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Richard Piles

Dead Man Walking

In the recent weeks, have been looking at Romans 1-5, and we have seen writing to the Roman Church about the issue of justification or salvation imputed righteousness by faith to the Believer.

 

Today, we come to Romans 6, and Romans 6-8 is not about justification but about sanctification.  That is the lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus and less like the world, more like Christ and set apart to holiness. 

 

If Romans 1-5 is about being delivered from the penalty of sin, Romans 6-8 is about being delivered from the power of sin.  Paul is now going to transition from more theological to more practical as we consider, “Dead Man Walking.”

 

In order to be set free from the power of sin:

 

  1. To be set free from the power of sin, You must Know your Unity with Christ, Romans 6:1-10.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion 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.

 

These 14 verses are built around three action words: know, reckon, and present.  The first is “know” and found in verses 3, 6, and 9. 

 

As Christians or those who have been justified or saved or born-again, we must know our unity with Christ.  That is found in verse 5.

 

First of all, we are united with Him in death.  Now what does that mean?  Verse 2 says that means that we have died to sin.  Verse 3 says that it means that we been baptized into His death.  Verse 4 says that it means that we have been buried.  Verse 6 says that it means that we have been crucified with Christ.  Verse 6 also says that it means that our body of sin is done away with.  Verse 7 says that it means that we have been freed from sin, and then again in a summary statement in the first part of verse 8, we have died with Christ or in other words, we are united with Him in death. 

 

What then does this look like?  There in verse 6 where it says that our body of sin might be done away with, that doesn’t mean that when we are saved that we begin to live in sinless perfection. 

 

However, it does mean that sin no longer has authoritative power in our lives.  Do we sin?  Yes.  Is sin attractive and extremely tempting?  Yes, but we do not have to sin.  We are freed from sin. 

When we are justified by faith in Christ, the shackles are cut off.  The death of Christ satisfied the punishment of sin and broke the power of sin.

 

Therefore, when we are united with Christ, we die with Christ at conversion and consequently die to sin’s power in our lives.

 

But that is not the entire story.  Notice verse 5 again.  Not only are we united with Christ in His death, but we are also united with Christ in His resurrection.  What does that mean? 

 

Verse 4 says that when we come up out of the baptismal waters that we are painting a picture of the resurrection of Christ in our lives, and after our conversion, we now walk in newness of life.  We too have been resurrected.  We have been born again.  We are a new creation.  

 

Paul speaks of this experience in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

 

We must know our unity with Christ in His death and His resurrection!

 

 

  1. To be set free from the power of sin, You must Reckon your Reality in Christ, Romans 6:11.

11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

If this helps, think of it this way.  Perhaps knowing your unity with Christ is accomplished in your head.  It is what you know or understand. 

 

Reckoning or recognizing your reality in Christ is accomplished in your heart.  It is believing with all of your heart what your mind knows to be true.    

 

When you are justified by faith in Christ, it is a reality, a fact, the absolute truth that you are dead to sin and alive to God in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

Listen to Paul in Galatians 2:20.

Galatians 2:20, 20 I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.

 

Think of it like this.  Before you are justified or saved or born-again, you are sitting on the king’s throne of your heart.  Why?  Because you are the king or queen.

 

However, when you are justified by faith, Jesus Christ takes over the throne of your heart.  You know who is no longer on the throne?  You.  You know who is now on the throne?  Jesus, and for the individual who has been saved, He is now the boss, the master, calling the shots.

 

We must reckon our reality in Christ.  We are dead to sin and alive to God.  We are dead men walking!

 

 

  1. To be set free from the power of sin, You must Present your Entirety to Christ, Romans 6:12-14.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

As a result of being justified and dead to sin and alive in Christ, we are to present or offer or give or yield or submit ourselves in our entirety to God.  That means eyes and ears and mouth and hearts and minds and hands and feet and our entire physical body to God for righteousness.

 

How do we do that?  There is a negative and a positive.  We do not let sin reign.  We do not obey its lusts.  We do not present ourselves to sin for unrighteousness. 

 

If you are struggling with pornography, don’t be looking at the swimsuit magazines or lingerie catalogs or don’t stay up late at night working on the internet. 

 

If you struggle with alcohol addiction, don’t eat your meals at restaurants that serve alcohol. 

 

If you are struggling with your marriage, don’t seek advice from someone who is divorced multiple times because of extramarital affairs. 

If you struggle with gossip you need to delete your Facebook account.  Do you get the picture?  Don’t walk in slippery places or else you might fall.

 

On the other hand, positively, do present your entire self to God for righteousness.  Obey God in the little things which will in turn make it somewhat easier to obey God in the larger things. 

 

Surround yourselves with godly men and women who want to be like Jesus.

 

We must present our entireties to God for righteousness.

 

 

Conclusion

Listen to Galatians 5.

 

If you have been justified through faith in Christ, you are dead to adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.

 

Consequently, you are alive to love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

 

Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

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