Responding to God’s Sanctification

Date Preached: September 29, 2019
Topics: exposition
Scripture: Romans 6:1-14
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs


For the first 5 chapters of Romans, Paul has worked this gospel message out for us, showing how: (1) We are all sinners in need of salvation (Rom. 1:18-3:20), and (2) The only way to be saved is to receive God’s justification by faith in Christ apart from works (Rom. 3:21-5:21). Now, we turn to Romans 6, where Paul will move from the theme of the salvation of the sinner, to explaining the sanctification of the saint.

In Romans 6:1-14, Paul wrote to the saints in Rome that having died to sin with Christ, they were set free to respond to God’s sanctification through faith in Christ. As believers, we can respond to God’s sanctification through faith in Christ.


Below is an automated transcript of this message

all right. Good morning, church. Good to see all of you here this morning. We’re in our third week of part two of our sermon series entitled, Righteousness Revealed. We started the series in the fall of 2018. We did the first four chapters last fall, and now we’re taking on the next four chapters, chapters five through eight. We’re coming up on chapter six, starting this morning.

We named our series, Righteousness Revealed, based on what we saw in the first chapter. Here’s what we see Paul saying in chapter one, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed…”

The first five chapters we see that he’s talking about the needs of the sinner to be saved. In chapter one through three, he’s proving to us and helping us understand that all of us are sinners and that we all need salvation.

In chapters three through five, he’s talking to us about how Christ has brought us the righteousness we need; that it’s revealed in Christ and by faith without works. If we place our faith in Christ, that that righteousness will be accounted unto us by God, because we’ve received Jesus. He really reached the triumphal exaltation of that in Chapter five.

Now, we’re in chapter six. In chapter six, Paul transitions. He moves from a conversation about justification to explaining to us about sanctification. Really, for the next three chapters of the remainder of this part two of our series, that’s what we’ll be talking about.

Let me put this chart up to help you remember these terms. Terms like justification, sanctification, glorification; it’s important. These are Christian doctrines that explain the three tenses of salvation. If you’ll remember in Ephesians, chapter eight, it says, “For by grace, you have been saved through faith.” It goes on and in verse nine, “… and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God so that no one should boast.” And so you have been saved. That’s true. That’s justification. You have been saved the very moment that you receive Christ by faith. His righteousness, by faith, God applied to your account. That’s justification. You have been called just even though you were a sinner. God has called you just because Christ has paid for it.

That happened at a point in time somewhere in the past for those of you who have believed. If you have yet to believe, here’s what we’re praying for you today; that that will happen. That you’ll make a decision today to receive Jesus. That’s justification. Sometimes we’ll say it like this to remember it, “ just as if I never sinned.” Justification.

Now, here’s sanctification. This is the present tense of what grace is doing to save us. “For by grace, you have been saved from sin’s penalty,” and by grace you are in the very present moment. If you’ve received this, you are being saved from sin’s power. That’s what Paul is going to be talking about, starting now with chapter 6 to 8, he’s going to be talking about the need for grace to save you from sin’s penalty, which is a legal aspect. Now he’s saving you; his grace is saving you from sin’s power.

Then, ultimately, there’s a future tense to salvation. It has saved us. It is saving us and it will save us from sins presence; that’s glorification. At that point, you get a new body. You’ll pass away in this world, this old mortal body will die. Someday you get a heavenly body; a body fit for heaven. A body like Jesus. That’s a glorified body. In that future state, you will be saved. You will be saved from sin’s presence. So that’s a good way to recall these.

Now, we’re talking about sanctification. We have, for five chapters, talked about the theme of the salvation of the sinner. Now, we’re talking about the theme of the sanctification of the saint. Therefore, we’ve entitled this sermon, Responding to God Sanctification, because it is God that’s working in us and it’s ours to work it out. But he’s doing all the work. So how do we respond? That’s what we’re going to be talking about.

If we’re already saved from sin’s penalty through justification, you might be here this morning and you’re thinking, ‘but I still have these sin areas that I can’t beat. I still struggle with uncontrolled anger, and it’s still violently explodes from my mouth. Why is that? I believe in Jesus. I’ve counted myself dead to sin. Why do I still struggle with anger? Why does addiction still linger? Why do I still want things I should no longer want? Why does lust still grab me by the throat? Why are these old sins, these compulsions, still present?’ You see, that’s the thing now. So now Paul is going to begin to talk about that. For five chapters he’s been talking about moving from being in the line of Adam. Do know what I’m talking about? Watch last week’s sermon. So we were all born under Adam’s sin. Therefore, all were born under his death. But those who have been born again under Jesus have a new life in a new identity under grace. And so this is what we’re talking about now, right? So how do we live that out? That’s the question.

So if we’ve been set free from sin, where’s the freedom from sinning? If we’ve been set free, why is there not freedom? You fill in the blank; that compulsion, that repetitive sin area. There’s a sense that some of us will either doubt our salvation; ‘maybe I’m not saved. It seems like I would have victory over this if I were really saved.’ Or maybe you doubt God’s power. Paul’s gonna work on that.

Where’s the freedom? That’s what we’re talking about. Where’s the freedom ? How do we live now that we are free? How do we live free?

Before my little family moved to Wilson in 1987, we lived in an area of Virginia where we were very near the birthplace of Booker T. Washington. Booker T. Washington’s birthplace, was in Franklin County, Virginia. He was born in 1856 on a slave plantation. He was born a slave, and that former plantation today is a national monument and national park. My wife, myself and my children used to go there for picnics and and look around. You could read the history. So we became familiar with Booker T. Washington. He had a great influence on America. He was an African American intellectual and author, and he was the founder of the Tuskegee Institute. He was a very impressive man. In his diary, he takes some notes about how he first heard about the Emancipation Proclamation. The date was September 22, 1862 when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which concluded with these words that all persons in all states as slaves are declared to be forever free. And so said the Emancipation Proclamation. Booker T. Washington recalled the day that the news of his emancipation first reached his plantation. It was three years afterwards, so he was six when it happened. He was nine when he heard about it. Three years had gone by, he said. Some man from some official government man showed up and read this long proclamation, and he was trying to understand it when he saw his mother begin to weep. But he saw the others begin to shout and jump, and he felt, wow, what is this? They’re all so excited, and he writes this in his diary. Wild rejoicing on the part of the Emancipation begin to take place, but after a few hours, the rejoicing ceased and a feeling of deep gloom seemed to pervade the slave quarters.

He goes on to write gradually, one by one, stealthily At first , the older slaves began to wander from the slave quarters back to the big house where the owners lived to have a whispered conversation with their former owners as to their future. Although they were officially free to go anywhere, he writes, little had changed for them. In a practical sense, you see, it’s one thing to be told you’re free as a legal status. You’re free. It’s one thing to be told. It’s a whole other thing to know how to live. All we have to do is read the Old Testament and see the Israelites as God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. They were free but they just didn’t know how to live in it.

Is that you this morning? You’ve been declared free with the moment you received Jesus, you were free. But maybe you don’t know how to live free. Paul is ready for you. He has an answer because in the Book of Romans, Chapter 6: 1- 14, Paul wrote to the saints in Rome that have died to sin with Christ , that they were set free, set free to respond to God’s sanctification through faith in Christ. And I believe this morning that we are set free and that we can respond. We can live free. How can we do it?

The text today gives three steps on how we can respond to God’s sanctification through faith in Christ. Let’s look at chapter six verses one through 14 and then we’ll dig in. Romans 6:1-14 (ESV) “1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” This is God’s word. Amen.

We’re gonna be talking about three steps on responding to God’s sanctification. Circle the word, know; it’s in there three times. Do you see it? The word, know, is repeated three times. There’s something for you to know; something for you to understand. What is it? (1) Understand that you have a new position in Christ. You have a new position in Christ. This first step has a lot that you’re supposed to know. In fact, it’s in the first ten verses, so let’s look at them quickly, the first ten verses. He says, there’s something we should know.

He begins by talking about grace. First of all, he’s really picking up from chapter five, and he’s anticipating someone pushing back against chapter five because in chapter five, we have, in verse 20, where sin increases, grace abounds all the more. Do you see that in chapter five, verse 20? He’s thinking when someone reads that, they’re going to say, ‘Oh, well, since we’re not under law anymore and since we’re under grace, when I sin and grace covers it, why not just continue sinning? This is a great deal.’ And so the person, especially someone, perhaps with a legalistic background that is a law keeper kind of person, is gonna be really worried this whole grace thing. They may think, ‘I don’t know about that. Seems like we need better boundaries. This whole grace, this idea that you’ve been set free. I don’t know. I’m concerned that people are going to use that as an excuse to sin more.’

Paul has preached all over the Middle East, all over Asia Minor and all over Greece. He’s heard this before, so he’s writing to the church at Rome. He’s never visited there, but he’s anticipating their pushback there. Question.

First of all, he gives the quick response and then he gives the longer explanation. What’s the quick response? Verse two says, “by no means;” or as it is in the King James, “God forbid.” And then he begins to explain it. It’s kind of like he goes, ‘No way. Never may it be like that.’ And then he gives us, really, what’s the foundation of his conviction here in verse two. “By no means.” And then asks another rhetorical question. The first rhetorical question was, are we to continue and sin so that grace may abound? This is the question out here that a critic might offer. He answers them with a rhetorical question, which demands a negative response. Listen to it. How can we who died to sin still live in it? This is his question, and it’s also the foundation for this section of chapter six. How can we who have died to sin continue to live in sin? This is his foundational principle that now he will begin to explain. And so then we encounter in verse three our first use of the word “know.” He’s gonna tell us three things we should know.

He begins with it, stated in the negative, “Do you not know?” And he uses a question here to just slap us in the face with it pretty good. Hey, if he were, if he were Southern like many of us, he’d say, ‘Don’t you know?’ “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Now, if you’ve circled the word “know” in your text in verse three, verse six and verse nine, let me just unpack it with a chart.

Don’t you love charts? I love maps and I love charts. Here comes a chart to help you understand verses three through four. The keyword is baptism he’s talking about. You should know that you were baptized into his death, his burial and his resurrection. You were baptized into it when you received Christ.

What’s he talking about here? He’s saying, here’s the first thing you should know. You have a new identity in Christ. This is the doctrine of identification. It’s a much larger doctrine than we could unpack. We don’t have time right now. He’s just introducing it. He’s saying when you were baptized; first of all, he is talking about water baptism. If I were baptizing a man named John and he was in the water with me, I would say, ‘John, do you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?’ And he would say, ‘I do.’ Then I would say, ‘on the basis of that confession, I now baptize you, my brother, in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Then I would put him underwater. What does it symbolize? What does it show? It shows that his old nature, his old life, has died. It is buried and that his new life in Christ is risen with Christ for the glory of the father. We, too, might walk in newness of life. And then I will say to the person, ‘risen to newness of life in Christ Jesus.’ We say those words from Roman 6:4; here’s what baptism is. He’s talking about water baptism, but he’s talking more so about its spiritual implication. Some wrestle with it and wonder, which one is it? Is he talking about the physical act of baptism, or is he talking about the spiritual aspect? It’s both. He’s talking about both.

I like to use this example. On June 6, 1979 (it’s on the inside of this ring), I said “Yes” , to Robin. I said, “I do.” The preacher asked, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and health and so on and so forth? And I said, “I do;” that made us married. Then we exchanged rings so everybody else would know that we are taken. See, that’s what the ring does. It tells everybody I’m taken. I belong to someone. It identifies me with Robin. It identifies me with her and her with me.

That’s what baptism does. It’s a public identification that I belong to Jesus. It doesn’t save you; saying, “I do,” to Jesus saves you by faith. I believe in him. But baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. You have a new identification. You need to know that; that’s how you respond to God’s sanctification and know that you have a new identity.

Then he goes on in Romans five, verse 5 to 7. He starts talking about a new unity. Look at Verse five. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Okay, so first of all, I was talking about baptism, which is a way of being identified, right? We have a family from our church that’s in Indonesia right now; they’re serving in Indonesia. Tonight, the Tuttles, who visited them back in August, are going to be reporting on how that visit went. Hope you’ll come tonight and hear about it. But this family is there. And when they lead someone to Jesus and they baptize them (they are off the island of Sumatra in the Pacific Ocean), they’ll do it at night because the people are so terrified that publicly identifying themselves as a Christian means instant death. In North Sumatra, this is the place where the church burnings happened. There are still places in the world that when you identify publicly with baptism, it could cost you your life.

We have been united with him in a death like his. The word united could be translated “planted together.” It could even mean, as you would think about Siamese twins, conjoined, grown together. This is this idea that we’re so united with Christ that we cannot be separated from him. He is in me and I am in him. Well, how does that make sense? I don’t know. That’s what the Bible teaches. He’s in me and I’m in him; united.

This is a whole other doctrine, right? This is a beautiful doctrine. It’s called union with Christ. Whatever belongs to him belongs to me. Whatever formerly belonged to me he took on the cross and crucified it so that it’s dead. Now, everything that is his is now mine.

When we get into chapter eight of Romans, which we will study in a couple weeks, where he says, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Like Noah and his family, who went into the ark, and the wrath of God fell upon the ark. But it did not fall on his family. Why? Because they were in the ark . Christ is the ark. We’re in him and he’s in us by his Holy Spirit. That’s union, found in verses five through seven . We’re united. We’re united in his death, we are united in his resurrection.

We know that our old self is the old sin nature. The old man, as sometimes the King James might call it, the old self, the old nature that’s Adam’s nature. It’s crucified with him. You’ve left the Adam line; you’re in Christ and you’re under Christ’s headship.

What’s the body of sin? It’s this mortal body and there’s a new nature in this body now. But there remains an old nature that’s been crucified. But it’s like that series, “The walking dead.” It’s got no power over me, but it keeps on trying to get in my life. He’s gonna talk about that a lot in chapter seven. The old nature and the new nature he’s not ready to talk about. He’s introducing it now, and he’s saying so that the mortal body, its former life, has brought to nothing because the old nature’s been crucified so we’re not enslaved to sin anymore. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

Now I haven’t died, but when I identified with Jesus through baptism through belief, when I received him as Lord and Savior so that I’m unified with him, the death he died on the cross is my death. I know that’s what he’s saying. I’ve died for the one who has died. So his death is accounted unto me.

Later in chapter six, he’s going to say “the wages of sin is death.” The penalty is death. He paid it. Because I’m in him, my sin is paid. Okay. And then here’s the third ‘know;’ it’s in verse nine. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead…. new life in Christ in verses 8 to 10. The keyword is life, and we’re talking about eternal life with Christ. So that’s the third ‘know;’ , this ‘know’ is a little different. The first two ‘knows’ from the verse stated, “do you not know?’ Both of those come from the same Greek word, ( ), which is where we get the word agnostic, to o have intellectual knowledge to know something. But the third ‘know,’ in verse nine, is from a word that means to see something clearly. It’s more than intellectual, it’s more like deep belief.

It’s more like, ‘I really see this, and it makes sense that he would use this word here because now he’s talking about Christ.’ He uses words like believe in verse eight. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Responding to God’s sanctification begins with knowing who you are. You have a new position. You have a new identity, right? You have a new union, you have a new life. It begins with knowing something. That’s the first way that Paul says we respond to what God’s grace is doing to sanctify us.

In Ephesians, chapter two, verse six, it says, “God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him.” God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him. You have a new position, Do you know that? Do you realize that? Do you understand that you have a new position in Christ?

So we just took on 10 verses. You’re worried about how long the sermon is going to go? Wow, that was a lot. Here’ point 2; (2) CONSIDER – Count yourself a new person in Christ. So let’s just take on one verse 11 for now. If grace abounds, why wouldn’t we just keep sinning? Let me tell you why. You should know something about your new position. And then he says, you should consider and count yourself a new person in Christ. So, you have a new position and you need to count yourself a new person in Christ.

Let’s look at verse eleven; just read it again. So you also must consider yourselves. There’s that word, “consider;” 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Now, he’s really just summarized everything he just said, but he’s introducing a new thought. Instead of just knowing, which is awesome, you need to have intellectual content.

There’s something to know about your new position in Christ. That comes first because you can’t count something, believing something, without knowing it. So you know it first. I have a new identity in Christ. I have a new identity. I have it. I have a new life. I have a new union. He’s in me and I am in him. So you know that, okay? It’s not enough just to know what he hears. You have to move it from head to heart. You have to count it. This is a faith step.

Some translations say the idea of not just to count, but to reckon, to take into account so by faith, to recommit, to say, ‘It looks like I’m still here in this old condition, but the Bible says when I receive Jesus, I have this new position, a new identity, a new union, a new life. Therefore, I’m going to count that as true. I’m gonna walk by faith, not by sight. I’m gonna believe what God says about me instead of what the world says about me. I’m gonna reckon it true.’

I’m from the hills. We like to say reckon. I reckon so, right? If something’s true, I say, ‘I reckon.’ And so, we move from head to heart. This is only one verse. There’s no new material here. We’re dead to sin and alive to Christ; that’s a summary of the 1st 10 verses. The change here in verse 11 is there’s an imperative. As far as I can tell, this is the first imperative in the book of Romans. There is more to follow. But for five chapters, plus a few verses in chapter six, there have been no imperatives. There has been no commands. Everything has been explanation of how we got here, how we fell into sin, how we can get out of sin, how we can be made justified in Christ for five chapters. He’s been explaining and helping us. But now there’s something to cooperate with or something to respond to this grace to be saved.

First of all, we must believe, but now it needs to be responded to, by knowing what grace has done for us and counting it, considering it, reckoning it by faith as true.

Listen to what it says in second Corinthians 5: 17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” You’re a new person if you believe in Jesus, your old life is gone. You are a new creation in Jesus . Count it so by faith.

Colossians 3:1-3 (ESV) “1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” You’re in Christ in God, your life is hidden. No one can take your life now. Your life is in Christ in God, That’s who you are. That’s your position. So live like the new person that you are.

How do you do it? Set your eyes, set your heart, set your mind on things above where you are already positionally. Experientially. I’m still here positionally. I’m already there. People. I’m already there and so are you in Christ positionally. I’m already there, so count it true.

In a few weeks, we will come off of daylight saving time, right? We’ll fall back and people will be saying, ‘Hallelujah. I get another hour to sleep.’ It’s in a few weeks. I don’t remember the day off the top of my head, but it’s in a few weeks. We’ll fall back and the government will say that the time has now changed; we are falling back one hour and we all comply. We reset our clocks on whatever that’s called when it’s not daylight saving time. It’s normal time. I don’t know, eastern standard? I don’t know what it’s called. Whatever it’s called, you set your clock, and within a few days you’re there. For the first few days you’re a little bit off, you know, But after a few days you’re there. You set your clock, you set your mind. You set your heart and your body, and before you know it, you’re walking on a new time zone. If you go around the world in a plane, you go really quick and you have to change times. You get jet lagged because your body takes some time to get used to it.

That’s kind of what Paul’s talking about, when you know that you’re already there. Set your clocks, your mind clock and your heart clock. There’ll be a jet lag. There’ll be a lag between your now and you’re coming. But once you start getting that, you are supplied the grace and the favor with God, who is supplying you the power. To do that, you begin to understand what he means by counting yourself a new person in Christ. Okay, so that’s the second step. The first step (1) there something to know? The second step (2) is theresomething to consider, where we are moving it from head to heart? So I believe it deeply. Now I’m counting it. I’m reckoning it true.

Here’s number three. Here’s the third step: present. This is the third significant word. We find it twice in verse 13. So we’re going to cover 12 to 14 now. (3) PRESENT – Offer yourself to a new purpose in Christ. Y ou have a new position in Christ. You’re a new person in Christ. Now offer yourself, present yourself so that God can do his purposes in your life. No longer the former purposes but a new purpose in Christ.

now, having given us what appears to be the very first imperative command in the whole book of Romans in verse 11, Paul apparently feels unleashed. Now he’s going to just keep giving us some commands. In verses 12 to 14 there’s more stuff that we can do to respond to sanctification.

Verse 12 says, “Let not sin, therefore reign in your mortal body.” Sin has been dethroned. He’s already told us that in chapter five, Sin has been dethroned. The tyrant sin, the dictator sin has been dethroned, but it still exists in this world. It’s not on the throne of the believers heart anymore, but it’s still doing guerrilla warfare all around you and trying to find your gaps, your weak spots where you haven’t fully recognized so that you know who you are. You haven’t fully counted it true.

Some of you are still sitting here thinking, ‘I don’t think I’ll ever defeat this sin. I don’t think I’ll ever defeat this addiction.’ There’s something you don’t know. There’s something you haven’t counted. You might think it’s about ‘I’m going to do. I’m going to stop doing this.’ No, that’s not what it’s about. There’s something you should know. There’s something you should count. And now there’s a body to present. Don’t miss this. And don’t believe the lie that you’re stuck, and in this life, you’ll never defeat that habitual sin or that addiction, because you can, through the grace of God, which has saved you from sin’s penalty and is saving you from sin’s power. Stop telling yourself lies.

You’re saying to yourself, ‘I can’t do this,’ when the Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” When you lie to yourself, then you put your faith in a lie and then you get the lie. It comes up; you planted it. You watered it.

Have you ever driven along in your car and repeat lies to yourself out loud? How do I know some of y’all do that? Because I do it and I figure some of you guys are probably just like me. Then, I’ll rebuke myself, which gets really weird. I can’t believe you said that to yourself; that’s not biblical. I now I shouldn’t have said it. So if you drive by me and you see me having an argument with myself, just pray for me.

Don’t let sin reign in your mortal body because it’s no longer on the throne. The sin that’s trying to get you now has no authority over you unless you allow it. Notice the word, “let;” that’s an unusual command. You don’t have to let it.

Then in verse 13 it says, “Do not present…” He says, “present” twice. He says it first in the negative of what not to do, then in the positive, but present in verse 13. So, first of all, do not present. The word, present, has the idea like a sacrifice, to offer something on an altar, present yourself on the altar. And then, present your members know where your members, your hands, your feet, your ears, your eyes , your mouth. The members of your body do not present them. What does it say? 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” This is unusual language. The word, “ instruments,” in the Greek, is an interesting word. It’s where we get the word, “hoplite.” The hoplite was an ancient Greek soldier who was heavily armored and uniquely had this long shield and a long spear. They had been trained so that they would group their shields together and could fight with these spears. They were highly effective. The hoplite soldier intimidated foreign armies. That’s the word that Paul has turned into a noun here.

He’s saying, ‘Don’t let your members become instruments of war for the wrong team. Don’t let your hands become like a part of the unrighteousness team. Don’t let your thoughts, don’t let your ears become part of that because you know what that would be. That would be treason.

You’ve been bought. Your body is a temple of the Lord. You were bought with a price. So the members of your body, don’t present them to unrighteousness, to be used for the wrong team.

Then he says, “but present yourself to God as those who have been brought from death to life and your members to God’s instruments.” There’s that word again for righteousness. So if you’re in Christ and your position is in Christ and you’re a new person in Christ, you’re at war now with that sin that has been deposed. But sin is still in this world fighting against us. It has no authority now. It used to have authority. We couldn’t win. Now we can win because of the grace that saves us.

It’s not enough just to say, ‘I will not allow my tongue to continue to thirst for alcohol.’ The first step is, ‘I’m going to remove my appetite. I’m no longer going to present my appetite to alcohol because it has ruled over me in the past.’ So you pull it off, but that’s not enough. The minute you say, ‘I will not,’ you’re thinking about doing it. It’s not enough just to pull it off. I need to put something new on. So what will I put in my appetite?

I’m gonna fill my mouth with the word of God, I’m gonna fill my mouth with prayer. If you just pull off, it’ll pull back. But if you pull off and put on now you’ve armored yourself up. Now you’ve armored your appetites for righteousness. Now you’ve switched teams. Now you’re fighting for God, so present the members of your body as instruments of being on God’s team and fighting for God. Now you’re waving the banner of righteousness. It’s not enough just to put off. You must put off and put on.

A kid’s song is in my head again. I couldn’t remember it at first service; I just remember this one part, ‘I’m in the Lord’s army. I may never march in the infantry, in the cavalry or shoot the artillery. I may never soar over the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir.’ There you go. Welcome to children’s church; wave the banner.

We conclude with verse 14, Sin will no longer by your lord nor master. Why? Because “you are not under law but under grace.” Sin will no longer be your master. He opens with the question, Doesn’t grace give you permission to sin more? He wedges this explanation between a discussion about sending grace, and he ends it with a discussion about sin and grace. This conclusion is no. In fact, not only will it not cause you to sin more, it actually would give you power to stop sinning. This grace that saves you from sin’s penalty is saving you from sin’s power.

Stop telling yourself, ‘I can’t break this addiction. I can’t stop this habitual sin.’ Stop lying to yourself; know who you are in Christ. Count it true in your heart and then present your body.

Paul says later in Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) “1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Do you know who you are? Have you moved it from your head to your heart so you count it by faith? You reckon it. And then have you presented yourself for this new purpose? You have a new position, you are a new person, a new creation. Have you presented yourself to the Lord’s army? Are you serving him with all that you are?

Charles Swindoll, when he was looking at this passage, this chapter 6: 13-14, he said to imagine a billionaire deposited $100 million in your checking account. Are you doing that now? Are you imagining that $100 million, for no other reason than kindness, he gives it to you completely free? No strings attached. Somehow he even was able to give it to you without taxes. It’s tax free. I don’t know how he did it. $100 million in your checking account. What would you do in response to this free grace gift of $100 million? Swindoll says, First, I would want to know that the funds were truly there. I would call the bank and ask, ‘Did someone deposit $100 million in my account?’ T he bank president says, ‘Yes, sir; you are now one of our favorite customers. We would like for you to come by. We could talk to you about how to invest.’ And then he says, You know what? The second thing I want to do is consider that it was really mine by taking out my checkbook and actually writing out $100 million as a deposit, I would count it. That would reckon it.

So, alright. Yes, I still use a checkbook. I know some of you don’t know what I’m talking about. Young people. Yeah, just right in there. $100 million. I would reckon it. I would consider it so. And then finally, I would begin to present some checks. I would write checks to my church, checks to my family and checks to pay off bills. I have $100 million. I’m gonna offer what God has given me; I am going to write some checks.

Jesus says you can do it in my name. Whatever you do, do it in my name. He says whenever you ask, pray in the name of Jesus . ‘I can’t forgive that person.’ Yes, you can write a forgiveness, check. You have a bottomless amount of forgiveness in your grace account. ‘Well, I can’t do this. I can’t overcome this.’ Stop lying to yourself. Yes, you can. Make the deposit. Count it, then write a check. You can do it. You can do all things through Christ.

You must first have Christ. You must first be saved. Have you ever called out and said I’m a sinner? I need a savior? Have you ever done that? Have you ever said, Lord Jesus, I believe in you? I believe you died, that you were raised from the grave that you live today. I believe that you died for my sins. A transaction takes place when you say, I believe it by faith and you invite him to be your lord and savior. Transaction takes place in heaven. His righteousness is accounted to you and then something else begins. . He begins to save you from those besetting sins. You’re no longer serving sin’s penalty. You have eternity in heaven. You have a new position, a new identity. A new you. He’s working in what you need to work out. He’s working in that grace. You just need work it out. Let’s pray.

Lord, there’s somebody here right now that came in far from you. But right now, you’re drawn him near. Is that you, my friend? As the Lord is speaking to you, right in your seat, you can do this. The transaction can take place. The Lord is here; he’s listening. Pray with me, dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I need a savior. Lord. I believe you died on the cross for me, that you were raised from the grave and that you live today. Lord, come and live in me. Forgive me of my sin. Make me the person you want me to be. If you’re praying that prayer right now, He’s making you a child of God. A transaction is taking place. I believe there are people in this room receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior and so the adventure begins. Others are here and you know Christ as your lord and savior, but you’ve been telling yourself lies. ‘I can’t do this. I can’t beat this.’ You’ve even been doubting your salvation because there’s some sin area that you just can’t break out of. Pray, Lord, I thank you. I want to grow in my knowledge of you and who I am in you. I want to embrace my new position in you that I have a new identity and that I’m a child of God and I’m under Jesus. I’m in him and he’s in me. Lord, help me. Help me to count that true and then more than that Lord, help me to offer myself daily to your purpose for me in the name of Jesus. Amen.