TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Romans 6:15-23
BOTTOM LINE: We Can’t Serve 2 Masters! We will either Serve Self or Christ!
QUESTION: The Grace of God has allowed the complet Victory In-Christ to be experienced in our lives, and yet we still have this tension. Flesh vs. Christ! Self-Sufficiency vs. Christ Sufficiency! What will we choose?
I remember teaching the girls to drive … and I’ll be honest, for my girls, learning to drive started in a Golf Cart long before it began in a vehicle, and I’m not sure which of the girls it was, but I said to her, Ok, you just use this wheel to turn, the little pedal on the right to go and the bigger pedal on the left to stop. That’s all there is to it.
And she looked up at me and said Dad … seriously … there’s way more to it than that!
And in one sense, she was right. I mean those are the main essentials for sure, but there’s a lot more to driving a vehicle than just knowing about the 2 pedals & the steering wheel. And it takes some time and experience to learn how to do it.
Romans 6:1-14 is a lot like that. Last week, we dove into these first 14 verses, and honestly, we find all we need to know about experiencing the Abundant Life. But it’s a journey isn’t it?
Starting in verse 15, Paul begins this process of trying to explain these truths in a way we can understand. Perhaps, some Practical Application so to speak, and 1 by 1, he tries to tackle some of the key challenges we experience when we’re living life In-Christ.
in verse 15, it’s not should we continue or abide in sin … but now that we have exchanged our life w/ Jesus, should we even sin ONCE now that we are no longer under the Law but under Grace?
And again, like I said last week, I’m not sure why I’m so stinking hard-headed to keep trying to find victory in my old-self, and in my old-battery, when I’ve had a taste of victory in Christ.
And what I have a tendency to do is to really want to draw near to God and really tap into His Power on the BIG THINGS in my life, but then the rest of the time, if I’m not careful, I just sort of put on those comfortable shoes of my Flesh and rest on that.
- The ENSLAVING POWER of Sin
One of the things we discover is that man was made to be mastered by something, we need a cause. in fact, when we’re not aware of a cause in our life, worthy of the effort, we tend to wander and flounder around don’t we?
And in life, there are really only 2 possible Masters: CHRIST & SELF. We’re going to serve 1 or the other. Everything we do relates to 1 or the other.
- The EVIL EFFECTS of Sin
Paul dials into another pretty important question here … When you lived for yourself, what were the results like in your life? Or, as my good friend Bill Loveless says to me all the time, How’s that working for you?
Truth is, initially, when I live for myself, there’s often initial pleasure in Sin isn’t there? We often enjoy them. It’s why we are continually drawn to them.
But truthfully … when we get to the other side of the Sin, what is the result? And for me, it’s often emptiness … misery … grief … struggle … unrest … lack of Joy … shame.
And what’s crazy, is Paul’s like, Ken, do you think now that you’ve exchanged your life w/ Christ, and been restored and made new [in the image of God] that if you still permit your Flesh to live when God says it has no right to live, do you REALLY think it’s going to produce a different result than it did before?
Do you think God is going to somehow protect you from your own choice to live from your Flesh instead of Him?
Some of us … our greatest struggle is the natural gifting and success God has allowed us to experience at times isn’t it?
- Great personality
- Handsome face
- Gifted Communicator
- Gifted at your trade … numbers, writing, leading people, etc…
… and completely apart from Christ, we can climb our way to the top … and win the approval and success ratings of many …
Such a picture of that phrase we’ve heard so often … how our greatest weakness can be our greatest strength.
We don’t get to plug His Life into our Program and Structure … and here in Romans 6 … Paul is pleading w/ us to make sure we see the difference …
- The Enslaving Power of Sin in our lives.
- The Evil Effects of Sin in our lives.
… and the victory that’s already been won over both!