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Mother’s Day Sermon – “Newness of Life” from Romans 6:4 May 12, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Romans, Sermons.
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Last year we set a goal, working with Awana, of learning the first fifteen verses of John 10. The reason we learned that passage was to help us to rest in Jesus Christ as our Shepherd. This year I would like us to again learn an important passage of Scripture, Romans 6:1-13. It is the classic passage of Scripture on spiritual warfare. This is the way it will work. Dedicate yourself to learning one verse a week. We will review these verses in different ways as an act of worship on Sunday morning. This morning I would like us to read in unison the first four verses which will serve as our text.

 

NEWNESS OF LIFE

ROMANS 6:1-4

 

Romans 6-8 ask the question, “Is real change possible?” The answer is, “Yes, through newness of life.” What is newness of life?

“(Newness of life) is not a ‘spiritual re-hab.’ It’s a full demolition with a new foundation and a brand-new building.” Ray Pritchard

 

AN ANALOGY 

What I would like to do this morning is compare physical newness of life to spiritual newness of life. This being Mother’s Day, I think this is an appropriate subject because physical newness of life is what makes a mother. You understand, I am not talking about legally. An adoptive mother is as much a mother as a birth mother. In fact, it is possible for someone to be a real mother to another person without any physical or legal ties. What I am comparing spiritual newness of life to this morning is the actual act of birth, of bringing physical newness of life into the world.

Physical Newness of Life Begins With Conception. Spiritual Newness of Life Begins With Death (6:2-4a). Not everyone agrees that humanity begins with conception. That is the whole issue between the pro-life and pro-choice advocates. One thing, however, that everyone can agree on is that something marvelous, something amazing, something beyond our understanding begins at the moment of conception. There is a combining of DNA that is unlike anyone who ever existed before. We are talking about a physical newness of life beginning with conception. Spiritual newness of life begins much, much differently. Spiritual newness of life begins with death.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEATH

In Christ’s Case, Death to (or for) Sin (verses 3-4a, 10). Jesus died on account of sin. If there had been no sin, there would have been no reason for His death. Romans 8:3-4 describes why Christ died. We cannot keep the law, therefore we must die. God, the Just Judge, however, did what the law could not do for us, allow a substitute. Someone like us in humanity except that He could not sin. This someone, this Jesus, suffered our condemnation in His flesh on the cross.

This concept of death producing life may seem somewhat strange to you. Consider what Jesus, Himself, in John 12:24 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” There is no spiritual life possible apart from the physical death of Christ. He died to produce life.

OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST’S DEATH 

In Our Case, Death to Sin (Compare verse 2 with verse 6). We are no longer slaves to sin. This is where the analogy between a physical and a spiritual birth breaks down. Before I was in my mother’s womb, I did not exist. I was not a spirit floating around in space awaiting a body. Neither did I exist in an earlier life. Physically, I was a totally new creation without pre-existence. Spiritually, though, before I was born again, I existed. In slavery to sin, yes, but I existed. I existed dead in my trespasses and sin, walking according to the lust of this world (See Ephesians 2:1-3). When, however, I put my faith in Christ, I died in a brand new, transforming way.

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? 

Notice, this is not present tense—”I am dying to sin!”—That is reformation. A slave does not need reformation but liberation. A man in sin does not need an overhaul, he needs a new engine!

Neither is this future tense—”We will die to sin”—Otherwise, something might happen that would prevent me from dying to sin. I am not looking forward to the day when I mature to the point where I no longer sin. Neither am I looking for an experience that will make me so holy that I cannot sin anymore. I am looking back to an experience that has already happened.

Notice also that we are not commanded—”Die to sin!” That is our problem. We cannot die to sin. We are incapable of keeping that command until we are connected by faith with Christ’s death. Galatians 2, “I am crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live. Jesus Christ now lives in me. And the life that I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” It is only then that I can obey the command that Paul gives later, “Crucify your flesh.”

Finally, it is not an exhortation—”You should die to sin.” Why? Because you are already dead to sin, if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and the only hope for salvation and eternal life. This is a simple past tense—”You died to sin.” The simple truth is that if you are a believer, you have already died to sin. It’s a past event, an accomplished fact. What is a Christian? Someone who has died to sin.

We cannot be slaves to sin because we are dead to sin in Jesus Christ’s death. It is not a fact that we can destroy all evil desires in our hearts and lives. It is, however, a fact that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“When Christ died, believers in some crucial sense died in him and with him. When Christ rose, believers in some crucial sense were made alive in him. Therefore, believers are commanded to become in practice what we are in Christ: dead to sin and alive to God.” John Piper

THE REVEALING OF NEWNESS OF LIFE 

Physical Newness of Life Is Revealed By Birth. Spiritual Newness of Life Is Revealed By the Glory of God (6:4b).

Remember that in Paul’s day they did not have sonogram. You could feel the baby kicking but you could tell very little about that baby until the day it was born. On that great day, though, there was great joy because it was finally revealed to the world. “It’s a baby! It’s a new life! A new person!”

This is where spiritual strength and power for living comes from. This is where change is made possible. If we simply died to sin, there would be no new birth. We might not would be sinning but we would continue to be incapable of doing good. We would be no better than the animals who cannot sin but simply do what is necessary to survive.

Look at Colossians 2:11-12, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

We through faith in Christ are born anew, through the power of the resurrection, the same power that worked in Christ. We are given a new life, a changed life, a transformed life through this power.

SYMBOLS OF NEWNESS OF LIFE 

Physical Newness of Life is Accompanied By Meaningful Symbols. Spiritual Newness of Life is Accompanied also By a Meaningful Symbol (verses 3-4).

 

In “Beyond Cigars: Modern ways to announce your baby‘s birth” on babycenter.com, Angela Navarrete writes, “When you were born, your dad might have announced your arrival by handing out cigars…Today’s dads have come up with more creative ways to announce their new progeny…Order pre-printed or custom-printed cards… (One couple) ‘…sent out baseball-trading-card-type announcements.’ …(Another mother)…wrote (an) announcement as though (their) baby (was) the latest model. (Length was ‘wheelbase,’ the hospital was the ‘showroom,’ milk was the recommended ‘fuel,’ and she had blue ‘headlights’ and a blonde ‘convertible top,’ etc.)”

“If you want to hand out something more substantial than a card, go for edible birth announcements. Online, you can order personalized candy bar wrappers with your baby’s name and statistics. (The newly wrapped bars look) just like normal candy bars, but the label (reads something like this):

RYAN PATRICK GALLANT

Net wt. 7 lbs. 10 oz.

and on the back:

VITAL STATISTICS

Baked: May 21, 1998

Serving Size: 19.5 inches ”

“A few enterprising souls make birth announcements all their own. One couple wrote to us about the press release they sent out after their baby was born, with the title ‘Glazer-Schramm Alliance Announces First Product.’ Another reader who works at a bicycle shop personalized water bottles with the new baby’s statistics. And yet another, a dentist, printed ‘It’s a Boy’ on blue toothbrushes and passed them out to family and friends.”

Baptism is God’s choice of heavenly birth announcements. When Christ died on the cross and rose again, he provided the way of salvation. When I put my faith in Christ, His death and resurrection were applied to me personally and I became a new creature. When I was baptized, God was announcing to the world, “He’s mine! He’s mine! He’s mine!”

Baptism is a very meaningful symbol. It is meaningful because it is commanded, absolutely; but most of all baptism is meaningful because when I allow myself to be baptized on profession of my faith in Christ, I am telling the world, I am a new creature. I am different. I have died to sin.

 

INVITATION: Have you died to sin? Not are you trying to. Not do you want to. Have you put your faith in Christ and died to sin and become in Christ a new creature, walking now in newness of life? Have you been born again? Just as a baby cannot conceive and birth itself, you cannot spiritually birth yourself. Jesus has provided salvation for you through His death, burial, and resurrection. You must simply accept it by faith in Him, in the working of God. God did this for you. Will you accept His work in your life? Will you trust what He has done for you for salvation and forgiveness of sins.

There are some of you, who are new creatures and you have yet to announce it in the way God wants you to. You should be baptized and you need to find a church that will be your spiritual family and be baptized by water showing to the world that you are a new creature, walking in newness of life, identified with Christ and with His church, living in obedience to God’s commands. Would you take that step? If you would, please talk to me about it. I would love to talk to you about this step of obedience, this birth announcement, that God has commanded to every believer in Jesus Christ.

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Comments»

1. Tom - November 25, 2007

Great Analogy! Awesome way of relating with mothers. You have made this complex subject simple by doing so. This really helped me understand this passage way better. Thanks a lot! God bless you!


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