HOW DEAD MEN SHOULD LIVE
Intro: Up until this point, the Apostle Paul has been
building a case for the necessity of salvation. We have
been told that we are all sinners. We have been shown
that there is one means of salvation: faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ. We have been told that by placing our
faith in Jesus for salvation, we are given the gift of
eternal life in Him. Paul has let us know that the human
race is doomed because of the sin of Adam! However,
those humans who come to Jesus for salvation are
saved from that doom and are given a new life in Christ!
As we begin chapter 6, Paul is going to spend the
next 3 chapters telling us how this new life is lived. This
is much needed information! All the signs point to the
fact that many people claim to have the new life, but
they do not seem to know how to live that life. In this
section of Scripture, we will be given detailed
instructions on how to live the new life in Christ.
Paul begins his treatment of this subject in the first 4
verses of chapter 6. In this passage, we are given our
first set of instructions pertaining to the new life. In this
passage, we will learn How Dead Men Should Live.
That may sound like a strange statement, but it will
make sense as we go deeper in the Word of God this
For dead men to live, there are three realities that
they must accept. I want to share those three realities
with you this evening. Let's look into these words of
Paul as we talk about the subject How Dead Men
I. V. 1-2 THEY MUST ACCEPT THE REALITY OF
A. V. 1 An Argument - As is his usual manner, Paul
anticipates the arguments of his readers and
deals with them up front. The argument is based
upon 5:20. In that passage, we are told that in
the presence of much sin, there is much more
grace. You may remember the analogy of the
sinner being crushed under a great pile of sin, but
in Jesus, that same sinner is made to stand upon
a high mountain of grace.
The argument in verse one says, "Well, if
grace comes as the result of sin, then
shouldn't we just sin more so we can enjoy
more grace?" Sadly, this is the philosophy of life
that far too many Christians live by! Many know
that they are saved, and that their salvation is
eternal. They know they are eternally secure, so
they live far below God's standard, knowing they
can repent at any time. My friends, this is a
dangerous way to live your life! If you have been
caught in this mind set, your actions say one of
two things about you:
1. You have never really been saved.
2. You don't care what your life says about
Either scenario places you on dangerous
ground! If you are not saved, you are in danger of
Hell. If you are saved, you stand to face the
chastisement of God. Be sure that you do not
live under such a faulty ideal of life.
B. V. 2 An Answer - Paul's answer to their
argument is brief and clear. If we are indeed
dead to sin, how can we continue to live in sin?
(Ill. In this verse, Paul uses death as an analogy
of the Christian life. While we who are in Christ
are more alive than we have ever been, at the
same, we are dead! When death touches these
physical bodies, there are certain changes that
take place immediately. As soon as a person
dies, they lose all desires for the things they used
to enjoy. If a man were an alcoholic, as soon as
he dies, he is no longer plagued by the urge to
drink. If someone is a drug addict, at the moment
of death, they are free from their desire for drugs.
Death brings with it certain limitations for the
person affected by it.
The same is true for the Christian! When we
placed our faith in the Lord Jesus for salvation,
we died to sin. Now, I know that the old nature
still yearns for sinful expression. It still wants
everything it ever did. The old nature will not
change until it dies at the end of these physical
lives. But, when we were saved, we are made a
new creature in Jesus Christ! There is a new
man living in these physical bodies and he is
dead to sin! He doesn't care about it. He doesn't
want it. It does not appeal to him in the least!
Now, some may have a hard time grasping that
because it seems to you that you still want to sin
as much, or more, than you ever have. The
secret to accepting the reality of our passing
away to sin is found in verse 11. Here, Paul tells
us that we must "Reckon" ourselves dead to sin.
This word is an accounting term that means "to
calculate." Paul is telling us to add up the
evidence and then declare ourselves dead to sin!
In other words, God isn't going to do it for you!
You have to be actively involved in accepting the
fact that you have died to sin, and therefore, you
are no longer in bondage to sin, Rom. 6:14. God
puts this responsibility on our shoulders.
However, He has given us all we need to se it
come to pass. Have you accepted the reality of
I. They Must Accept The Reality Of Their Passing
II. V. 3-4a THEY MUST ACCEPT THE REALITY OF
A. A Placement - Verse 3 tells us that when we
received Jesus, we were baptized into Him, and
as a result, we were baptized into His death.
Paul is not referring to water baptism here, but to
the Baptism of the Spirit, 1 Cor. 12:13. However,
believer's baptism by immersion pictures this
What Paul is telling us is that when we got
saved, we were placed into the body of Christ.
We are in Him this evening, Col. 3:3; Eph. 2:6!
Placed there by the power of the Holy Spirit of
B. A Participation - Paul goes on to tell us that
when we were placed in Jesus, we were also
placed into His death! Very literally, when Jesus
died on the cross, all those who have their faith in
Him died also! We were, by some extraordinary
miracle of God, taken back some 2,000 years and
placed in Christ on the cross. When He died, we
(Ill. This is why we can have the victory over sin
on our lives! The child of God is dead! The
reason we have so much trouble is that many
simply will not accept the fact that they have died.
Again, the solution to this problem is found in
verse 11. We must add up the facts and
calculate ourselves to be dead to sin!)
I. They Must Accept The Reality Of Their Passing
II. They Must Accept The Reality Of Their Position
III. V. 4b THEY MUST ACCEPT THE REALITY OF
A. A Comparison - Now, Paul reveals a thrilling
truth to the people of God. Not only did we die
with Jesus on the cross, but when He rose from
the dead, we rose also! Has it begun to be clear
to you that we are participators in everything
Jesus did? When He died on the cross, He was
dying for sin. However, when He died on the
cross, we died in Him. When He rose from the
dead, we were in Him then and we rose also!
Just as we were in Adam when he sinned in the
Garden of Eden, so too, we were in Jesus when
He died and rose from the dead. What Paul is
trying to tell us is that our life is intimately tied to
the life of the Lord Jesus! Just as we participated
in His death, so too, we participate in His life.
That is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed
to be born again, John 3:3; 7.
When a person receives Jesus as Savior, that
person becomes a partaker of His death and at
the same instant he also becomes a partaker of
His life, Eph. 2:5. Because He died, we are dead
to sin, because He lives, we are alive to God and
to the things of God!.
B. A Commission - Since this is true, the believer
should therefore walk in a manner that is
consistent with his new life. Since we have died
to sin and since we have been raised up to a new
life in Jesus, there are some truths that you and
I need to know. We have received a command
from the Lord, in this verse, to walk in newness of
life. That is, life after Jesus is supposed to be
vastly different than life before Jesus. Here is
how that is possible.
1. We have received a New Nature - 2 Pet. 2:4.
2. We have been made a New Creature - 2
3. We are a New Man - Col. 1:1-10.
(Ill. If this is true, and it is, then why is it that so
many still struggle with lives that are tainted with
sin? The reason is that when you got saved, your
body became the house for two natures. You old
nature is still in there trying to be the king. Now,
there is a new nature there and it is trying to be
the king. As long as you are alive in this world,
there will be a warfare going on in your person,
Gal. 5:16. While there will be many battles, we
can win them if we will remember the secret that
is revealed to us in verse 11. We must add up
the facts and calculate ourselves dead to sin. We
need to remember that as children of God ,we do
not have feet with which we can run to evil. We
do not have hands that can carry out the devil's
work. We do not have a mind that dwells on evil
things. We do not have eyes that will look upon
wickedness. We do not have a tongue that can
be used for evil. If you and I are really saved,
then this body belongs to the Lord, 1 Cor. 6:19-20 and the former occupant is now dead.
Therefore, the new occupant, the Holy Spirit of
God, can do as He pleases with the old house. It
is His and no longer ours!)
Conc: How should dead men live? In reality, they
shouldn't! There is always a problem when dead men
think they are still alive. Just look at all the horror
movies built around this theme. When the dead live,
there is trouble!
Since we are dead, what are we supposed to do?
We are supposed to yield to the Spirit of God and allow
Him to live God's life through us. We must reckon
ourselves dead to the things of this world and alive to
the things of God through the Spirit. When we can
finally see that we are dead and that any life we hope to
live must be lived through us by God, then we are ready
to be free from the bondage of sin.
How would you have to describe your life? Is it
"Night of the living dead?" Or, "Life of the living Lord?"
The choice is yours. You can choose to let a dead man
live in your life, or you can choose to let a living Lord be
in control. Which will it be for you?