Today, we’re concluding our message series “Extravagant Grace” with the message “Freed by Grace.” Oftentimes, we think of grace only with respect to being saved. But God’s grace is not just for salvation. The grace of God is available for us to live our lives as believers. Today, we’re going to be talking about how the grace of God can set us free from all bondage to sin.
John 8:36 (ESV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Jesus, the Son came to set you free, free to live the way God created you to live. Every person on this planet is either a slave to sin or has been set free from sin. Every unbeliever is a slave to sin, whether they know it or not. Every believer in Jesus Christ has been set free from sin. Jesus makes this clear in …
John 8:34 (ESV) Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
To practice sin is to willfully and habitually make a habit of sinning. Those who practice sin are slaves to sin. Sin has them in bondage. As believers, we have been set free from sin. Yet, our enemy, Satan, seeks to tempt us to return to slavery to sin. He often seeks to enslave us with various sinful habits that act as chains in our lives. Habits that keep us from all the blessings that God has for us.
Galatians 5:1 (ESV) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Here we see again, that the believer has been set free by Jesus to live in freedom. Yet, this verse commands us to stand firm in our freedom. We are to resist submitting again to the bondage of slavery to sin. This is not a hypothetical warning, God’s Word does not warn us against things that could never happen. If a believer doesn’t stand firm in freedom, they could indeed be ensnared in bondage to sin again.
Today, we’re going to learn more about how Jesus sets us free from sin, so that we can live for Him. As we walk in freedom, God wants to use us to set others free as well. Both unbelievers, who need to find freedom for the first time. And God wants us to help believers walk in freedom and not be tempted back to slavery to some sort of habitual sin.
So, we’re going to looking mostly at Romans chapter 6 this morning. We’re going to see the facts of what is true of every believer by God’s grace. Then see what we must to in order to stay in and grow in freedom. Finally, what benefits freedom opens up for us as believers. So, let’s get started.
How you and I think, how we perceive ourselves is very important in how we live our lives. This is true in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm. What does this phrase “dead to sin” mean? When you’re dead to something, you don’t respond to it, you don’t follow it, you don’t submit to it. When you’re dead to sin …
Romans 6:6-7 (ESV) 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.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, our old self, the old self from our unbelieving past was also crucified and is therefore dead. Therefore, as a believer, we are no longer enslaved to sin. Sin has no control over us. We are dead to sin and therefore have been set free from sin. Does that mean that we will never sin again? The answer is No, we may sin again, but we don’t have to, we are not a slave to sin. Not only are we dead to sin, we have been …
Romans 6:8-9 (ESV) Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Just as the old self was crucified with Jesus and is now dead, we have been raised to new life in Christ’s resurrection. We have been born again. Just as Jesus will never die again, he lives eternally, so we too have eternal life as believers. Death has no dominion over Jesus and sin has no power over us. Let’s talk about the practical application of these truths.
Paul begins Romans 6 by speaking of water baptism. Water baptism in the Bible is always believer’s baptism by immersion. Infant baptism is not biblical. Water baptism by immersion then symbolizes or pictures the spiritual truths that God’s Word is teaching here. In baptism, the new believer is completely immersed under the water. This pictures and represents the believer being united with Christ in His death and burial. As the believer is brought back up out of the water, the picture is of Christ rising from the dead and represents the new birth of the believer. So, water baptism then illustrates the death of the old self or old man to sin. And the raising to new life of the new man, the believer in Christ, no longer controlled by sin.
Water baptism does not save a person, a person is saved through faith in Christ. Yet water baptism is commanded by Jesus and carries a blessing as we obey. It gives us a memory point of our obedience to Christ and our death to sin. If you are a believer, but have never been baptized by immersion since becoming a believer, I’d encourage you to obey Christ’s command to be baptized. You can sign up on your Connect Card. As we yield to God’s command to be baptized, so we must then yield our lives to God.
Since we as believers are dead to sin, according to God’s Word, we must yield ourselves, not to sin but to God. You might say, I’m supposed to be dead to sin, but I’m still tempted every day. Sometimes, I’m very alive to sin and give into temptation. What am I to do?
First of all, you’re not alone. Everyone of us is tempted on a daily basis in various ways. Secondly, rather than just trying to say No to sin, we must say Yes to God by yielding our lives to Him on a daily basis. This begins by …
Romans 6:11 (ESV) So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
We must begin to train ourselves to think and speak according to the truth of God’s Word, whether we feel like it or not. So, let’s say together “I am dead to sin and alive to God.” Again. When you are tempted think and say “I am dead to sin and alive to God.” The battle begins and is won in your thought life. As you grow in considering yourself dead to sin and alive to God, you will sin less and less. The second aspect of yielding to God, rather than to sin is to …
Romans 6:13-14 (ESV) 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. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
To yield to God is to present your members to God and not to sin. What are our members? Our members are our body parts, such as our mouths, our ears, our eyes, our hands, our feet, our brains, our hearts and everything else. Those members can do things such as talk, look at, listen to, create, walk, think, feel and so on. They can be used as instruments either for Satan or for God. We are to consciously present ourselves and our members to God regularly, I would say on a daily basis. Another way of understanding being dead to sin and alive to God is to …
Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
We are to present our bodies or members as a living sacrifice. This imagery is of an Old Testament sacrifice of an animal on an altar. The animal was a dead sacrifice. We are to be living sacrifices, we offer ourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God. Our bodies are to be holy, used only by God. This presentation of ourselves as a sacrifice is an act of worship. Yield yourself to God in these ways.
Our thoughts and words, both internal and external, have an astounding impact on our lives. What you think about, what you speak to yourself, what you speak about yourself to others will determine the course of your life. If you think and speak of being unable to break a sinful habit in your life, you will never be free of it. Now, I’m not saying that you can break these habits in your own strength, but if you yield yourself to God as He commands, He will set and keep you free. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
As a believer, yield yourself to God on a daily basis. Yield the members of your body that get you in trouble. Maybe it’s your mind that keeps thinking negative, depressing thoughts. Or it’s your eyes that look at things they shouldn’t be looking at. Or maybe its your mouth that gets you in trouble with others. Yield them to God, present yourself to God and use what He has given you for godly purposes.
The grace of God is there to forgive your sin, to make you a new creation and to give you the power to live in increasing freedom every day. You can …
Romans 6:15-16 (ESV) What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
The freedom that grace brings is not a freedom to do whatever you want to do. It is a freedom first of all from sin. Some in Paul’s day and today, have taken the truth of being saved by grace and have actually fallen away from God. Some would say, since I don’t have to keep the law, God’s commands in order to be saved, it really doesn’t matter what I do. I can sin as much as I want and God’s grace will just forgive me.
The verses clearly tell us that if a person presents or yields themselves to sin, they become a slave of sin. Being a slave of sin leads to eternal death. Living in freedom from sin means that we must …
Romans 6:17-18 (ESV) But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
Let’s just think for a minute about what it means to be a slave. A slave is owned by a master. The slave obeys all the master’s commands. A slave obeys only one master and answers to no one else. Everyone is either a slave of sin or a slave of righteousness, that is a slave of God. To be a slave of sin is terrible thing leading ultimately to spiritual death and hell. To be a slave to God is a wonderful thing, leading to eternal life with God. We should be filled with thanksgiving that Jesus Christ has set us free from sin, sot that we can be servants of the most high God. We are set free by grace.
Many people think that they are free to act anyway that they want. They think that they are in charge of their lives. Yet, God’s Word has taught us this morning that everyone is a slave, either to sin and Satan or to righteousness and God. Those who think they are free to do whatever they want are in fact in bondage to sin. They need to find freedom from sin in Christ Jesus.
Those who have been set free from sin by grace and free not to do our own thing, but to obey our Lord and Master, Jesus. If you are a believer here this morning, but still struggling with besetting sins, God wants to set you free. Our Living Free group on Thursday nights can help you walk in God’s freedom. We encourage you or those you know to consider attending.
To walk in freedom, we must understand and truly believe that we are dead to sin. We must yield ourselves to God on a daily basis, training our thoughts to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. Grace sets us free from being slaves of sin to being slaves of God. True freedom comes from serving the Lord Jesus and His plan for your life.