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May 20, 2020 9:00 am
Jamie Greer, the power of the Christian life begins by believing what God has declared even when it feels impossible. Faith is believing God as he calls into existence.
Things that don't exist yet, and what is declared a review is you are fully righteous in his sight. And you got the power of the resurrection and you and you are dead to sin and not power. The resurrection is your future and if you believe that it becomes true life that question myself many times today on Senate life pastor Jamie Greer shows us how believing in our righteous identity in Christ Lisa's power in us to live up to that identity. If we want the power to change. We need to start by changing how we see ourselves. We moved from dad and send to live in Christ Jesus.
Let's jump right in Romans chapter 6 last weekend we saw the first few verses of Romans six that Paul established the point that a true believer could not continue to willfully and habitually pursue sin because Paul says a true believer is somebody who is turned over control of their lives to Christ, Christ comes into your heart. He breaks the power of sin over you by putting into the middle of your heart. The power of resurrection.
Thus, Paul concludes if you are still willfully pursuing sin, it means that you never really let Christ take control because when Christ comes in he changes you permanently but but Paul realizes that the experience of every believer, including himself and Becky would say in chapter 7 is to say, most especially myself. My experience is a brutal struggle against sin. Half the time I felt like I'm not doing that well over the next couple chapters, Paul going to talk about how even as an apostle he feels weak all his life is a constant fight between what he knows he ought to do what is simple body is pulling him to do in this chapter, chapter 6, he's going to ask the question that every sincere follower of Jesus asks at some point if the power the resurrection actually came into my heart. If it is they are in my heart. Why do I still struggle so much to say no to sin and why do I still sing below some of the wrong things and why is it that I can't develop the courage to follow my conviction sometimes and why don't I love God more. Why am I not more naturally generous and why do I get on my mind wander in the midst of prayer and what I have trouble paying attention, admits a sermon what's wrong with me and how can I change I want you to be clear that Paul in this chapter is addressing sincere Christians okay look at it. Mr. rogue River 70 Paul describes his people as those who obeyed from the heart. The pattern of teaching I received.
That means the gospel.
These are not like your French people who work are not really that committed these are the real deal. They are not JV Christians. They are full on Christians are not fake.I will tell you I find this chapter. So encouraging some of the most encouraging, maybe an old Bible right if you're a follower of Jesus. If you're a sincere follower Jesus. Don't you find yourself frustrated a lot at how little progress. Yeshiva made the Christian life.
Don't you find yourself going over well sometimes what why am I still attracted to that. Why is it that that I still feel so we want to do the right thing. Why do I want to know love God more. Why am I so stingy all the time why don't, not just more naturally generous one that about yourself and I wonder that about you do not get out of that about me.
I wonder that about me a lot to chapter 6 and seven are Paul is most vulnerable. Paul reveals about himself in these chapters may surprise you. It will definitely encourage these choppers. All are crucial in understanding what the Christian life is like my data back there so crucial that my dad paid each of my kids all hundred dollars if they would memorize Romans chapter 6; I will.
That's a memorization program I get down with in chapter 6 also lay out his theology for how he says we changed how the power chain just to come send us. He says it begins by embracing in your core. The new identity to God is given to you in preaching on this chapter Tony Evans was one of my favorite preachers, tells a story of a guy who went to see his therapist and goes into therapist surfaces.
What seems to be the problem because when I go to the supermarket to buy food, I just have this incredible urge to go to the dog food aisle and this is voice inside me to go to the doctor now so I know that all phenomena get there. He says always start looking at the pictures of little dogs on the on the dog food bag and I think managers look so much fun like I could be there frolicking around the dogs without a care in the world is is then this almost without being able to chromosome a rip open the dog food bag and scoop out a big thing and I just gobble up a budget, I'll be right there in the supermarket aisle. He says sometimes I get so happy I yelp and I barking up. We've laid on my back and asked total strangers to scratch my belly, as they're walking by Kenneth therapist and one that really does seem like it's a problem.
How long you been like this and the man says well ever since I've been a puppy's outgoing Tony Evans told it was so much funnier and I'm working on and I just said his last service on when I get out, but the point is yet to be there. Tony says this is what Paul is saying something similar to what this therapist is good about say this man and that is some things are more deeper than behavior modification. Some things go back to the court how you see yourself in it starts with a recognition of your identity.
That's what Paul is saying in verse 11.
Chapter 6 returns. Look at verse 11. Likewise you also.
He says you believers you should reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord know that we reckon is the Greek word look good so my and it is a word that you have seen before. It's a word that Paul uses in chapter 4. Some translations will write that is count. Some will write it as consider. I prefer the word record. Now this is not reckon like Southerners using it. Sometimes, like why reckon it's going to rain later. Not not record this record means to count or to consider one thing, as if it were another thing that's an accounting term covered described like on the wildcard in poker you in. In poker, using the wildcard circuit is Joker from this point on is no longer the joker.
It's now the ace of spades and no of course I don't play poker card games I play are Bible charades or the left behind version of Uno. Okay so you don't send email on that, but but it's wildcard means you one thing and consider it to be something else. That's what Paul is saying here with this word reckon he says when you claim Jesus as your sin bearer, then you put your faith in him. God reckons your faith to be righteousness when you trust Jesus as the one who died in your place for your sins and you you claim him as your own. Then God reckons that faith to be righteousness is not that it is righteousness. It's that that God gives you Christ's righteousness, because you're trusting in Jesus while in the same way.
Now Paul in Romans chapter 6 he flips it and says now it's your turn to do the reckoning right God reckon your faith to be righteous now you when you reckon yourself is dead to sin.
What you believe in God did what he said he did when he saved you when you do that God will use that reckoning of yours to use the power of new life into you.
In other words, just as faith is the means by which you receive justification, the Christian life. So, continued faith is the means by which you access the power for sanctification. Most of you thought okay will I receive Christ by faith. But after that grow in Christ. That's on me. That's a lot of effort okay balls nope. Just like it was faith by which you you you were reckon righteous in God's sight. Now it's continued faith that you use to release the power of sanctification and you. Here's how it works okay just to be clear, when you put faith in Christ as a substitute for our sin. God reckons your faith as righteousness.
Okay, there's a second part as you reckon your self dead to sin. You believe God did what he said he did, God infuses in you the power of new life to write something on this third what is the key here. In other words, just as we believed our way in the justification so we believe our way into the power of sanctification, believing in the Christian life is the way of releasing power. How do you release power in your Christian life. It doesn't come through effort. It comes through believing what God says is true and believing what God says is true, is the means by which he releases the power of resurrection and you now some of you I will get a lot done that though and I didn't feel the resurrection of me cutting a little tingling feeling tired and stand up. I don't feel dead to sin.
Suddenly, back sin and wrong desires felt very much alive in the right I get that.
But as you continue to believe it. God uses the faith in Christ finished work to transform you remember from chapter 4 Abraham was the example Paul keeps bringing up is like taking never at 90 years old and that 99 years old.
After a lifetime of infertility. God declared Abraham that he was can have a son. Not just any son.
By the way, a son that was gonna father a great nation that you go back and read that Genesis 12. There's nothing in that chapter that indicates that when God said that Abraham. Abraham was like you know now that you say that I have been feeling unusually frisky the last few weeks so I believe what you just said no Roman says that Abraham believed God said, even when he didn't feel it, even though he knew that his equipment was way past the expiration date, so to speak, and as Abraham believed that Romans four, said he received strength to be able to conceive. Isaac. So Paul says you will also receive the strength to walk in righteousness as you continue to believe that God has made you dead to sin just like you said you listen, this is not some kind of mental trick I'm throwing at you where you click the power of positive thinking were you say I'm brave enough, I'm brave enough and brave enough to say, sometimes easily become brave enough or you know I'm good looking and a smart dog on people like me and you start to believe that this is not that kind of garbage. This is actual power that God infuses into you when you believe in God is, God said he did you see faith. Paul said in Romans four is believing God when he calls into existence. Things that do not yet exist, like entire nations out of an infertile old man when you believe something like that and you believe I don't feel righteous but I believe the goddess may be righteous at that.
When God releases the power to be righteous and you elicit. Here's the big hang up.
We have the Christian life.
We always want to feel first and then believe second and God says no. Usually you're going to believe first and then you'll feel later. You don't both fill your way and your beliefs going to believe your way and your feelings in the Christian life. Power comes through believing believing in the righteous identity God has declared over you releases the power to live up to that identity in you. Faith is the means by which God releases of hours in a sense that's why Satan began each of his temptations of Jesus in the wilderness with the phrase member this a BAA. I've seen this before. It's really strange Matthew for everything.
Patient begins with if you are the son of God. Why would he start a temptation that way. Well, if you read the previous chapter, God had declared of Jesus at the baptism. You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Before Satan brings out the lust of the flesh and the pride of life and the hunger of his body. What Satan does as he tries to get Jesus to question his identity. He knows that once he rattled Jesus at his core in his identity to be much more open to the lust of the flesh, and so he begins each temptation by saying hey if you really are the son of God that is a pattern for how he tips you listen. Satan will do whatever he's gotta do to take your eyes off the new identity God has given you, and before he brings out the small guns of alcohol and pornography or sex or some kind of compromise. What he's going to do is bring out the big guy are you really who God says you are so easy to do that by bringing up past sins. At present struggles in making you feel just like you just by the way.
Also, he's gonna bring up his true you remember how badly you messed up that relationship member that hey and remember you.
How could you call yourself a beloved son or daughter of God and still struggled that much for that sin. Really, that they there's just no way to dangle a carrot out there in front of you. Like maybe you'll get there soon.
But right now there's no way you can think God is approving the view that God accepts you that your beloved son or daughter not somebody with all that messed up stuff in your life and so just try a little harder trot maybe another week or two and then you'll get there know the moment you start believing that he's already got you because he is now taking your eyes off of what God has done in you and what God has promised for you put them back on what you can do and that's to lead you to despair every time the power of the Christian life begins by believing what God has declared even when it feels impossible because faith is believing God as he calls into existence. Things don't exist yet, and what is declared over you is you are fully righteous in his sight. And you got the power, the resurrection and you and you are dead to sin and that power the resurrection is your future. And as you believe that it becomes true. The releases in you to power the new life it will pass have rights record, you knew me you would say that and I don't feel very righteous. That's not what God bases the declaration on hidden based on you based on your potential hidden based on your past. He bases it on Jesus is finished work and so he looks at you and says this is who you are not site this is what he declares war the best illustrations of ever heard of this came from my second daughter when she was eight years old couple the store before but it's so good I got a repeat hey we were doing her devotions one night and at around the same time were watching the voice as a family and you know the voice if you watch that show they had this basically the blind auditions where the singers are saying and yet for judges and their chairs turn with again see if they like what they hear his abutments and spins around says I want you okay and my daughter says she says she has always wanted something about the gospel.
She said that it's like it's what the gospel is like God hit the button and turned on the chairs and I want you for we even started thinking like that is a pretty good illustration of what the gospel is God. Do not wait to hear how good or bad. Your voice was, he didn't think all that somebody does come potential. I can use that person on my team. He just by an act of his choice. Get that thing and said I choose you you I that I have a terrible boy. Cities like I don't care because I am going to make you in my image and I'm going to use my power to do it. I don't need your talent.
I don't need your pass because my declaration got Jesus out of a grave in my declaration can change your life.
Also, as you start you start by reckoning yourself dead to sin what God said you are even if you don't feel it right. That's first command second command ball builds whole Jeff around to command your second one verse 12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions.
No present your members and send those to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but you present. There's one word command present yourself to God as those who been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. That's his command not you get a present explains why that's for 14% will not rule over you anymore because you are not under the law, but you are under grace. What that means is now the Christ is at the center of your heart.
Sin can't control you anymore because Christ is there. It's they are the middle now I would true you for your Christian before Christ came in follow this. You couldn't not sin as aromas once that were totally given over sin, we could no more stop sinning, then a drowning man could refuse a gasp of air if you pulled the man about a water right for suffocate use you had to sin you crave sin that's not true anymore because Christ is come to take the central place of your heart, but he says don't you know that if you offer yourself somebody's obedient slaves. Slaves of that when you obey either of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness. Even though Jesus is at the center you're still in the simple body and sin is always good to be working for mastery in your life if you let sin go and you'll pay attention to it. It's going to slowly and incrementally try to regain control over you.
Here's the way I think about all this of this himself when the Allied troops marched into Berlin and they conquered Berlin in World War II. At that point the axis powers were broken, Nazi-ism was officially crushed okay, but even after the Allied forces and taken over Berlin. There were still pockets of German soldiers throughout the countryside and down to France and a lot of them Fight not, even though the Nazi war machine and been broken even though they were out of ammunition. There was no more. The seat of power.
The medication was destroyed by the Allied forces were there. These German forces kept fighting and they kept carrying and harassing a lot of the citizens in the Allied forces as well bosses, this is what happened in your Christian life. Jesus is at the seat of power. Now, but sin is still present there in your body and it's always going to be working to get back in control so you gotta be fighting it because it is constantly on the move in your life. Listen to me sin is a predator and it is always on the move and is a bunch you think I know it's not in.
I got some areas of compromise. I'm not doing what God wants here. This is probably not the best but it's okay. It's not a big deal, it's just a small area of compromise is the little tiny thing and it's not going to be a big deal is under the big deal is not affecting anything you understand that sin is a predator and it is always on the move and it is dangerous and it is always trying to get in so that it can just grow and it will always lead you to slavery in captivity always reminds me of when you read what others have lives I read one this week. In fact, Florida man mauled by pet cougar right NASA I got read that. So I read the article and you find that there's some dude on Florida who's got a pet cougar named fluffy and fluffy. Snap one day and went to space off the articles of notice they're always the same.
There like air always interviews people like lots couldn't see that common vision of Pope. He was so gentle and fluffy was you just such a I'm remiss I might fluffy is a cougar fluffy is a predator. I know that you think you've domesticated fluffy for a little while but but forceful fluffy cat can trust.
Second of all second of all single fluffy in fluffy's DNA for years of breeding fluffy is a predator and you might get them to act like some for a while but that inner nature who he is is going to come out and if you keep fluffy as a pet fluffy to rip your face off someday okay that's what Paul said about sin.
You cannot tolerate compromise. You can't tolerate small sins in your life because they may feel like small sins, but there simply small cougars that are to grow up a one day they can rip your face off rights, metaphorically speaking, because sin is always working for mastery impulsive told told you play around when it is working for slavery is working for mastery in your life it's wife John over the Puritan used to say you gotta always be killing sin or sin will be killing you. There's no neutral sin you to limit where it's working to kill you and then that's what would Paula say and then only pause here for a minute pressing on something when a person on on how it deems mastery over us. But before I do that, let me just come take a moment to address something that's there are people that will have difficulty with this.
Could you like why don't I'm really uncomfortable with the slavery analogy because of the history of slavery in our country and your like it is really difficult analogy to get our minds around eight understand a couple things you should know that first of all, when Paul uses slavery here. What he is referring to is something a lot more like indentured servant hood has what we would call it today, it's not the kind of kidnapping and forced labor along ethnic lines would've characterized our slavery. It still wasn't a great economic system.
To be clear on that. But it's it's he's not referring to, to become slavery were familiar with. Paul makes clear in first Timothy one that that kind of slavery is categorically wrong.
Second thing is Paul himself says verse 19, he's like, hey, I'm usually human analogy is the weakness of your flesh. In other words, to help you get your mind around this. I'm not endorsing an economic system. I'm not endorsing anything. I'm just using something you're familiar with the illustrator point so don't let this analogy throat okay right so back to the text. What are some of those things.
Paul says would always work for mastery in our lives to some of you will confuse you like okay when I sin it doesn't feel like I am a slave anything.
It was like under what I wanted bosses yes that's true but you need to look deeper because behind every choice that you make, whether simple or not is a calculation of what you think you need in life to be happy and fulfilled.
And so the motivation behind everything you do is ultimately going to be.
Is this going to help me achieve that happiness and fulfillment of security that that I need I and that's because Paul has explained follow this point you made in Romans one that all of us in our nature. Are worshipers now when I say that sometimes people who are not religious and not me. I'm not a worshiper. I don't see that on anything on my guessable worship is worse about scores not singing it's not going to church worship at its core is when you attach what's this ultimate value to something when it become so important to you that you feel like I couldn't live without that.
Think Paul says whatever that is is going to begin to control your behavior because you're to be willing to do whatever you need to do to get a hold of that think that's why use the word in verse 16. The word offer that you see in verse 16 verse pieces offer. If you are that that's it. That's us religious work. Your offering yourself to this ultimate thing as a means of of of this is what will make me happy and so I want to do what I do so I can get a hold of and hold on to that thing has become is it finally time to break free encouraging teaching here on Senate life with pastor and author JD Greer Pastor JD were back in the book of Romans and I gotta say, it sure has a lot of heavy theology anything can be really intimidating that you and I can pay really is. I didn't preach on the book of Romans for two decades here because I was life, but it also has been one the most rewarding things for me personally over the years and so I thought it's time for me really just trust God and jump into it. The book of Romans change. It really is historically the book that is probably led to moral world transformation since Jesus rose from the dead, and I think any other. I think you can belch historically what we did is we thought it would be better than just listening to sermons when you give your Bible study to go along with that Soviet reports JD grid.com get the first part of you don't have it. Second part of the wake of September for the third part to get these and begin the study along with us deeper into these truths that really can transform your listening study part of the whole thing perfectly using a small group or to study with a friend or mentor by calling 33 586-6524.
Give online Greer.com I'm only minutes serving with us today and even Thursday on 19