Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pentecost 3 - Proper 7

Romans and the Reformation 
A Series of Sermons Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation 

25 June – Proper 7 – Romans 6:12-23
We are now slaves to righteousness

We now enter into a new section of Paul’s letter to the Romans. (6:1-7:6) Paul begins with a discussion. He speaks of the nature of the power of the Gospel. Paul leads to assertions of the reality of the reconciliation and its peace even in the midst of affliction. 

Christ is always there for you. Even in your darkest hours. Even when you feel like there is no help left. Put your trust in Him. And he will lift you in His arms.  Even in the midst of your darkest hours. Christ remains present.  You can even glory in you weakness. For when you are weak. You are made strong by the power of Christ.  This change happens. Because of the sacramental effected change of lordship, Which has taken place in your baptism. You are not your own. You now belong to Christ.  

Delivered from sin and death, you now live before God in the righteousness of Christ.

1. The outcome of sin is death

A. "For the wages of sin is death," This we can see all around us. Common to human experience is the death of a loved one. Be they friend, family or other. We have all experienced grief loss and sadness. Yet Paul would remind us if the master is sin then we already know the outcome. It is only death. Death is the payment and the reward of sin. Paul uses a military term for wages. It refers to a soldier's daily pay. (opsonia)

B. And over against those wages is "the free gift of God" which is "eternal life in Jesus Christ."  The word "free gift" has buried in it the word grace. (charis) God's grace is the final word once again!

2. He has set you free.

A. From the slavery of sin, death, and the power and realm of Satan. And where does this freedom come from? It comes in your baptism. The place where the Father names you as His own dear child. And not because of what you have attained. Accomplished. Bought. Or achieved. This freedom comes to you simply because God has chosen to love you and adopt you as His own.

B. And has now brought you “from death to life." Because you have died to sin you have been raised to newness of life in Christ. No longer does sin reign over you. You now live in the light of your union with Christ. 

3. You are now a new person. Created in Christ Jesus.

A. No longer are you under the law. In Christ you died to sin. In Christ you were raised to newness of life. And thus you now live a new and different life in and through Him.

B. Now you live "under grace."   Because you have died to sin you have been raised you newness of life in Christ. Rather than presenting you bodies as servants of sin we now present our bodies as instruments of righteousness.

     1. Sin will have no dominion over you.
     2. Since you are no longer under law.
             a. The law always accuses. 
             b. The law always destroys.  

4.  Hope for today and tomorrow

A. Such is your courage in the face of those "who kill the body but cannot kill the soul."  Do not be afraid to speak clearly and openly what Christ has taught you. Be courageous to speak the truth of Scripture clearly and openly for all to hear even if it appears unpopular or dangerous. 

B. Although "you will be hated by all" maligned by the world for name of Christ. Any mistreatment for speaking the truth clearly and openly is not some unexpected, Accidental. Random, Meaningless experience. (Matthew 10:22, 25) That is just the way the world treated Christ. It is a sign that you belong to Christ. It's a sign that you are a part of His household. (See Hebrews 13:8) don't be afraid of the names they call you. Those very names. Bind you to Christ. 

C. You abide in the care of Christ.  Fear not. Your Father will not let anything happen to you apart from His gracious will. You are of more value than many sparrows. Not one of them will fall without your Father's will. No harm will befall you but what your Father Wills. If God has work for you to do you cannot die! 

So I appeal to you. Do not yield to the spirit of this age. Love the truth . What you learn of Christ in the closet speak in the light. What you hear in the Scriptures proclaim from the housetop. You need not fear the face of any man. You are in Christ.   

Words – 820
Passive Sentences –7% 
Readability –88.1%
Reading Level – 3.2
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Image of "death" taken from my goddaughter's blog and Facebook post

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