Preached at North Side Baptist Church on April 13, 2014 from Romans 6.
As we focus this week on Jesus’ death and resurrection, we must remember this: Jesus didn’t die so that we could continue in sin. His forgiveness does not hand us a free pass to indulge in sin for the rest of our lives.
Here are some stats for you to consider:
- 33% of the world claims to be Christian.
- 92% of America believes in God (or a god).
- 80% of America claims to be Christian.
If you are like me, that stat confuses you. I believe in the accuracy of that statement, I just don’t believe it’s validity. I believe that many people do profess to be Christians, but if that stat reflected people being obedient to Scripture, our entire culture would be radically changed.
The Two Ditches
There is this narrow road of biblical Christianity that Jesus said few will walk upon. Many people have fallen into a ditch on one side called legalism. It’s a trap to make someone do good works in order to earn God’s approval. That’s not the gospel.
I think because so many people and churches hated the legalism ditch so much that they swerved to the opposite side of the road into another ditch called easy-believism. It’s a trap that makes people think that Jesus loves you so much that you never have to change. It’s a form of cheap grace.
Biblical Christianity is different. It teaches that we are saved by grace, but that grace changes us to do good works (Eph. 2:8-10). We we become saved, we experience justification (we are seen as guiltless in the eyes of the Judge). When we go to heaven, we experience glorification (we don’t sin anymore). The middle process is tricky and often neglected. It’s called sanctification and it simply means that you won’t be perfect till you get to heaven, but you better be getting there. You need to be improving. You need to be growing more like Jesus.
The Great Watered-Down Commission
Jesus commands us to make disciples (Matt. 28:19) and not simply converts. We must teach them to obey all the teachings of Jesus (Matt. 28:19-20).
Right now, we live in a culture with people walking around dripping from a baptism and hearing the words of a preacher saying that “no matter what happens after this moment, you are going to heaven.” Instead of ever changing, they stay in their sin. A tree is known by its fruit. If you are saved, you should change.
If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith.
Romans 6:5-14 teaches that Christ died in order to put our sins to death. If that is the case, then why do we still play with dead stuff? Stop playing with dead stuff. Your sin is dead to you.
You are not a sinner saved by grace. If you are truly in Christ, you are a saint who sins often, but sinning is not your identity anymore. You must work at it. You need to fight sin.
Jesus didn’t die for you to continue to be a racist, worrier, porn addict, complainer, rebel, or a prideful soul. He died to kill the sin in you.
What do you need to stop doing?
- Stop blaming others for your sin.
- Stop blaming Satan for your sin.
- Stop blaming your circumstances for your sin.
What do you need to start doing?
- Start inviting Jesus to your fight with sin.
- Start memorizing Scripture in weak areas in your life.
- Start fighting with accountability.
That’s some of the message. I pray that those notes and the video below will help equip you to fight the sin in your life. Get up and fight! Jesus didn’t die for you to cuddle up to the things for which he died. Fight sin.