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Introduction

I. Windows Into Romans: A. As I’ve said for the past 5 weeks now, we are in the middle of a series I’ve entitled “Windows Into Romans.” B. We just finished a mini-series about the Cross of Christ where we looked at the crucifixion of Jesus through two different lenses: 1. It was a Display of the Righteousness of God. a) When Christ took the penalty for our sin, God’s justice was upheld. 2. It was a Display of the Love of God. a) When Christ took the penalty for our sin, God’s love was on display. C. Last week in particular we looked at the amazing, extravagant, and unshakeable love of God that was demonstrated for us on the cross of Christ. D. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 1. God doesn’t just say, “I love you” and then do nothing about it. He first demonstrates His love toward us and then gives us His word to explain what He has accomplished. 2. Romans 5 describes us as helpless enemies of God who could do nothing for ourselves. Then God in His great mercy stooped down and made a way for us to be saved from the judgement that we deserved for our sins. E. In light of this amazing demonstration of God’s love we are pressing onward into Romans 6.

Setting Up the Chapter
I. Romans 6 is strategically placed right after Romans 5 for SO many reasons. A. In Romans 5 Paul lays the foundation of salvation as a free and unearned gift of Grace. B. He said, there was nothing you could do to earn it. And once you are saved not even your sin can overcome God’s electing love for you! 1. Romans 5:20 Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more! C. In essence, Paul wants the believer to know and understand that before he gets into the content of chapter 6 (which is all about fighting sin) he wants to make the gospel crystal clear! 1. You don’t fight sin to earn favor from God! You fight sin by Grace in order to live in the freedom that was won for you! Christ won your freedom from sin, now live like a freed man/woman! 2. He is like a master builder laying a good foundation for our spiritual homes. 3. New World Trade Center designed with

D. He wants to lay the foundation for our spiritual lives that is made of titanium that will stand against the craziest storms of this life. 1. He begins with the fact that we have done nothing to earn God’s favor. And if we have been justified by our faith in Christ then there is nothing we can do to separate us from the love of God. E. World Trade Center 1. 400 cubic yards (310 cubic metres) of concrete were poured onto the foundations, carried by as many as 40 trucks. 2. The construction company tested the strength of the building against everything short of an atomic blast... and let’s just say, there isn’t much that will be able to hurt that building. F. Once the foundation is laid. Paul is ready to move on to Romans 6. And in this amazing chapter He get’s into the nitty gritty battle of everyday life.

Title: Set Free to Live Free!
I. Shawshank Redemption A. I was always frustrated by the character of Red, Morgan Freeman. He had been in prison for most of his life, and near the end of his prison sentence when he could finally go free, he would intentionally fail his “exit exams.” I was like man, freedom is right there in front of you! Why don’t you just take it. You’ve been locked up in prison for more than 20 years! You’re a changed man! Go live your life. B. But he saw no reason to leave prison. His was life was comfortable, he was at the top of the roost, he had the respect of his fellow inmates. He believed that life was good. All the world had to offer was uncertainty, change, and risk. C. It is possible that some of you in this room tonight are living your lives in the same predicament. You have been living your lives in prison and you actually believe you are living the good life. D. Tonight we are going to take a look at Romans 6 and see Paul’s strategy for coming out of prison and living a NEW LIFE. Romans 6:7-8 He who has died is free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

Setting Up the Problems
I. In this chapter Paul is dealing with ONE MAJOR ISSUE: SIN. MORE SPECIFICALLY, ONGOING SIN IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER. A. He is dealing with this problem in two major ways. 1. First, as attack on the Gospel of grace.

a) So, some people accused Paul’s amazing Gospel of grace as something that encouraged people to sin. The more I sin the more grace I get! So let the sinning begin! b) Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2. Second, Paul is addressing the fact that SIN is an ongoing problem for believers. And He gives us very practical instruction on how to fight against it. a) So the question that we struggle with as Christians is, “If I’m a new creation in Christ how do I fight these temptations that still come my way?”

Solving the Problems
I. II. How does Paul deal with this problem of Sin! How does he deal with the problems raised in this chapter? This week we are going to look at the first problem, and next week we are going to look at the second problem. 1. If grace is so amazing why don’t we just keep on sinning? a) Hey where sin increases, grace increases all the more! Right? Just give me a bit more sin so I can have a bit more grace! b) If my sin only magnifies the love and grace of God, why not just live in sin and let God’s grace be magnified more an more! c) Gosh, God’s grace is incredible! Nothing can separate me from His love! I’ll just keep on sinning! This way I get the best of both worlds! God’s love and the pleasure of sin! Yeah! (1) Romans 5:20 Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more! d) How does Paul respond to this reasoning? e) Me Genoito! μὴ γένοιτο. GOD FORBID! (1) Strongest phrase in the greek language. 2. Romans 6:2 If you have died to sin, why would you keep living in it? B. Explanation: Paul explain yourself. 1. Paul is dealing with an age old lie right here: a) Living life in obedience to sin is more fun/pleasurable than living life in obedience to God. b) What he tries to explain in the following verses is that Sin is a cruel slave master that drives you onward toward death! All the while it makes you believe that you are having the greatest time! c) Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you obey your sinful desires you have made sin your master? Do you not know that this results in death?

Problem #1

Driving to Birmingham
d) Two friends of mine when I was in high school went to b-ham to visit some of our other friends who had just moved. Parents were adamant that they get back on time. They ignored the detour. Luckily we were stopped... III. Paul is explaining the truth about GRACE. GRACE DOESN’T ENCOURAGE SIN, IT SET’S YOU FREE FROM THE SLAVERY OF SIN! IT TAKES OUT SIN AT THE VERY ROOT! It helps you see SIN for what is actually is and then helps you see the superior joys of life with Christ!

How Does Grace Empower Me to Overcome Sin?
A. Romans 6:7 If you have died then you have been freed from sin B. Sin is this universal plague. Every single person in the human race is under its curse. No escaping it. 1. Except for one BIG exception. 2. There is one group of people on the earth right now who are totally free from sin. They actually don’t sin at all! If you want to hang out with them all you have to do is walk down to the nearest graveyard. That’s right. They’re dead. Those corpses lying in those graves can no longer commit sin. a) Why? b) They are dead! Their soul has left the building! They can no longer act on their sinful desires because they don’t have any desires anymore. They are dead! 3. The only way you will ever be free from sin is when you die. He says, “Look, while you are alive on this earth, you cannot be totally free from sin. Only once you are dead are you no longer able to give in to the temptation of sin.” 4. However, our predicament is worse than just being free from the sinful desires of our flesh. 5. If we die in our sin, then the wages of our sin will follow us beyond the grave and condemn us to eternal judgment. 6. So you might be physically dead and unable to sin, but you are still under the legal penalty of sin which lasts for the rest of eternity!

Great Jonathan, There is NO hope for us on this earth? Right?
1. Wrong! 2. But how? If death is the only way to be free from sin then how can I be free from sin and still live life on this earth? 3. Romans 6:7 is talking about a very special type of death. A death that has the power to set you free from all sin and all of it’s consequences. 4. Here is the answer: a) Romans 6:5 We have become united to Christ in His death!

(1) Here is what Paul is saying: Christ took your death! The death that you deserved... He died it. (2) Now, you are united to Christ’s death by faith! This is amazing! (3) When Jesus Christ was crucified on a tree He took on death for you! (4) Now, if you believe that His sacrifice was for your sins, then you are united to Him on that cross. You have died that death with Him. But you didn’t physically have to go through it. He went through it for you! 5. What is even more amazing? Here is where it starts to get crazy good. a) So we enter in to death WITH Christ. b) But what happened next? Christ rose from the dead! c) By Grace we have been united with Christ in His resurrection! d) Look at the next verses with me: (1) Romans 6:8-9 If we died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death is no longer master over Him! 6. Guess what!? If death is no longer master over Christ what do you think that means for you and me? Death is no longer master over us! Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we too will one day be raised never to die again! This is the amazing hope of the Gospel! IV. What have we seen thus far?

Freedom from Sin?

DEATH CHRIST

Now what? I’m still dead?

Freedom from Death?

Now, by Grace, we are free from SIN/DEATH!

V.

Here is Paul’s point: A. GRACE doesn’t encourage you to sin! GRACE rips up the power of sin by its roots. GRACE unites you with Christ who overcame Sin and Death! GRACE actually gives you the power to live an overcoming life! B. Paul simply asks, If by GRACE you have been set free from a life of slavery to sin why would we you choose to live in it? C. That was the old life that was crucified with Christ. 1. It’s joys were cheap and it’s penalties steep!

2. The joys of sin are fleeting and they leave you empty, trapped and enslaved. And the wages of sin is DEATH! 3. Christ died so that you and I wouldn’t have to be slaves any longer! a) Romans 6:6 Our Old Self was crucified with Christ . . . so that we would no longer be slaves of sin.

Joel Getting Arrested
I. Which reminds me of a story about a good friend of mine named Joel. A. After college I lived with Joel for a while in Atlanta. And one of the things about Atlanta is that you never know what you are going to see. B. I’ll never forget the night that Joel, and I, and our other roommate steve walked outside only to see 5 cop cars screeching down our street. Steve dares Joel to run, he does and gets arrested. C. He explained it was just a stupid dare. And they scolded him, but let him go after some brief questions. II. Now that was stupid. No doubt about it. A. But do you know what would have been even more stupid? If when the cops began interrogating him, he continued with the joke and acted like a drug dealer. B. Before Joel was saved he did some shady things. What if he just started acting like His Old Self right there in front of the cops! C. “Officer, I was just running two pounds of cocaine to my buddy down the street. I’m guilty! Please arrest me! D. That would be ridiculous. Why would he live like a criminal if he was no longer a criminal? He had been free from that stuff for years. He had no reason to act like He was still doing drugs or breaking the law. Why would he willingly allow himself to be locked back up in a jail cell to sit there for the next two years? E. To take the analogy one step further. What if, while sitting in his jail cell, Joel actually believed, “Whoohoo! This is the good life! Man am I living it up now! It doesn’t get any better than this! Gosh I’m glad that I chose to go back and live in my former life of sin and lawbreaking! I’m so glad I got arrested! This is so much better than the freedom I had in Christ...!” F. Nobody would do that! But that is exactly what we do when we choose to live in sin after Grace has set us free from the condemnation of sin. G. Just like Paul says, “If you have died to sin, why would you live in it?”

Conclusion: Paul proves His point. The Gospel of Grace doesn’t lead to more sin. It sets us free from the power and slavery of sin. Core Truth: Grace does 2 things: It frees you from the condemnation of sin and it gives you strength to overcome sin in your life.

Problem #2 (Regarding Sin)
I. Thanks Paul, You’ve made it abundantly clear that Grace has empowered me to overcome sin in my life. You’ve shown me that Christ has set me free and I am to walk in newness of life with Him. A. Now, what do I do with all these crazy sinful desires that are still in my flesh? How do I deal with all these sinful tendencies? II. Glad you asked! III. Come back next week and we will deal with that issue in fulness! IV. Christian, fight all known sin in your life! Live like you are alive! Don’t live like you are dead. Don’t go back into the jail cell that you were set free from! Romans 6:12-14 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves 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. 1

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The New International Version. 2011 (Ro 6:12–13). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.