – understanding the gospel starts by recognizing there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation…because the immoral are lost, and the moral are lost, and the religious are lost, and everyone is lost…

- but that you can be forgiven of your sin and receive the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed on your account by faith alone…and you can know that for sure and you will be permanently sealed by the Holy Spirit of God till the day of redemption…

- it’s like…

- a. that’s too good to be true, and

- b. people will just take advantage of it – it won’t produce practical; holiness…

- and here’s…

B. Paul’s summary answer [in the rest of this chapter]

  • A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will
  • Grace and assurance will get you further down the sanctification trail than fear and uncertainty ever will.
  • v. 2 - we who died to sin
  • v. 3 – baptized into His death
  • v. 4 – buried with Him through baptism into death
  • v. 5 – united with Him in the likeness of His death
  • v. 6 – our old self was crucified with Him
  • - again – what’s our key sentence?... A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will
  • v. 4 – …so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
  • v. 5 - …certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
  • v. 8 - …we believe that we shall also live with Him,
  • v. 16 – either of sin, resulting in death
  • v. 21 - Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
  • v. 23 – For the wages of sin is death
  • A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will

- in other words – people who have been united with Christ…have reasons and resources to grow spiritually that could never be duplicated by human effort alone…

- or to put it another way…

- so let’s walk through these verses and see what we can learn about your union with Christ…

C. We have been united with Christ in His death.

- did you notice how many different times and ways this was emphasized in our verses?---let’s find them together…

- and we see this emphasis carried through the rest of the chapter…

- Now, this raises at several crucial questions…including, when exactly did this happen?...

- the answer is clear enough on its face…this union occurred when you were baptized…

- Romans 6:3 - Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

- the challenge is – the Bible speaks about both spirit baptism and water baptism…

- in both cases, the emphasis is on being united with something, or identified with it…

- spirit baptism occurs the moment you trust Christ as Savior and Lord…

- that’s what Paul was talking about in passages like 1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

- that’s different than water baptism – which is a work subsequent to salvation – which beautifully and perfectly pictures what has already occurred in your heart…

- that’s why the very first day the church was born – the Day of Pentecost…what did people do after Peter’s sermon about repenting of their sin and believing in Christ?... Acts 2:41 - So then, those who had received his word [that is – they repented and believed – and at that moment everything we have been studying in Romans 1-5 occurred – so they were redeemed, they were justified, Jesus became their propitiation – (the wrath of God was satisfied) – they were justified, and they were baptized by the Spirit into one body – along with hundreds of other benefits that occurred the moment they placed their faith in Christ]…and then what happened….were baptized [in water, by immersion, which is what the word baptize means…to beautifully and perfectly and obediently since Christ commanded His followers to do this signify what had already occurred in their hearts]; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

- now, let’s take all of this back to Romans 6?...is this speaking about spirit baptism, describing what occurs the moment a person believes…. Or water baptism, an act of obedience subsequent to salvation?...

- the answer is – this is spirit baptism – this union occurs positionally the moment you believe…

- that raises another issue – it is crucial in studying the Bible to determine in any given verse – is the author talking about what is true of us positionally…or what we need to be working out practically?...[is this what’s on the white board, or what’s supposed to occur on the playing field?]

- let’s try a quiz…I’ll give you two verses – and you tell me whether we’re talking about positional truth, or practical truth…

  • 1 Peter 1:15 - but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
  • 1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…

- which one is talking about practical truth…and which one is talking about positional truth?...

  • 1 Peter 1:15 - but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; - Practical Truth
  • 1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…- Positional Truth

- so, what are we seeing in Romans 6?...the answer is – we’re seeing the transition between the two…here’s what’s true positionally…and that’s why you are able to grow in personal holiness…

- now, with that understanding in place…what does it mean to be baptized into Christ’s death, or united with Christ in His death?...

- Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest said it like this…this baptism is the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition” (Kenneth Wuest - Romans in the Greek New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955], pp. 96–97).

- that’s pretty technical – perhaps this next quote will make it clearer…

- John Macarthur – This truth is far too wondrous for us to understand fully, but the basic and obvious reality of it is that we died with Christ in order that we might have life through Him and live like Him…By trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we were, by an unfathomable divine miracle, taken back 2,000 years, as it were, and made to participate in our Savior’s death and to be buried with Him, burial being the proof of death. The purpose of that divine act of bringing us through death (which paid the penalty for our sin) and resurrection with Christ was to enable us henceforth to walk in newness of life (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 322)

- now, this union doesn’t stop there…and why not?...because Jesus didn’t stay dead…can we all affirm that?...so how does that affect this union we’re in?...

D. We have been united with Christ in His resurrection

- we saw that emphasized in plenty of places as well, didn’t we?...

- do you see how Paul is answering the legitimate questions that his readers would have about the gospel as it was explained in chapters 1-5, and that we would have as well?...

- won’t people just take advantage of grace?...not if you’ve truly been united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection…because fundamentally, your nature has been changed, and the way you think about sin and righteousness is completely different…

- that’s what Paul meant in this crucial verse -- Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

- Charles Hodge - There can be no participation in Christ’s life without a participation in his death, and we cannot enjoy the benefits of his death unless we are partakers of the power of his life. We must be reconciled to God in order to be holy, and we cannot be reconciled without thereby becoming holy” (Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d.], p. 195).

- so, what does this mean in practice?...in other words, what are the practical implications of this positional truth?...or, how is this going to affect me on game day?...

E. This means we have been freed from the power of sin.

Please follow the logic of verse 6 very carefully…

- Romans 6:6 - knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him…

- that’s who we were in Adam [remember chapter 5?]…dead men walking [cf. 5:21 – where sin was reigning in death…and we were enslaved to it]…

- when you trust Christ – that person dies…then look at the next part of verse 6…

- Romans 6:6 - knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with…

- what does that mean?...honestly there are different interpretations out there – but perhaps the best is that Paul is speaking about our sinfully habituated body…all these habits of thinking and behaving that are part of our enslavement to sin…]

- and please notice what happens to it…katargeō (done away with) literally means “to render inoperative or invalid,” to make something ineffective by removing its power of control [John MacArthur, p. 325]

- but the key is at the end of the verse… Romans 6:6 - knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

- my dear friends…that is incredibly good news…but what do you and I have to do with it?...and please notice – this is the thrust of these first 11 verses…

F. We can/must learn to consider this to be as essential aspect of our identity.

- Romans 6:11 - Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

- the word consider is the word logizomai – it’s an accounting term…

- you and I, in the power of the Holy Spirit, have to learn to think correctly about who we are in Christ…

- I can’t overemphasize that in terms of the role it plays in the spiritual growth process…

- that’s why this summer we’re going to break away from our Romans series and do a study specifically on the question of Who are you?...because this is such a robust concept in the Word of God…

- I tried to unpack that several years ago in the book Putting Your Past in Its Place…

- what I especially enjoyed about that project was that I was able to co-write a portion of it with a former counselee…

- we used the pseudonym “Jill”…but when I first had the privilege of meeting her, she was suffering from severe depression and was convinced that if she did not get help, she was going to take her life…

- part of the challenge was that she had been in in-patient treatment of and on for over a decade…she had extensive physical work-ups and had been prescribed with every combination of psychotropic drugs imaginable…

- by God’s grace and God’s grace alone, she is doing very well today…over ten years after her counseling concluded…

- but her testimony was that Romans 6 changed her life…because prior to that study…she viewed her identity through these lens…I’m depressed—that’s what defines me…or I’m abused—that’s what defines me…

- and both of those things were true – and powerfully so…

- but she came to see that there was something more important about her identity because she was “in Christ”…and she had been united with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection…and the power of the Holy Spirit could help her logizomai that truth…to factor it into the way she thought about herself each and every day…

- one solid question for everyone of us to answer is -- am I in the habit of doing what Romans 6:11 is saying?...

- so how can we know if we are?...what’s the second admonition?...

II. Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Life Anymore – vv. 12-23

- verse 12 contains the second controlling verb in this passage…

- Romans 6:12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

A. It is time to evict the tyrant

- Martyn Lloyd-Jones - Take the case of the slaves in the United States of America about a hundred years ago. There they were in a condition of slavery. Then the American Civil War came, and as the result of that war, slavery was abolished in the United States. But what had actually happened? All slaves, young and old, were given their freedom, but many of the older ones who had endured long years of servitude found it very difficult to understand their new status. They heard the announcements that slavery was abolished and that they were free: but hundreds, not to say thousands, of times in their after-lives and experiences many of them did not realize it, and when they saw their old master coming near them they began to quake and to tremble, and to wonder whether they were going to be sold…

You can still be a slave experientially, even when you are no longer a slave legally…Whatever you may feel, whatever your experience may be, God tells us here, through his word, that if we are in Christ we are no longer in Adam, we are no longer under the reign and rule of sin…And if I fall into sin, as I do, it is simply because I do not realize who I am…Realize it! Reckon it!’” (Romans chapter 6, pages 25, 28)

- and did you notice, this is true in both the inner and outer man…

B. You no longer have to obey its lusts in your heart

- did you see that emphasis at the end of verse 12?...

- we can’t overemphasize the importance of that…because we know that sin begins in our hearts…with our lusts…with what we are wanting in a given situation…

- in fact – the overlap between what Paul is saying here – and what James said in his book is astounding [another example of the inspiration of the Bible]…

- James 1:14–15 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

- you might say – its amazing that 2 different authors came to such similar emphases…well, ultimately it’s because there’s only one Author – the Holy Spirit of God…

- but what is the excuse we sometimes give for displeasing God?...well, I have to do what comes naturally…I have to be true to myself…I have to follow my feelings…

- and what’s Scripture’s response?...please don’t…

- learn to evaluate your desires at any given moment and only cultivate/act on those that honor the Lord…

- you don’t have to obey [be ruled by] sinful desires anymore…

- this is why gospel centered sanctification is so much more powerful than man-centered legalism…because your union with Christ frees you from enslavement to sin…the same is true of…

C. You no longer have to present your body to sin

- Romans 6:13 - and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness…

- we can come up with a lot of “well, in my case I have to behave this way” kind of thoughts/statements…

- well, I have to get sinfully angry because I have red hair (my apologies to everyone here with red hair…]

- or because I was raised by angry parents…or because I’ve been disappointed by the people around me…or because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

- friend – I would encourage you to pause and ask yourself…are you growing at the rate God desires because, in the power of the Holy Spirit, you are trying to regularly – daily – apply these gospel centered principles of spiritual growth?...

- I’m not going to obey sinful lusts…I’m not going to continue to present my body to sinful practices…

D. Remember that ultimately, sin never brought you anything but death

- did you notice that emphasis throughout the passage?...

- death in the Bible is always painful separation…it separates us from God…it separates us from friends…and loved ones…

- it’s like pounding your thumb with a hammer…then standing there and saying – that was fun, I think I’ll do that again…

- in Christ – you don’t have to do it again…

- and then…

III. Joyfully Present Yourself to Your New Master

A. Present yourself to God

- Romans 6:13 - …present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

- that is why I believe it is wise to start every day with your Bible in your lap…reminding yourself of the truths of the gospel…and presenting yourself to the Lord…

- if you know the book of Romans…you might be mentally peeking ahead…to this great verse…

- Romans 12:1–2 - Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

B. Now grace can reign

- remember the end of chapter 5?...this all fits together beautifully…

- Romans 5:21 - so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

- this is what that looks like…because after all…

C. We are all slaves of something

- but did you see it in - v. 17 – you became obedient from the heart...

- this isn’t some kind of behaviorism this am…it starts in the heart…and…

- Romans 6:18 - and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

- friends…

D. There is great benefit in doing so

- Romans 6:22 - But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

2 questions for you this morning:

1. Is your name written on the white board?...do you know that you know that you know that there has been a definite time when you admitted your sin, and placed your faith and trust in Christ…so that the position that is described here is truly yours?

2. Christian friend – are you acting on the implications of this position practically?

- the Lord gives us opportunities to follow the steps outlined in this passage every day…

- the woman I mentioned earlier – Jill – found that to be the case in rather dramatic ways…

- part of her issue was that her mother had been divorced and then her new husband sexually abused Jill…

- eventually the mom divorced that man as well and then spiraled out of control in drug and alcohol abuse…

- so, by time I started seeing Jill---her mom was in her 50’s, Jill was a young married woman with a couple of children…

- and she absolutely despised her mom…her words were – “she’s been a huge disappointment and now she’s getting exactly what she deserves…

- through the course of counseling we were able to bring the two of them together where forgiveness was sought and granted…

- and then I had been out of town for several weeks and I met with Jill and she started the conversation with, “you’ll never believe what happened…”

- I really don’t like conversations like that…but she told me that she and her husband had decided to finish off their basement which had a separate entrance and offer it to someone as long as the person agreed to seek biblical counseling to try to come off her addictions…

- you know who it was?...her own mother…

- the most important thing about Jill’s identity was no longer that she was depressed…or that she had been abused…

- but that she had been buried with Jesus through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so she too could walk in newness of life.

- so she learned to consider that to be true…each and every day…

- and then to no longer present herself to sin to obey its lusts…

- but instead to present herself to God as those alive from the dead, and her members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video