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August 30, 2020 1:00 am
Before people believe in Jesus, they have no choice: they will sin repeatedly. After conversion, they do have a choice, no longer obligated to practice the sins they committed before. Breaking free from old patterns involves a process called “reckoning oneself dead unto sin but alive unto God.” In this message we learn what this reckoning is all about.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
Before people believe in Jesus, they have no choice. They will sin repeatedly after conversion.
They do have a choice no longer obligated to commit the sins they committed before breaking free from old patterns involves a process called reckoning oneself dead unto sin, but alive unto God today.
What this is all about. From Chicago we welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Lutzer today. Pastor Lutzer continues a series he's calling rescued what God did to save us after our worship music will turn to Romans chapter 6 learn how believers have been rescued from habitual sin. Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service of worship were so glad that you have joined us today for our worship service and I want to remind you of what the apostle Paul said in the book of Philippians that the day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the father and today in worship we have the opportunity of singing. Surely one of the great him the Christian church old for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise. Now we don't have a thousand, but most of us have at least one, and were going to use it to the best of our ability to give praise and honor to our Lord.
Would you join me as we pray together and in a moment of silence. Give this give this our to the Lord, would you join me please father made all the hurriedness of life. We pause in silence inviting your presence, inviting the blessed Holy Spirit of God to speak to us surprises not only with great blessing, but with deliverance from sin and joy in the breath of your blessed Holy Spirit as we worship and may be acceptable through Jesus Christ on you to follow along with me in your bulleting as a read together from Romans chapter 5. Please read aloud with me on the bold print. This is God's holy word.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God more suffering. No rain printed character, and character is not the same because God has been poured into our hearts through the holy who had been given for while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one, scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die so why Christ died for.
Therefore, we have now been justified by his blind much more shall we be saved by hand from the wrath of God. For while we were enemies we were reconciled to God. The death of his son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life taken ceiling ceiling for thy courts above and then just as the choir concluded till we cast our crowns before the lost in wonder love and praise. Let me begin today with the question, how are you doing in your battle with sin, you have some wins this past week did you have some losses.
Why did you have those losses. Have you taken time to analyze and when I talk to you about our battle was said, I'm not only thinking of the biggies, such as murder and adultery, and extortion. Perhaps the deceit on a huge level. Maybe drug addictions, alcohol addictions, we all know that there are some people who perhaps are listening to this message who have done one or several of the things that I just listed. I'm also talking about some of the more respectable sins such as anger, to what extent did anger get in your way of relationships this past week about an you envy the wicked do you envy the rich are you angry with your lot in life where those kinds of issues.
What about the issue of lust in the Sunday evening service. A man came to me last week and said you know my wife is left me. I'm alone.
He said the assaults on my mind and the temptation to go to that computer trees that are very strong yesterday.
I was with my prayer partners send in the discussion. The confession of the fact that our minds are being assaulted today bisexuality on every hand and that people are losing those battles and not just the man are losing the battle. Where do we go from here.
You know, we are creatures of habit and we develop habits of sin and that we tell ourselves all kinds of lies about how we aren't addicted are we don't have a real big. I was thinking about the words of Mark Twain your member who said of course I can stop smoking.
I've done it at least a thousand stop for maybe an hour at a time. He couldn't stop whenever he wants to deal Moody said that when he was converted he expected that now his battle with sin would be over and he said I discovered that I was actually enlisting myself as a soul in a new war. The assaults of sin were that strong. This message addresses those issues, but if you're here today and you are simply investigating Christianity or you are listening to this message because somebody wanted you to and you would rather maybe not but here you are.
Or maybe you're listening. By way of Internet radio. Whatever other means. Would you hang in would you listen because even though this message is primarily directed toward us as believers in Christ, it has implications for all and by the end of the message I want to include you in it and give you an opportunity to put your faith and trust in a Redeemer actually does deliver people from their sins.
So that's where were going. Thanks for joining me on the journey. Let me begin with another question and that is during the Easter season. We often sing the song which I happen to like. I like a lot of songs and I like the song.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord. So I ask you today. Were you there. I remember as a boy, listening to the song and thinking to myself, that's kinda silly actually know I wasn't there 2000 years ago Jesus was crucified.
I'm sure that I wasn't there but then as I began to study the Bible, I discovered that yes I was there in the sense that Jesus died for me and so my sins were laid on him in that sense I was there when my Lord is crucified, and then we take our Bibles and I invite you to do so and we open them up to the sixth chapter of the book of Romans Romans chapter 6 very critical passage of Scripture and we discover something else that is not just that we were there because Jesus died for us, but furthermore God identified us with Jesus and when he died on that cross. There's a sense in which we died.
Look at the text. For example, in chapter 6 of Romans 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. 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 for one who has died has been set free from sin.
So God put us into Jesus so that Jesus Christ history becomes our history and that there's another way in which then we were there when they crucified our Lord so to put it rather clearly Jesus Christ. I for me sets me free from the penalty of sin, and I die with Jesus Christ and that sets me free from our sin. That's why when we sing rock of ages, cleft for me, be of sin the double cure save me from its guilt yes and its power on the cross. There is a double cure for sinners like us know what the apostle Paul does is he goes through a series of steps and he begins with the first step, which is called knowing. For example in them even back in verse three. Do you not know that all of us have been baptized into Christ. Verse five. Do you not know actually verse six that our old self was crucified with him. There's something that you have to know and that is that when Jesus died, if you're a believer you died there to sell Pastor Lutzer, I sure don't feel very dead and if you had seen my secret life this past week, you would know that I'm not dead I'm not dead to sin. Now Paul does say that sin is dead will explain this last week, but he says that we are dead to it and so you say I don't feel dead like this.
You're leaving somebody to faith in Jesus Christ. You want them to believe the gospel and then they say well you know I don't feel that Jesus died I just don't feel that he died on the cross.
He said all you know, spare me you don't feel that he died. It's irrelevant to how you feel. The fact is that he died or somebody else's them. I just am going to pray that Jesus would die for me and you say, why don't get that at all. Don't you get it that it all ready happen and no matter how you feel about it and no matter how you as a believer feel about it. It is as silly to pray that Jesus would die for you as it would be for you to pray that he would crucify you when he died equally foolish because when Jesus died. The Bible says you did to the power and the obligation you and I have to sin is. That's what happened when Jesus died on the cross. Now Paul says in Romans chapter 5 that we were in Adam having to obey all of Adam's dictates and sends. Now we are in Jesus Christ whole new obligations and we have no obligation to serve sin. He's talking about the reigning power of sin in our lives choices. First of all, you have to get that just faith to get that that God made provision on the cross for sin's power in your life to be totally broken or more accurately actually broke it on the cross and then the next step.
Paul says is reckoned as I mentioned last time, I prefer the word reckoned to the word consider though they mean the same thing in verse 11, so you must consider yourselves to be dead to sin and alive unto God.
Consider this true. I pointed out that reckoning doesn't make anything true. If you have $1000 in the bank and it's actually there.
Then you can reckoned by writing out a check based on that amount of money you can reckoned it to be true but you know it could be true, even without you never reckoning.
It you never use the money. It's true that you have $1000 but you never reckon it to be true. In that sense it's of no value to you, but on the other hand, you can't create a situation in which you say I am going to reckon it to be true and that'll make it true. Like the wife who said to her husband. Of course we still have money in the bank.
Look at all of the unused checks in our check book.
You can create money by reckoning it to be true, but you can reckoned something that is indeed true.
Maybe this illustration will help many years ago in the lobby of Moody Church after servicewomen met me and said you know I'm living with a guy and were not married, and she says I know this is sin, and I want to get out of this relation, but there's no way that he's willing to separate from me and I said well I said what you need to do is just move out. Take your stuff and move out. She said it isn't that simple. I own the apartment. All right I see now that it isn't quite that simple.
But I said don't you understand that your obligations to this man are over. I mean you own the apartment you are standing on Concord territory. He may be bigger than you may be much stronger than you, but that's not the point. Your obligation is over, you are dead to any obligation that you have toward him but he won't leave so I suggested. I don't know if this is good advice but I said you know I call the police and I'd have them, and I would take that man and take him somewhere else and help them to understand why he should never come back again with a little bit of help from the reliable Chicago police district. That's the way I take care of it then I get a restraining order against him because you have no obligation to him.
See that's an example of what Jesus did for us.
We are standing on Concord territory. We have no obligation to sin, but sin is going to come along and say oh yeah yeah yeah yeah you still have obligation to me we don't and you need to understand by faith by the ministry the Holy Spirit based on the word that are obligation to the old man as it is sometimes spoken of is all know maybe what that woman has to do is to join a support group and maybe it could be entitled young women who want to get rid of men who don't leave them alone that might be a support group with a lot of attendees. Yeah, I know you're laughing but the point is it me a difficult to reckon it because of all this persistence, but the game is over. There's no obligation else's. You no longer now need to let sin reign in your mortal body for it to rain. You have to let it for this man to have authority over her.
She has to let him because he has no legal ground to stand on at all to come out put them out on the street and helping to understand why he shouldn't come back in the case of the Bible. Here, the most powerful thing we can do is to believe, you will experience a tremendous amount of spiritual power. If you really understand that standing on the conquered territory of Jesus, you have no obligation to sin your passions tell you yes you do.
Yes you do and you say no I don't not because you're saying that makes it true.
But because it is true. Jesus broke its power. Paul says this is his first of all, you have to know it, then you have to reckon it. And then he says present yourself to God. That's in verse 13 he said on till now you have been presenting yourself to unrighteousness. Verse 13 he says, verse 12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies to make you obey its passions. You have to let it do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those of been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness, and will not have dominion over you because you're not under law, you're under grace and grace abounds and has broken the power of sin choices present. The imagery here is that of worship. Present your bodies Paul says in chapter 12. A living sacrifice. It means that I now present myself to God why.
First of all because I value God. I value God in our prayer group yesterday were talking about how wonderful it would be if our passion for God were greater than our passion to sin. And when you and I present ourselves to God what we are saying is God you mean more to me than my sin does. I believe that you are of more value and by the way this this passion that we develop for God isn't something that comes to us by osmosis.
While were asleep.
It comes because were reading the word were meeting with the people of God. We are in the fellowship with God's people, and with him and our love for God grows and grows and grows until we become passionate lovers of God. That's part of what happens when we present ourselves to God, but also it means not only that we value God also means that God owns us. God owns us. After all, we've been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. The precious blood of Jesus. Therefore we are owned by God aren't weight where very much owned by God where his privileged possession. The Scripture says, so that means I yield myself to God.
I yield my eyes to God. My say, God, these eyes are yours. Help me to turn away from evil and Jesus said if your I/O offends you pluck it out and cast it from you what he saying is do whatever you need to do so you don't keep going back into the same sin. I mean, cut off your cable-television if you have to do whatever you have to do because the temptations are great. There's no obligation but the old man comes knocking, and so what you do is you present your eyes to God. You present your ears to God. You present your hands to God.
Your feet to God wherever they take you and you say, totally. As far as I am concerned I am an offering to God I the pastor friend who said when he was trying to get this across. He actually had one of the ushers bring up an offering plate and he stood in it. Well, I tried that but in our baskets.
I don't think they are quite strong enough to be able to hold that, but that would get the point across. What you do then is you yield to God and then what you begin to serve. Now if you look at your Bibles as I hope you are doing.
You'll notice in verse 15 and following Paul gives a contrast between being a slave of righteousness and a slave to sin. He uses the expression, the slavery of sin at least five times depending on how you count them, maybe six and he uses the same expression as being slaves to righteousness, and all the way through. From 15 to the end.
That's what he's doing his contrasting what then are we to sin because we are not under the law but under grace.
By no means do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves your slaves to the one whom you obey either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness basis.
But thanks be to God. You are one slaves to sin, but now your obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching which you received in your obeying righteousness. Couple of, first, when the apostle Paul uses the word slave he means slave doesn't mean servant it or somebody servant you might be able to leave serving that person and go serve somebody else. Slaves are owned and you and I are created to be owned and what Paul says is either we are going to be slaves of sin or we are going to be slaves of righteousness were going to be one or the other. I think that Bob Dylan was absolutely right when he used to sing, you're going to have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're going to have to serve somebody. And my friend, your servant somebody today so I don't want to serve saying I do want to serve God I just want to serve myself. Well, isn't that sweet, but there is no third category. I'm impressed, but there's no third category you say your serving self.
The essence of sin is self you just voted to become a servant of sin.
That's what you have done. Now let's look at these two phrases. The servants of sin. What does that look like those of you who struggle with cocaine addictions alcohol addictions sexual addictions of any kind. You understand this phrase very very well very well because you know right well that ultimately you aren't in charge.
You can swear it off you can say this is the last time you can obey your conscience and say never again but it will happen again why because slaves don't tell their masters what slave doesn't wake up in the morning and say to his master now master today. I think were going to do this, the slave wakes up and says to his master, who is sin. What do you want me to do today and how can I get by and managed the consequence. That's what the slave master said. And sin is always a bad idea. Notice what the apostle Paul says here he says, and I'm in verse 19. Actually, for just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, leading to more lawlessness.
Sin is in static, it leads to more lawlessness, you begin that direction. It always demand more. It'll always come back with more ferocity and power. It will always be there and it will always increase.
That's why if you never want to become an alcoholic. You say one thing I never want to do is an alcoholic.
I never want to do illegal drugs.
I've some good advice for you. Never once touch the stuff. And I can tell you from personal experience that works, you'll be able to walk through a store and see all of those shelves of alcohol and will be absolutely nothing within you that will say I stuff it is best for you to simply say no. From the beginning because once it gets its stronghold.
Then it demands more and more and more lawlessness pulses leads to more lawlessness.
Now you say well you know I'm not into those sins but what about anger's self will envy all those increase in power as well until you become as miserable to live with as your wife says you are. I thought I just throw that in as were going along the road. You see, there is really no safe sin and you and I think that we can manage the consequences.
But sin, and what is its ultimate destination.
What is its ultimate destination there in verse 23 we have it.
The wages of sin is death at a free gift of God, thankfully, is eternal life, but the wages of sin is death. In other words, you're getting your wages and death not just physical death which all of us participate in, but it's a spiritual death, and a moral death and for some who don't know the Lord.
It is an eternal debt or it horrid future. So that's the wages of sin, to see how sin really falls under the category of false advertising. All this is the way to happiness.
Think of what we can do if you get into these sins. Oh yeah, in the end it leads to death, and even those pleasures that are sinful. What does the Bible say he who is in pleasures had even while he lives in. That's why people need drugs and alcohol just to deaden the pain of an empty life. The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life. So having looked at Tim.
The slavery to sin. What about the slavery to righteousness, the slavery to God when we become the slaves of God. Now we are talking about the freedom finally to be what God created you to be the freedom to live with a clear conscience. The freedom to be able to say I'm walking in my created status is all about the freedom to be able to listen to a song as we had today how great thou Art and to be able to know that that great God belongs to me, and I rejoice in the privilege of being his slave because to be a slave of God is to live a delightful, joyful, meaningful, eternal existence, can you get it better than that.
I don't think so. It's a delightful kind of slave of the bottom line that the apostle Paul talks about here is the fact that in Jesus and I want you to get this today.
In Jesus Christ the power of sin for believers has been broken. It has been broken. You must believe it. If you believe it and apply it in some of you say yeah but you know I try to get rid of this and so I understand that but can you believe this, but in Jesus you died for all obligations to continue along those sinful habits, your obligations are over.
There's a story that DL Moody, who founded this church way back in 1864 like to tell apparently the President of the United States.
On one occasion said to the president or the leader of the prison commissions.
I want to hand out five pardons to a prison evidently in Ohio and Ohio and I want the warden to award these pardons to the inmate who has the best example of conduct for six months but don't tell the inmates I don't want them to just behave because they want to get a pardon.
I just want them to be observed by the leadership and then you choose who it is that gets the part and so the day came to hand out the pardons and all of the prisoners gathered and the commissioner of prison stood up and said, today I have five pardons in my hand. Whoever gets these pardons will leave the prison today and be free and change your close and you can be outta here. The rest of you of course will stay pardons to be offered. He opens the sheet of paper and says Ruben Johnson, Ruben Johnson, chaplain sees Ruben sitting on the front row and says hey Ruben he's talking about you. Ruben kinda looks behind himself wondering if there's another Ruben Johnson here. Finally, Ruben has the nerve to go up and take his pardon, he sits down he holds his head in his hand and he begins to weep. The other four pardons also were handed out and the warden stands up and says time to go back to your cells, and guess what Ruben does. He stands up and he begins walking back to his cell and the chaplain says hey Ruben you belong in that line. Let's review when Jesus died on the cross for me. He broke the penalty of sin. When I died with Jesus. He broke the power of sin, my dear brother, my dear sister, you don't have to be in that line you belong outside of that prison. Yes, indeed.
Maybe you have to begin to attend men's fraternity you have to connect with other believers so that so that that sin that has had such a great part in your life can be broken. But ultimately the breaking has taken place on the cross because because you are standing on conquered territory as a Christian and you can say no you can say no. Let not therefore sin rain in your mortal bodies that you should fulfill its lusts. It's an impossible command but what God commands.
He also gives the grace and the strength to do no matter how difficult it is why we are under no obligation. No obligation to serve sin.
When you look at this passage, you know that Paul uses a big word is he gets near the end uses the word sanctification. He says in verse 29. But now that you've been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification. Its end is eternal life was good news.
Word sanctification means to be made like unto Jesus, which is really God's big agenda in your life is always thought that God's big agenda in my life was to serve your there. Yeah that'll come the big agenda is the inner part of you to become like Christ. That's what sanctification here's my point.
Justification to be declared righteous happens in a point of time. The free gift of eternal life.
The chapter ends through Jesus Christ and there is some of you were listening right now who have to say Jesus. I receive that free. I come to Christ as I am with my sin and my need and my brokenness and my mess. But I do come to Jesus for eternal life, and it is a free gift to those who believe yesterday evening I spoke at a fundraising event for a very fine Christian school here in Chicago and a man came to me later and told about attending Moody Church many, many years ago and he said that I was leading a small group course I don't remember this but he said that he was there and he was an unbeliever and he was a very angry person very angry. Angry at everything and he said that he listen to the gospel and he said you put a seed in my heart that we never ever did go back to your church. Five years later, I believed on Jesus and he said Jesus just took all that anger away. Now he was standing next to his wife when he said it so I believe that what he was saying was true.
It is a free gift to those who believe if God speaking to you right now if God is overcoming your stubbornness and you see that you need Christ believe on him and be saved. And then what you'll discover later is this message that you've just heard that may have been puzzling in spots all come together and you'll see will now I get it.
I not only experience the fact that Jesus died for me, but I died with him. And now I'm on a lifelong journey of sanctification of learning to walk free because I no longer am to be in that line. Would you believe would you trust to be taken at his word. Do we act on it. Let's pray together. Father we ask in Jesus name that the words that you have written. We know that they are true words that help us to believe them and to act on them. Set your people free all God. We pray, we read in your word that we need not serve sin we say no to that terrible terrible master and we gladly say we are servants of God sign us up for those who've never trusted Christ, may they do so even now we ask in Jesus name, amen. Let's all stand as we sing together on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Lutzer spoke on rescued from habitual sin. The last 12 part series on rescued what God did to save us taken from the book of Romans. We hope our look into Romans chapters 1 through six is given you new insight into the wonder of your salvation. We are so grateful to all support The Moody Church. Our during this month we have a special opportunity. Every gift you send will be doubled. Thanks to a matching gift fund.
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Our as it reaches the wider culture and addresses crucial issues of the day you can make your gift 11 by calling 1-800-215-5001 number again 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin Lutzer and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago