READ | SERMON NOTES
The key verse: “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
We Must Consider Ourselves In Christ
In verse 5 Paul said that we are “united with Him” union or bond. The Greek word for union/bond is “en Christo”. We see Paul’s emphasis of this word as he mentioned it 165 times in his letters but the ‘Christian’ word appeared only 3 times in the New Testament. Paul used marriage and grafting of trees when he talked about “en Christo”.
In marriage, having taken the vow, we form the commitment that transforms the ‘I’ into ‘us’. Likewise, we are like the branch grafted into a tree that now grows by extracting life from the parent tree. The branch now depends on the parent tree and shares the past, present, and future with it.
Are we in Christ daily and in every moment? When we are in Christ, the old has passed away, and we become His new creation. (2 Cor 5:17) There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). We may have a relationship with Christ but have we reached the point of a lifelong commitment ‘in Christ’? This is what intentional discipleship means.
We Must Consider Ourselves Dead To Sin
Because of the union with Christ (v5), we are ‘crucified’ with Him, we are no longer enslaved to sin. (v6). A corpse will not respond and is free from all obligations. Whoever has died is freed from sin (v7). We must not let sin exercise dominion (v12). Paul used the idea of baptism to illustrate being dead to sin. Like the Red Sea experience, the Egyptian army that enslaved the Israelites drowned in the water. We are no longer threatened by sin. We must consider ourselves dead to sin, the new me in Christ has taken over. (Gal 2:19-20). We must constantly remind ourselves that we are crucified with Him. Unless we recognise that we have died in Christ, we cannot break the bondage of sin in our life.
We Must Consider Ourselves Alive To God
Being in this union with God, we are united with Christ in His resurrection. Having put an end to the old, we now ‘walk in newness of life (v4). There is a new creation when we are in Christ and we claim on the promises that God has given us. Therefore, we walk in the newness of life. We present ourselves as instruments of righteousness. We start going towards the promised land, walking free, and adopting the new.
The life I now live, I live in flesh by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20). We live in this newness in life. Therefore, we want to present ourselves to God (v13) and in Romans 12 we are told to present ourselves as a ‘holy living sacrifice acceptable before God. We want our members to be for God and refer to every part of our body, it means whatever we have, full time, wholeheartedly. We offer our all to God as instruments of righteousness for God’s glory.
We must consider ourselves in Christ, in this union, and be like Christ in every way like in marriage and like a branch grafted on a tree. We must consider ourselves dead to sin. We must see ourselves as dead on Good Friday, joining Christ on the cross. Otherwise, we cannot have that liberty and freedom from sin that holds us, challenges us, and draws us out. We must consider ourselves alive in God, living a life, not for ourselves but for God who loves us and gave Himself for us.
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Where am I in my relationship with Christ on the scale below?
2. What are 3 areas that I have great difficulty dying to?
3. How can I take steps to put these areas to death in Christ?
4. In living the new life in Christ, how can I:
4a. Present myself to God?
4b. Offer myself to His service & glory?
4c. Be an instrument of righteous?