FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
We are to live out our new identity in Christ—as those who have died to the old, whose life in Adam has been buried in Christ’s tomb, who have been raised with him into the new creation, and live as its citizens in a still-fallen world as those who are destined to share in his final glory. – Sinclair Ferguson
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Romans 6:15-23
The Heavens Declare - Adoration
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me - Confession
Before the Throne of God Above - Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
Take My Life and Let it Be - Response
Friend of Sinners - Communion
Doxology - Old 100th
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of Deuteronomy.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
In light of the passage we looked at this week, I want to commend to you an incredibly important book for understanding and practicing the Christian faith. It is called Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson. This is a must read (probably many reads) if you want to understand and grow in the Christian faith.
As a companion to Devoted to God, I would recommend How People Changeby Paul Tripp.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
O Jesus, ever with us stay;
Make all our moments calm and bright!
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed o'er the world Thy holy light.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Merciful Father, forgive us the sins of our tongues—for deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and ill temper. Forgive us for the sins of our eyes—for impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than you have given us. Forgive us the sins of our hearts—for hard-heartedness toward you and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all for rebelling against you and doubting your love. Father, transform us by your grace to live wholly for your glory, for it is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Romans 6:1-14
1. Our New Identity (v. 3-10)
2. Our Daily Task (v. 11-14)
The Heart of the Message
After five weeks looking at our vision, we are back in Romans. Without fear of over-exaggeration, there is no more important passage in all of scripture than Romans 6:1-14 for living the life of faith. The occasion for this passage is a fundamental misunderstanding of God’s super abounding grace in Jesus Christ. Some interpreted Paul’s message of grace by concluding, “if it is true where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, then we should continue in sin so that grace may abound.” Paul’s reply is instinctive and decisive, “By No Means!” (v. 2) Why does Paul respond so emphatically? Because to be a Christian means you have died to sin! (v. 2) In other words, your relationship to sin has fundamentally changed forever. You can’t go on living the way you used to anymore. How is that possible? Because the death Jesus died he died to sin. (v. 10) We have been united with Jesus in his death. (v. 5) Therefore, we too have died to sin. (v. 2) What does Paul mean by “we’ve died to sin?” This phrase refers to sin as a power. In other words, Jesus died for our sins, that is, the guilt and penalty of sin. (1 Cor. 15:3) But he also died to sin, that is, the power of sin. To be in Christ means we are forgiven for sin and set free from sin. Admittedly, Paul’s teaching here is difficult to grasp, which is why he speaks of baptism. Christian baptism is God’s sermon to us to help us see what is ours in Christ. What should we do with the truths of this passage? We must consider ourselves in a whole new light every day. (v. 11) Regardless of how we feel, our current circumstances, or our success and failures, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin. Sin is no longer our master. We no longer have to submit to or listen to sin’s demands. Therefore, “where sin abounds, grace super abounds” is not a call to complacency or license but a call to action and holiness. It is a declaration of freedom from the power of sin brought about by the death of Jesus and is to be enjoyed by us through our union with him by faith.
What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
What do we miss about the gospel if we fail to grasp what Paul means by “died to sin?”
Based on this passage what does baptism preach to you? What do you need to listen to from your baptism this week?
How can you consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God? (re: 12-14; hint: reject, refuse, realize)
How is God changing the way you regard yourself through this passage? What is one area in your life you need to apply your new identity, that you have died to sin?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 40. What should we pray?
A. The whole word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.