St. Luke's Church Faribault
- PrayerToday’s sermon text is from Romans chapter 6, found on page ___ of the worship bibles.When you read the the Bible it is important to realize something. The Bible contains many type of literature, and 1 type is history. Often recorded in the literary form known as historical narrative, some portions of the Bible simply record the events as they happened. Other portions of scripture interpret those events for us, telling us why those things happened, and what effect they have on us.The events surrounding the historical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth have been recorded by several ancient historians, both inside the Bible and outside the Bible. Josephus, and Tacitus are two authors outside of the Bible that have references to the resurrection. Of course within the Bible you are familiar with the 4 separate Gospel narratives written by Matthew, Mark, Lukes and John.As the events are recorded in the Bible we quickly find out that is God doing something very interesting in history. What appears on the surface to be straightforward, usually has a whole other dimension to it. A spiritual dimension that effects the the real world, and vice versa.Let me explain. I’ll just start early on. Take the story of Cain and Able for instance.You are all familiar with that right? If you did not have the Bible at your disposal the story would be very straightforward, mundane and you would never notice any significance to it. Like this- If you lived at the time, you might just think the story is about two brothers who fought and one killed the other and the survivor went far away to live, right?Yet what the Bible tells us is that there is one worshipping God, and one not doing a good job of that. ANd it tells of God banishing Cain, and Him falling out of the blood line.Or take King David for instance. For the philistine army the story is young kid gets lucky shot on warrior. In the Bible we learn about Davids faith and love for the Lord.What goes on in history, impacts the spiritual. The reality, or the natural world is effected by or effects the supernatural world or the spiritual world. Now, we cannot always SEE IT, most likely not while it is happening, but just becasue we cannot see it does not mean it isn’t happening.Now, for the resurrection, for some people this story does nothing, Like Josephus and Tacitus. A Jewish and a Roman historians living at the time of Jesus’s resurrection, these men recorded the events, but did not see it as significant. They did not see the spiritual connection. They took this historic event and it ended right there a strange enough story to record it, but it ended there.Like wow that was weird, Jesus of Nazareth was dead, and then he was alive. It was probably featured in the Riley’s Believe it or not of the first century, but any significance was missed.It is interesting. If the resurrection did not happen, you would expect these historians not to record it. They were recording history very close to when it happened. If there was evidence to the contrary we would expect to have that recorded, instead we do not.It is the same way today as well. You cannot miss that it is Easter. there are commercials, and Easter products in the stores, some businesses are closed, and people are getting together, yet the significance of the event, what happens in the spiritual is missed. People pay no attention to whether it happened or didn’t or if it causes any effect or not. Just oh yeah Jesus died on Easter pass the ham.Now since we cannot see the spiritual, God provides some explanation for what is happening in the spiritual. We find that explanation when we look at the letters Paul wrote to Churches. Letters describing what happens in the spiritual due to the events that have occured in the natural world.Sometimes people offer this objection. Why do I have to believe in the resurrection of a jewish carpenter. Why is that significant, why can’t I believe in a monk, or a some-other spiritual guru- why must I believe in a resurrection to saved? That seems arbitrary.Well, not only do the historical events in the natural world have an effect on the spiritual, but God also has them run on a parallel tract. in other words the events are not arbitrary, rather they have some a spiritual meaning that is inseparable to the natural meaning. Belief in a resurrection, is fundamental to what is going on in the spiritual realm as well.Often we think of a metaphor describing what something is like without being that thing. An example might be you are my sunshine. You are not actually a ball of fire, yet you bring me happiness. However, when we are talking about this is not the same as a metaphor-what is going on in the natural, is ACTUALLY happening in the supernatural.So when Jesus of Nazareth actually got up from the dead and walked out of the grave a historical fact, when you believe in that historical fact in this world-something real actually happens in the supernatural or spiritual world that we cannot see. When that happens it actually alters the present and future corse of events, in this world as well.So lets learn about that as we turn to Romans chapter 6. Which has been subtitled in some translations as “Dead to Sin. Alive in Christ.”1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves 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 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. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.First I have to give you a little background. Whenever the gospel is preached-THE TRUE gospel_ That you are saved apart from your works, but by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone- there is always an abjection- That common objection is wait a second that means that we can just go on sinning? That it doesn’t matter what we do?1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?Paul answers right away-2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?Now here we go-We have died to sin-Wait what-I’m not dead-is this a metaphor? hold on let’s read on3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?Paul is referring to that inititaion into the Christian Church as water immersion baptism. It is a symbol of what is happening. We were through this process united in a spiritual sense with Christ, into His death.4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.We were therefore buried---with him as went under it was a symbol of us dying a bringing the physical into the spiritual BUT NOT EFFECTUAL. What does that mean Baptism occurs after a person is born again-symbolizing what happened- not causing it to happen. Born again people get baptised, baptising people does make them born again.IN order that- JUST AS CHRIST WAS RAISED from the dead-through the glory of God the Father- we too may live a new life or as the NASB says we might walk in newness of life.Jesus went to the cross on a day in history and died.For some that is the end of the story- But in the spiritual world what not everyone could see was that Jesus by dying was paying the debt for all those who would believe.And while on a date in history people are being baptised, as they demonstrate that they have faith, they are symbolizing that when they came to faith they were united in purpose BY FAITH saying that yes I acknowledge that i am putting my faith in that Christ on the cross putting my faith in the fact that on that Friday Jesus was paying for my sins, means we are uniting-or joining with that purpose being fulfilled at the cross.And as Christ was raised to a new and different physical body- WE also in the spiritual sense are raised to a new life- our spiritual life from this moment forward is new.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.The tendency of Christianity, can be to focus on the the fact of the cross. Focusing our attention on our sins being forgiven, But what Paul is saying, is that just like at the cross our sins are forgiven, by the resurrection we are living a new life. There are 1 aspects of Easter that are available to the one who believes. The forgiveness at the cross, and the spirit filled new life at the resurrection.6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—SO when through faith we were united to Christ our old sin-filled self, is crucified, it is put to death. Our old nature. This slavery to sin that is common to man. Our desire to sin, our passion for things not of God. Our unholy emotions-driven by the desire to please self- we were slaves to those things living our life in complete submission to those things, but....This uniting to Christ put that to death. It killed it , so that now we are no longer caught up in that slavery.Now, Paul takes that logic of death, and explains how we move forward.7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.If Paul writes-If we died with Him-If we put to death that old self-through faith in Christ and His finished work at the cross-If we have done that WE will also live with Him.Now, here it gets a little complicated, but stay with me for a minute…SO If we died with Christ- now, we know we did not actually die physically-we are actually alive, but.. f our old sin filled self died, then we will live with Christ-that is some day-in the future our belief here in the present has an impact on our future spiritual self Now Paul will move us to what that means for our present.In other words does our old self just die, and then we wait to for future glory-or…is there some kind effect now.9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.For we know-He are sure that Christ’s resurrection MEANT Jesus cannot die again-It proved that death could not hold Him-Becasue we Know that death is the result of sin.Genesis chapter 2 verse 17, if eat of the fruit-YOU WILL Surely Die.But wait you might say-I was not there-I did not eat it-No, but you were born into the world-All humans are born into the world of death all humans are born to die-unless something happens.And that something is the uniting to the body of death so that we might live.10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.Now, Paul moves from that future aspect of living with Christ, in the future to the present-the verb tense changes- What was future now is changed to present.Yes-Christ died-In the past-Yes our past uniting with Him causes the future to be different-we do not die, but will live forever with Christ, and also-Christ lives NOW- The Life He lives He lives to God- so now for us.11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.In the same way- In the same way as Christ lives for God-We live for God. We were slaves to sin-Now, we are alive to God-Now we move from slavery to desires, to desires with a new purpose not self centered but God centered-We once said, how can I please myself-we now say how can I please God. Our friends and neighbors may still be driven for the passion of their self-This is what i have to get for me-This is what i need for me-I will spend my life striving for this thing or recognition or even a pursuit of self righteousness,But now we are seeking to do the will of God-What does God want> What pleases God? What desires we did have our replaced with new ones and new pursuits.WHat happened in the physical reality-the death and resurrection of Jesus enters our reality at the moment of belief, then it effects the spiritual and future we have new life-eternal life, and also in the present reality our newness extends into our desires, our wants and our life. Do you see that I realize it is complicated, but I hope you are following.Then we have the instruction on HOW to do that.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. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.ANd as we celebrate this Easter Season- Brothers and Sisters- Offer yourselves to God AS those who HVAE been brought from death to life- offer yourselves to Him as intsruments of righteousness, Becasue you are no longer under the law but uder grace.In Jesus name.
Let us get to know you!
Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
How did you hear about us?