What to do About Sin in Us
Romans 6: 1-11
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.
We have said now several times that our sins are completely forgiven in Christ, our debt has been paid. And even more than this, we are made righteous. We are given credit for the righteous life of Jesus! This means that our life in Christ is eternal, not temporary.
And this raises the question of what to do about sin after we trust Christ. I am sure that all of you understand the difficulty of being perfect. If you decide that you are going to be as good as you can you will find this a very difficult, frustrating pursuit. Does this mean that we should not try? Does this mean that our sins don’t matter because they are forgiven by Christ? Do we have a “license to sin?”
Romans 3 introduces an idea that relates to fact that God forgives us before we are done sinning.
8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
The answer to this question lies in the big picture of life. There are things a person must accept in order to follow Christ. To say you are following Christ and to follow Christ are two different things. Acceptance of Who Jesus is and What He has done for you and of your real need for Him is fundamental. The truth of accepting God’s standards for life will bring you into conflict with yourself! It actually brings you into conflict with “sin that is in you.” Read ahead to chapter 7! Well, so be it. But if we do not stand on the foundational truths about God, Jesus and ourselves, then we are not in Christ!
The question: should we not just sin because our forgiveness is secured? The answer is no, because this is not a man-centered world. It is sin in you activating those impulses and ideas and causing a person to ask the question anyway. God does not want you under the power of sin. He has gone a long way to secure your freedom.
The question is about what to do with our sinfulness. Shall we go on sinning? Really I see this as what to do about our sinfulness. Why ask this question? Because Christ calls us to a life of repentance. Repentance means change. Change takes work and is stressful. This is why God often works in our lives through painful circumstances. The pain issue is already real, so I might as well get to work on this character issue. We float along, living as we please, we find that we are in conflict with a loved one or with our culture. And so we examine our behavior.
But if we never come to the end of these battles, then why bother? Because of what sin does to you, your loved ones, the environment, your relationship with God etc. And because in the process of the battle, we discover that God fights for us. He has forgiven us, He will deliver us. Each great story in the Bible starts with a problem. Your experience with God starts with a problem within you. What will you find God to be? How will He not give us all that we need for life?
So, sin is not God’s will for your life. The sin in you is your enemy. It seeks to kill, God seeks to give life. Sin lives as if God does not exist. And God is what is most necessary for life!!
- We Have Died to Living for Sin v.2, 6
- Do you know what this means ?
Gal 5: 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
To sin means to aim and miss.
We aim at what gives us life.
When we sin, we attach our loves to what is not God or good.
I John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
What does the world live for?
Pleasure, knowledge and power.
Emotion, mind and will
Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength
Lust of the flesh (pleasure), Lust of the eyes (greed), Pride of life (personal success or pride)
- Replacing God with His good gifts
James 1: 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Is pleasure bad? Only when we make too much of it. (We lust for it)
Are possessions bad? Only when we make too much of them.
Is success bad? Only when we make too much of it.
Love God with your pleasures, your thinking, your possessions, your money, your motivations, your drives and your dreams. Love God first and allow Him to set the course for these things in your life.
Ananias and Sapphira
- New life in Christ begins with death to sin v.2
This is not a written test. This is about what drives your life. What is it that motivates you? It is EASY to do “good” things for bad reason. That makes your actions bad. Matthew 6 critique of the current religious actions of the day. Matthew 23 critique of the religious leadership of the day. These “issues” are still relevant. Issues of the heart and loves. Clear perceptions of ourselves. Anxiety is a clue. Your anxieties reflect where your struggles are.
Lamp of the body is the eye. What do you see of sin in you?
- Do You Choose the Life that God has for You?
Saul and the Amalekites
What is the source of the life that God has for you?
- United in the Crucifixion of Christ v.3-5
What does being united with Christ’s Crucifixion mean in your life? God calls for things in our lives that we must die to. Motivations, desires, even fears! He calls on us to trust Him to give us what we need. This is exactly what Jesus is teaching us in His temptation. We need bread, God will care for me. We need purpose. God will give it to us. We need meaningful work. And this is exactly what God is teaching the Israelites by allowing them to be hungry in the wilderness.
Deuteronomy 8: 1Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
This is repeated in Hebrews 12:
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
We discipline our children so they will have discipline and no longer require our outside force.
What is God getting us to be disciplined to do? Obey His Word!!!!
We don’t see the benefit of obedience right away. It makes our lives harder!! We have to say no to our desires.
- United in the Resurrection of Christ v.4-7
This is a reality of life that is life indeed.
No enjoyment today and regret tomorrow.
No enjoyment today at the expense of someone else.
Just love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control.
And we are promised a source of internal power from God to do His will.
Phil 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
For the joy set before Him (Resurrection)
He endured the cross, scorning its shame (Crucifixion)
- There is no other God
John 14: 1-7
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus is not just the only way to redemption and righteousness. He is the only way to sanctification!
And finally, something to do in Romans!
III. Think is Accordance with Reality v.11
Reality is what is true of you in Christ
- You are dead to sin’s power v.6, 7
You don’t have to obey sinful desires. You have power over your weaknesses.
- You are alive to God’s power to live v.8
It is God’s will that you be filled by the Holy Spirit
Set your mind on things above
Set your hearts on things above
Renew your minds
Spiritual warfare in II Cor 10 that destroys ARGUMENTS that are exalted against Christ.
The more you work this out, it has been my experience that I understand God’s love, wisdom, and pleasure more and more. My heart to pursue what pleases me is being transformed away from what is produced by my hormones to what is reflective of Christ. I can gain life from service, giving, celebrating the blessings of others. I don’t have to win by seeing others lose. We can all be on the same team!!!
- You are in process v.11
“Count yourselves” “Consider yourselves” “Say that this is true of you!” “Be in agreement with this!”
This is why Paul says to consider this so. We are rehearsing this. There are things that are true of us that we do not see. The fact that we are “free from sin’s power” means that we don’t have to be driven by our sin. But we area called to work out our great salvation! A person struggling with pride does not snap their fingers and become humble. That is a choice and a perspective that we grow in.
Romans 12: 2 Do not be conformed to this world any longer, but be transformed by having your mind renewed. In this way you will be able to know and do God’s will in your life.