Video Transcript: Dead to Sin, Alive to God

I'm David Feddes. And this message is about being dead to sin, and alive to God. This is a  very important subject because whenever the real gospel is preached, it's bound to be  misunderstood by some people, they take it to mean that if you're saved completely by God's  gift in Jesus Christ, then you can be as bad as you want to be. And it makes no difference. If  you're never understood to be saying that you can just go on sinning so that God can go on  forgiving more and more, you're probably not preaching the real Gospel, because that's the  way the real gospel tends to sound to a certain kind of person. The apostle Paul came across  people, when he preached who had that misunderstanding, the apostle says, where sin  increased Grace increased all the more. What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so  that grace may increase? By no means? So Paul addresses this misunderstanding in the  passage we're going to look at. Sometimes people who take the grace of God as an excuse to  go on sinning, simply have not come to know the Lord at all, and do not have His Spirit living  in them. Jude says they are godless men who changed the grace of our God into a license for  immorality, and deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign and Lord. If Jesus is sovereign and Lord  of your life, you do not have a license for immorality, He forgives you freely. But that does not  mean he did so. So that you could wallow more and more in your sin. Well, let's look at what  the Apostle Paul says in Romans chapter six, the first 11 verses, what shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means we died to sin? How can we  live in it any longer, or don't you know, that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death. In  order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him like this in his death, we will certainly also be  united with Him in His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him, so  that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin,  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he  cannot die again. death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin  once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to  sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Salvation is sometimes compared to a barcode. When  you're buying things in a store, each item has a barcode on it that a scanner reads. If the  barcode is correct, the scanner reads what the item is and charges you the correct amount of  money for that item. The scanner only knows what the barcode shows. So if you put the  barcode for one item on a totally different item, the scanner counts the item as whatever the  barcode says. For example, if you were going through the checkout line at the garden store  with a bag of manure, but that bag of manure had the barcode for roses on it. Then when the  scanner was pointed at the bag of manure, the scanner would read roses. Now that's what  salvation is like. According to some people. They say salvation is like a barcode. God takes the barcode for Jesus and puts it on you. Then when God points his scanner at you, it reads, Jesus, and God counts you as having the goodness and complete perfection of Jesus. Even though  you really aren't like Jesus at all. You may be as filthy and stinky as a bag of manure because  of your sin. But you're considered by God to be as lovely and sweet smelling as a rose  because God counts and Jesus righteousness as yours. There's an important truth in this. But  it's not the whole truth. Yes, God justifies wicked people who put their faith in Jesus. Counting  Jesus goodness, as their's. Justification by faith alone is a wonderful truth. but it's not the  whole truth. Initially when you come to God by faith in Jesus Christ, no matter what's wrong  with you, no matter how messed up you are, no matter how many wrong things you have  done, God reads you with his scanner in Christ, and you are considered righteous before him.  So there's some truth in that barcode picture when it comes to being justified by faith alone,  apart from anything you've done, the wicked are justified through faith in Christ. But Paul also says just a number of times in this passage, don't you know, don't you know? Don't you  know? Don't you know that there's more to salvation than being justified, okay, to be declared right with God is the beginning of things. It's not the end of things. And so, to think that  salvation is only getting a different code stamped on you. And now even though you're just as rotten as ever, you get to make it into heaven. Because of one act of righteousness by the  one man. Yeah, we're justified because of that one act of righteousness of the one man. But 

the Bible also speaks of conversion, and repentance of turning from sin to God. It speaks of  union with Christ, of being joined to Him in His death, and resurrection, the Bible speaks of  regeneration, or rebirth or being born again, where a new life comes in you, you don't stay  the same old sack of manure. Okay? A new life is placed in you not just a new barcode, the  new barcode innocence does mean that you're right with God forever. But God doesn't stop  there. And as the Apostle Paul says, We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer? Don't  

you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death. So  something happened to us besides getting the new barcode, something happens besides  being justified. In fact, this is kind of a turning point to a new section, the book of Romans,  he's been talking about how we're made right with God. But then in chapters six and  following, he starts talking about the difference that God makes in your life. And the  difference that union with Jesus Christ makes in the way you actually live. And so he doesn't  take the strategy that some recommend and say, Well, you know, people, if they find out that  they're saved by God's grace alone, and Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone, they're just  gonna go out and be as bad as they can and as rotten as they want to be. Because there's  really no incentive to be any different. And the Apostle says, well, Christ died for you. But you  also are joined to his death, through baptism and joined to His resurrection. In baptism, you're baptized into his death were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that just as  Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too, may live a new life.  Something has happened, not just what Jesus did for us on the cross. But what we did with  Jesus, we died with him, we rose with him, there is a connection where where baptism is a  funeral. Baptism is the burying of an old self, and an old life that dies with Jesus. And coming  out of the waters of baptism is a resurrection and a new life. And I know that some people say yeah, baptism is just kind of an act of obedience on my part, because Jesus told us to get  baptized. Well, yeah, it is that he told us to get baptized. So yeah, go ahead and get baptized. But it's not just an act of obedience. It's an act of incorporation of union with Christ. Baptism  identifies you with Jesus Christ, and identifies you with him so closely, that his death can be  said to be your death. And his resurrection can be said to be your resurrection, and through  the glory of the Father, we are to live a new life. The apostle Paul speaks this way in many of  his letters, I'll just give a few examples from Colossians having been buried with him in  baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God,  who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins, God made you alive with  Christ. Something happened when Jesus died and rose again, that affects all who are his own  were baptized into him, or who are united with Him by faith and by repentance. Baptism, the  water itself doesn't have magical properties. But that act of baptism is the sign not just to the  washing away of sins, that's what water does, but also of the going under and the rising  again. Remember the story of Moses, where they rescued where he led the people out of  Egypt because God's power delivered them. They got To the Red Sea. The New Testament  even speaks of the Red Sea in terms of baptism at one point, but they went into that Red Sea. And when they came out what happened? They were out of Egypt. And the Egyptian army  was dead. They were dead to Egypt. And they were headed in a new direction. And when  you're baptized into Christ, you leave behind and old Egypt and old world and old self, and  you emerge into a new life and a new self. That's what baptism is. And it is that whether or  not we even take it to be that it just is that the Apostle Paul says, Don't you know, you know,  he says, you were baptized. But don't you understand what was going on with that? Because  if you understood you never say, Well, why don't we just go on saying that grace may abound, you'd know that you were delivered from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son, whom He loves from darkness to light from sin to God, you'd know that You died with him, and that you rose again with him. And you just wouldn't talk that way. So behind all of that, is this  reality of union with Jesus Christ, of being united with Him? The Bible speaks of Christ in us  the hope of glory. It says, that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. It speaks many times  of Christ in us. But it speaks even more often of us in Christ, of being in Christ union with  Christ. And this is something that we as Christians need to understand, we need to know that  we're not just let off the hook for our sins, and that will go to heaven someday, but that Christ lives in us. And even more importantly than that we are in Christ and all that he has done 

applies to us. And there's two dimensions, at least that I want to highlight of this union with  Christ. One is that legal union, I mentioned some of that last week in connection with Adam  and Christ, Adam was our legal representative our head. And when he blew it, he blew it for  everybody. Just as if the President gets you into a war. You're all in a war, because the one  

who represents your is your head, took an action that involved everybody else. So Jesus  represents us, he's our legal head, he acts on our behalf. And his death and resurrection are  counted as ours, His perfect life of obedience is counted as ours. And we put our faith in Him,  His atoning death is counted as ours, and all our debts are considered paid by God. And so  legal union with Jesus is a wonderful thing, to have a new legal standing with God, that you  are right with him that you're justified, you're in the clear. But that is not the only aspect of  union with Christ. There's not just the legal union, there is the living union where Jesus lives in us. And we live in him through a living connection, and the one who brings that about is the  Holy Spirit of God. And we'll hear a lot more about the Holy Spirit as Romans unfolds. But for  now, it's just enough to say that Christ lives in us. And we live in Christ through a living  connection. Sometimes the body speaks of the church as the body of Christ, and Jesus as the  head. And a head is connected to its body and it directs what's going on in the body. And the  various actions of the body are shaped by the head. So his actions affect us, they direct our  experience, and His death and His resurrection and his reign aren't just things that happened  long ago and far away. But these things, through union with Christ, flow into our lives in a  living way. And baptism is to be a sign, not only to wash away of sins, but of union with Jesus  Christ and all that he is. And in all that he does, it is one of the most vital teachings of the  apostle Paul, one of the most vital teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He spoke, Jesus  used a little different language than you read about in the book of John, but with much the  same meaning that you abide in me as he's like a vine, and we're like branches, and the life  flows from him into us, when we're abiding in him or connected to him, or in union with Him  union with Christ is really the Christian life. A great book that I love written centuries ago is  titled, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, The Life of God, in the Soul of Man, where does that  life come from? It comes from Jesus, and it comes through this union, this connection with  Jesus, it's not just then that new status or that legal union, but it is this life, this power, this  love, this connection that happens when Christ is in you, and you're in Christ. And this means  that we are complete in Christ, and sometimes in evangelical teaching and preaching, and  rightly so. We emphasize that salvation equals Jesus Christ plus nothing. You cannot add to  what Jesus did to make his accomplishments better or to make yourself more deserving with  God. Nothing you do can make you deserving of God's favor. But what Jesus did, puts God's  favor on you. So, as Paul put it, the result of one act of righteousness was justification that  brings life for all men. If you want to be right with God, you look to that one act of Jesus on  the cross, that one act of righteousness is the only source of right standing with God  justification for anybody. So salvation is Jesus plus nothing Praise God. And salvation equals  Jesus, minus nothing too and we need to understand that because that's what Paul is going on to emphasize, having shown in great detail that salvation is Jesus plus nothing. Salvation is  Jesus minus nothing, you don't get to chop off chunks of Jesus. You don't get to chop off  chunks of you either and say, Well, Jesus, I'd like you to save this part or this phase, you  know, after I die, I'd like to be saved. But while I'm alive, I'd like to do my own thing. Salvation is Jesus minus nothing. So all that Jesus is all that Jesus does and has done. It involves me. So  when he dies, it involves me. When he rises, it involves me when he rains in heaven, it  involves me the Bible says Christ seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.  So the whole me is in union with the whole Christ, and I can't divide Jesus, the Savior from  Jesus, the ruler. I'll take a little example of what happens to Jesus happens to us. I've got a  bulletin up here. And I've got a book that happens to be the Bible. Now. Where is this? It's in  this left hand, I put it, I put it in the Bible. There you have it. Now, where's that chunk of  paper? Well, it's sitting there, isn't it? Now, look over here? Where's that chunk of paper? Well, now it's sitting over here. And why is it over here? I didn't grab that chunk of paper. But the  book got moved. And whatever happens to the book happens to what's in the book. And that  word, that phrase in Christ is saying, Whatever happened to Jesus, wherever he goes,  whatever he does, if you're in him, that's happened to you. And it's a difficult and mysterious 

teaching, that I don't understand fully. But I'll just say this, that if Paul says, We died with him, we died with him. If the Bible says, We rose with him, well, we rose with him. If it says that  we're seated with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, then what happened to him  happens to us. And we need to understand that and live it out. So all that Jesus is, and does  involves me, the whole me. I don't get to take what I do on Friday nights, and say, That's my  own territory. And what I do on Sundays yeah of course, I'd like I like to give God Sundays. You know, he claims all of me and all that I am. And he gives me all of himself. And again, there's  been a teaching fairly common in some circles, that says, you can accept Jesus as Savior, and not as Lord. Who sent out that memo. You know, I mean, enrollments read later on, it says, If  you confess, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you  will be saved. You don't get to chop Jesus in half and say, Father, I'd like to take that Savior  chunk, you know, I'd like the the Savior chunk that gets me off the hook, but that Lord thing  where he runs my life, where he takes over where his life becomes my life, I think I'll, I'll take  a raincheck on that, you know, maybe later, but I do want that Savior part. That's not how it  works. Sorry. You don't get to chop Jesus in half and take the saving part, and not the ruling  part. When you accept Christ, you accept the whole Christ. And that means that salvation is  also Jesus minus nothing you take to the whole Christ. And again, you see how the apostle  works, he doesn't ever say now let's get a little more law back into this equation. And here's a few more rituals you could go through to make it right with God. And there's a few more  actions that would get you back in God's good graces. He says, you're right with God. And  when you have the whole Christ, you're not going to want to sin, you're going to realize that  you died, and that you rose that He rose again, in Christ, there may be an old self, and he's  gonna talk about that a little bit later too that you need to keep nailing that you need to keep  killing, that you need to keep fighting. But you need to keep thinking of yourself as just dead  to all that because Jesus died to all that. If we'd been united with Him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. We know that our old self was  crucified with Him. So that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer  be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. So he's saying there's been a death to that slavery and to an old self. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we  will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die  again. death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all,  but the life He lives, He lives to God. With Jesus death, sin no longer had any connection to  him whatsoever. Now, if you know your Bible, you know that Jesus never did sin. He was  without sin. He was like us in every way, says the Bible except for sin. But he could be  tempted, He lived in this world, and temptation came to him in many different forms. And not  only could he be tempted by sin, but he was vulnerable to death, because he made himself  vulnerable to death. But having died sin couldn't tempt him anymore. And having risen, death has no hold on him. And the Bible says that it was impossible for death to keep its hold on  him. So once he triumphed over sin and death, he won a decisive victory once for all, and that victory is won on behalf of all his people, he died to sin once for all the life He lives, He lives  to God. And because you're in union with Him, then the upshot is now you also must count  yourselves, dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus. And here's where the apostle takes  what he's been telling us and starts applying it to us. It's the first command that you find in  the book of Romans. That's kind of telling isn't it? He can talk for six chapters, without once  telling you to do something. He just keeps telling you, what your pickle is, what your problem  is, and what God has done. And then finally, when he does get around to telling you  something, what he's telling you, first of all to do is to count yourselves in with Jesus, dead to  sin, alive to God in Christ Jesus. And throughout the passage before even he says, count  yourselves, he keeps saying, don't you know or we know? Don't you know that all of us who  were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death, we know that our old self was  crucified, we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again. In the  same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, you need to talk to  yourself. One of the most important aspects of living the Christian life is talking to yourself.  And give yourself a lecture if need be. Don't you know, do you realize who you are? And when he says, Count yourself, he's not saying now pretend. Let's pretend that something happened.

No, he says, You reckon it this way, you count it this way. Because it is this way, you have to  recognize reality. This is important in many aspects of our life, I'll just take a real simple  example. If you were a little awkward. To put it nicely as a teenager, if you kind of looked  awkward, you had crooked teeth, you had braces, you had, you know, if you were a girl, you  had scraggly hair, and not much of a figure and ah, you know, you just weren't that great to  look at. And you get to be a little older, your age 22, the acne has cleared up, the braces are  gone, you're looking great. And sometimes you're still thinking like you're 13 or 15. And, like,  you were awkward, and you don't know that you are now beautiful. Sometimes you do. And  I'm not saying the 15 and the 13 year olds aren't, I'm just saying that there are times when  you can go through kind of an awkward phase in your life. And when you leave that phase,  you are still stuck in it in your own mind. Because that new truth hasn't sunk in, it just won't  sink in. And sometimes you need to tell yourself, that's behind me. The Acne is gone, you  know, I'm not gonna have acne for the next 50 to 60 years of my life. It's gone. So, you know,  that we can get stuck in ruts of, and habits of thinking and the way we identify ourselves long  after the reality has changed. If you're a person who is in prison, being released can actually  be kind of a difficult thing. If you've been in prison a long time, and now you've served your  sentence and it's over. You need to count yourself dead to prison and alive to real life and  freedom on the outside. You need to get out of the old habits of expecting all food to taste like prison food. You need to get out of the old habits of being treated in a certain way by your  fellow prisoners, or by bullying guards who are really mean. Let's say you're set free from  prison, and you're in a restaurant one day, and one of the guards who was really mean to you  in prison comes in, and he starts barking at you, and telling you what to do, and telling you  how worthless you are. Is it your job to say, yes, sir, I'll do whatever you say I am worthless.  And I'll I'll just go do whatever you want. You say, you don't have any control over me  anymore. I am free. I'm not in prison anymore. You are not guarding me, and you have no  right to tell me what to do. This is what we must do as Christians, when you have been  trapped in a certain pattern or in a certain prison for a while you develop habits of mind and  behavior, where you may act like you would, if you were still in prison, you might be very  dishonest or sneaking around or trying to get away with stuff. You may be intimidated by  bullies and mean people. But you've got to leave that behind, and say I'm free. Now I can get  a job. Now I can live a life of productive life. Because I'm a new person, I have a new situation. And when you are in Christ Jesus, you're not in Adam anymore. You're in a new situation. And  you need to know that. And you need to think of yourself that way. And you need to live that  way. Or take another picture. Let's say you grew up in a very grim and ugly situation as a little child, your parents were addicted to drugs, they mistreated you badly, you often were  neglected and went hungry, didn't have enough to eat, didn't have a decent place to sleep,  you resorted to street crime and other stuff when you were old enough to kind of look out for  yourself, and you lived that way. And then somehow you made it out of the foster care system and you were adopted as an older child by some loving parents. That's still not going to mean  that from day that day on all is going to feel perfect. And so sometimes you've got to talk to  yourself. And if you've been adopted into a loving family, you've got to instead of saying, Oh, I wonder if I'm gonna have any food to eat tomorrow, you say my parents have a refrigerator  and cupboards full of food. Instead of saying, my parents are probably going to beat on me  again tomorrow. You say I've got new parents, and they love me. And they look out for me,  and they want my best interests. Instead of saying, Boy, I had it terrible and that was just boy  life was against me. You say, but it's not anymore. I've got a new situation, I've got new  parents, I have a new way of life. And I need to rejoice in that, and start living like that. And  that's how it is for us Christians. We've been adopted by a loving father, rescued from the  domain of the devil. And we need to understand that this is true when we count ourselves  dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. We're not telling ourselves lies. We're telling ourselves  the truth. So when I say talk to yourself, I'm not saying try to talk yourself into thinking  something that isn't true. I'm saying keep on telling yourself the truth until it sinks in until you start realizing there is realities and living out these realities. Another picture, when you're a  new you, and you've been baptized into Christ, the Bible speaks of dying and rising with  Christ. It also speaks of putting on Christ, as many of you, as were baptized into Christ, have 

put on Christ Galatians three, verse 27. And Romans 13. Later it will command us put on the  Lord Jesus Christ Colossians three have put off the old self or literally the old man with its  practices. And you put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge. After the image  of its Creator, you put off some old clothes, and you put on a new suit because you're a new  person, and you need a new uniform that goes along with the new you. Picture I've used  before is let's say you were a member of the Hell's Angels, and the Hell's Angels. As a  member of that you were dedicated to a life of crime and troublemaking. And then you  decided that you were going to turn over a new leaf and become a new person? Well, when  you do that, you decided you're going to leave behind your Hell's Angels uniform. And you're  going to put on the uniform of a policeman because, you know, even when you're made new,  there's creative things about you that don't change. You still like motorcycles. Okay, so and  that's true too. When you're saved in the Christian life, it doesn't change everything about  your personality, and once it changes everything, and renews it, but you're still You. So let's  say you're the Hell's Angel. But now you want to do a little different thing with your love of  motorcycles and you become a motorcycle cop. Well, you're going to put on a new uniform.  And that's what the Bible says, now you have taken off that old identity, you've put on the  new one, instead of the uniform of those who go around, doing the work of hell, you have put  on a new uniform, and you want to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. And there are a lot of  different pictures the Bible uses for that change from the old to the new. But this much is  clear, there is more to salvation than changing the barcode. not less. It is wonderful that  always that new status is given freely, without anything we do. But salvation not only is Jesus  Christ plus nothing, but it's Jesus minus nothing, we get the whole Christ. And so he gets the  whole us. And there is this progressive transformation from glory to glory. We may not look  too glorious, right away, that kid that's adopted into a new family, the first day isn't going to  feel a whole lot different, perhaps than he did it before until he learns to really trust. And until  that experience starts to sink in. That first day after you took off the Hell's Angel uniform, you  know, old habits aren't going to go gone instantly in most cases, but a new life and a new  season has begun for you've died to one thing, you've risen to another. And this is what  happens in your baptism. This is what happens when you're identified with Jesus Christ, dying  with him rising with him, reigning with him, you're united to him right now. Eventually, we will  reign over the angels. We will judge the world the Bible says all of these glorious things that  lie in the future. But even now through union with Christ, we start doing his work. We start  living in the knowledge that we're new people, and that we're dead and risen with him. Well,  St. Patrick's Day is coming up. There is more to St. Patrick's than green beer. Okay, so I'll just  close with St. Patrick. When you're talking about union with Christ, St. Patrick was a slave. And he escaped. He came to know God, just praying on his own. He was a kid who had grown up  in a Christian home. And that was captured by pirates, and was carried off to Ireland where he was a slave. And there though he had not wanted anything to do with the Christianity of his  parents, while he was with them when he was off being a slave. He started praying to God,  and God worked in his life in a wonderful way. And after he escaped slavery, then later on, he  decided to go back to Ireland as a missionary, and his life was in danger many times, but he  made a tremendous difference and led that island to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  At any rate, he had something called St. Patrick's breastplate. And I told you, we need to talk  to ourselves. St. Patrick had a way of talking to himself. Every day, he would speak to himself  of God, and a being in Christ and Christ in him. I rise today with the power of God to pilot me  God's strength to sustain me God's wisdom, to guide me God's eye to look out for to look  ahead for me, God's ears to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to protect me,  Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me,  Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ, to the left of me, Christ in my lying down  Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising, he was a man in Christ. And every day he told himself, I am a man in Christ. When you get up in the morning, remind yourself, I am baptized into  Christ, I am a man in Christ, or I am a woman in Christ, I am a new creation, I died with him, I  rise with him, I reign with Him. And today is another day of doing that. We do thank you, Lord, for the great work you have done and completed fully and accomplished in doing that great  act of righteousness that brings justification to all who believe in you. And we thank you too, 

for your blessed Holy Spirit for the reality of union with you for your life in us and our life in  you. We pray, Father, that whatever is hard to understand you will make give us greater  understanding, but not just that, that we may truly know in our life and experience that we  are a new creation in Christ, that the old is dead, and we have died to it. And so Lord, more  and more, may we be able to leave behind that old self and crucify it and realize that it's  already been crucified with you. And that that new life more and more taking over who we are and how we think and what we do. We thank you for your glorious resurrection, and that if we  endure we will also reign with you. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 11:06 AM