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Romans 6:1-4


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 evening.

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 Should Live.


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 Jesus.

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 your passing?

I. They Must Accept The Reality Of Their Passing


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 event.

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 God.

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 died!

(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


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 Cor. 5:17.

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?

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