The Cross as an Instrument of Identification

Johnny Kjaer May 19, 2019 Romans 6:1-14
Outline

Romans 5:20 - Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

3 identity transformations that result from embracing the grace of God in the cross of Jesus Christ

Romans 10:9 - If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

I. You Are One with Christ

Psalm 5:4 - For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.

A. You were 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…

B. You were buried with Him

Romans 6:3-4 - Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

C. You were raised from the dead with Him

Romans 6:5- For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection…

II. You Live Under Grace

Romans 6:14 - For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace…

Romans 5:20 - The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.

Romans 5:20 - God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were…

A. No longer slaves to sin

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…

B. Walk in newness of life

Romans 6:4 - Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

III. Your Walk Reflects Your New Identity

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

Romans 6:12 - Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

Romans 8:13 - …but if by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Galatians 5:1 - It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

A. No longer presenting yourself as an instrument of unrighteousness

Romans 6:12-13a - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness…

B. Present yourself as an instrument of righteousness

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

This year as a church we have selected the theme of Growing What God has Given.

We are currently in a series called, Growing by Embracing the Cross. So we have been focusing on different aspects of the cross and how they encourage us to grow spiritually.

The cross is our ultimate motivation and these sermons have shown us how to learn from the cross.

Today we are going to be focusing on a new topic in the discussion, The Cross as an Instrument of Identification.

In order to understand the context of our passage today we need to take a look at Romans chapter 5. Romans chapter 5 is talking to us about the process of justification.

Justification is a legal term that refers to our status being changed from guilty to innocent.

A simple way to explain justification is to use the word to kind of help us be guided through the definition. So here is a super helpful way to remember what justification means.

Justification – “just as if I had never sinned”

Justification – “just as if I have always been perfect”

Romans 5 in particular has pointed out the horrible position we find ourselves in without Christ.

 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Romans 5:12-13)

Because of the rebellion in the Garden by Adam and Eve we all have a sin problem. We are born as sinners and we excel in sinning.

As a result of that sin we are condemned to death and eternal separation from God.

Thankfully the story does not stop there. Through Jesus Christ death and resurrection we have the opportunity to be justified and reconciled to God.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. Romans 5:17-18

We are introduced to this concept idea that where our sin once was the grace of God was applied to us.

Grace – receiving what we do not deserve (forgiveness, reconciliation with God, eternal life).

The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:20-21)

The law was given to us to show us the hopeless state of our sin. We realize that we are overwhelmed by sin and as a result the law shows we are constantly sinning.

The gift of grace is given to us. So when we sin grace is applied. And the more sin that is present the more grace that is applied.

This leads us with the potentially dangerous thought process that since grace is present then we can continue to sin and grace will just be applied to our lives.

With that in mind please turn with me to Romans 6. That is page _________ of the back section of the Bible located under the chair in front of you.

Let’s Read Romans 6:1-14.

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

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

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

4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

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;

7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

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

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

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Let’s Pray!

Verse 1 introduces the question that needs to be answered.

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

Grace covers sin so should I keep on sinning so more grace is applied.

Verse 2 gives a very clear answer to this question.

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

According to verse 2 that is a ridiculous question.

Of course not. You don’t keep on sinning just to gain more grace.

Never.

If we are dead to sin then how can we still live in sin?

You see at the moment of justification we have a new identity.

This morning we will see 4 truths about our identity in Christ.

I. The Position of Identification: Union with Christ

A. You died and were buried with Christ through Baptism (6:3-4)

Romans 6:3-4 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

In our baptism we are representing the physical death and burial of Christ at the cross and the tomb. As a believer this act of baptism is a symbolism of uniting with the crucified Christ.

I 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.

Many people interpret Paul’s argument in Romans 6:3-10 as referring to water baptism. However, Paul is simply using the physical analogy of water baptism to teach the spiritual reality of the believer’s union with Christ. Water baptism is the outward identification of an inward reality--faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Paul was not advocating salvation by water baptism; that would have contradicted everything he had just said about salvation by grace and not works in Romans 3-5, which has no mention of water baptism.

The Roman believers were well aware of the symbol of baptism. When Paul says “do you not know” he is in effect saying, “Are you ignorant of the meaning of your own baptism? Have you forgotten what your baptism symbolized?” They were unaware that water baptism symbolizes the spiritual reality of being immersed into Jesus Christ. The tragedy is that many mistake the symbol of water baptism as the means of salvation rather than the demonstration of it. To turn a symbol into a reality is to eliminate the reality, which in this case is salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. (MacArthur Commentary)

This same imagery of us dying and being buried with Christ continues through the chapter.

Vs.5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, …

Vs. 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;

The imagery of us being crucified with Christ has to do with our naturally sinful state being put to death. No longer am I on the throne of my life. I have crucified the flesh and am now completely turned to Christ.

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.

I have crucified the flesh (desire to sin, desire to please self, desire to be the king of my heart).

I have a new life that is found in Christ. I now live seeking to be like the one who loved me and gave Himself for me.

8 Now if we have died with Christ, …

Our identity has changed and we are no longer identified as living in the flesh, but rather living in Christ.

“The moment you become a Christian, you are no longer under the ‘reign’ – the ruling power – of sin.” – Timothy Keller

B. You were raised from the dead through Him (6:5)

We did not just die to our flesh, but we are also made alive again in him.

Vs. 4b …so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,...

Vs. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

In the resurrection of Christ we are made alive again.

Spiritually death must precede life.

  • Dead to flesh and sin
  • Alive in Christ
  • In this union Christ becomes wisdom for you and this overcomes your blinding, deadening ignorance.
  • In this union Christ becomes righteousness for you and this overcomes your guilt and condemnation.
  • In this union Christ becomes sanctification for you and this overcomes your corruption and pollution.
  • In this union Christ becomes redemption for you and this overcomes in the end all the miseries and pain and futility that come from sin and guilt – like sickness and death.” – John Piper
  • This means that we live our lives every day in a way that reflects the new identity we have in Christ.
  • Being renewed in the spirit of mind
  • Putting on the new self
    • Being like God
    • Striving in righteousness
    • Striving in holiness of truth
  • No longer living in the old way of life
    • Driven by our lusts
  • You aren’t the only one facing your temptation.
  • God is faithful (everything hinges on that)
  • God will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able
  • God will provide a way of escape
  • You can endure the temptation
  • We know it doesn’t mean that those who are saved are freed from the desire or temptation to sin.
  • We know it doesn’t meant that we are freed from the ability to still sin.
  • It means that the guilt of sin no longer holds us captive.
  • I am not guilty because of the righteousness of Christ.
  • I am not bound to live in guilt because of the justification offered at the cross.
  • Sin is trying to reign (to command)
  • It is trying to reign in your physical body
  • It wants you to obey it’s lusts.
  • It wants you to sin
  • It want to use you as an instrument of unrighteousness.
  • Sin says you can do whatever you want without any consequence
  • Sin says the fun will outweigh the consequence
  • Sin says God doesn’t really mean you can’t do that
  • Sin reasons with your mind trying to convince you that it is actually ok to partake in that sin.
  • God sits on the throne of your life.
  • God uses you as instruments to be used as instruments of righteousness.
  • You do not allow sin to be your master, but rather live under the grace of God,

C. Rejoice in your union with Christ

If you are united with Christ in His death and resurrection then you have much to be thankful for.

“If you are in Christ, by God’s doing, Christ becomes for you ‘wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.’ All that Christ is for you, He is because you are ‘in him.’ Because you are united to him. Because you have the union with Him that Paul is talking about in Romans 6:5.

This union with Christ is truly the most fascinating of truths for believers. In our union with Christ everything is changed.

2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In the same way our filthy sins were put on the perfect Son of God, Christ at the cross. In that same way the perfect righteousness of God was put on us.

He was sinless and God put our sins to his account. We were sinful and God put Christ’s righteousness to our account.

All because of our union with Christ.

II. The Purpose of Identification: New Life

A. To Walk In the newness of life (6:4)

Vs. 4 … so we too might walk in newness of life.

What is this concept of newness of life?

Let’s look at some other verses that will help us understand this picture of newness of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

According to 2 Corinthians 5:17 in our newness of life there is a marked difference between the way we used to live and the way we now live. We are a brand new creature.

Ephesians 4:22-24, “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

According to Ephesians 4:22-24 our newness of life is described as

“The lives of believers are to be as different from their preconversion days as life is from death.” – Robert H. Mounce

B. To No Longer be Slaves to Sin (6:6)

Vs. 6 - … that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

As we saw in Romans 5:12 that because of one man’s sin (Adam and Eve) we have all become sinners.

Romans chapter 1 paints the picture of the futility of man to overcome sin on their own and identifies the pattern of worshipping creation over the Creator.

Romans chapter 3 reminds us of the thoroughness of sin as having affected every single person.

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So understanding the bondage of slavery to sin is something that we certainly can understand.

So what does it mean that we are no longer slaves to sin. Does this mean that a believer will never sin again? Does it mean that a believer will never desire to sin again? Does it mean that temptation in our life will never lead to lust and ultimately sin?

I don’t believe that would be biblically accurate. However, not being in bondage to sin certainly does give us a lot of hope and power to live according to our new identity.

Here this passage is seeking to give us hope that we are no longer victims of slavery to sin. So there are 2 explanations here that we must explore.

  • The attraction to sin no longer binds us.
  • The guilt of sin no longer makes us hopeless.

The good news is that because of our union in Christ we can overcome sin, by properly relying on the finished work of Christ on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives

We no longer have to sin.

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

Simple truths to be reminded of here.

One of the lies that comes with sin is that you can never be forgiven for the sin. The lie says you are too sinful for God to be able to redeem.

This is another form of slavery that sin holds over us.

I am never going to be able to escape my sin.

It is futile. It is depressing. I am completely in despair.

I can’t go on. I can’t face life. I can’t live a life not bound to sin.

Check out the end of verse 6 again with verse 7 tied in to it.

Vs. 6c – 7 “…that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”

What does it mean to be freed from sin?

“In overcoming the power of sin in our lives we are not first given the moral ability to break sin’s allurement; we are first given the personal legal right to break the despair that I cannot be forgiven and declared righteous. We call this justification. To put it another way, justification is the foundation of sanctification which, in turn, is the certification that we are on our way to a resurrection with Christ in union with him.” – John Piper

III. The Practice of Identification: Considering Who is Ruling In Your Life (12 – 14)

Notice the terminology of someone reigning in your life. What is at the core is the picture of who is in control in your life.

A. Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies (12 – 13a)

Vs. 12 – 13a “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.”

When sin is on the throne of your heart you will obey it’s commands.

“Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you ever intended to pay.”

When sin is allowed to rule in your life you begin to believe the lies.

Do not allow sin to reign in your life, but rather

B. Present yourself to God as alive from the dead. (6:13)

Vs. 13b – 14 “…present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Instead let God rule in your life.

This passage answers the very tough question, can I continue to sin because the grace of God will just be applied to me. Absolutely not!

Johnny Kjaer

Roles

Pastor of Student Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.A. - Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University
M. DIV. - Faith Bible Seminary
D.Min. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (in progress)

Johnny is married to Tori. They have 3 children Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti. He has been a part of the youth ministry at Faith since his internship began in 2010. He has been in the position of Pastor of Student Ministries since 2013. Johnny is an ACBC certified counselor. He also serves the church by directing the Lafayette Living Nativity and the Lafayette Passion Play.

Read Johnny Kjaer's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Kjaer to Faith Church.