Sunday School Material 7-31-16: From Death to Life





(Romans 6:1-4, 12-14, 17-23; 7/31/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers are called to live as slaves to God, not sin. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live as slaves to God, not sin.

Body:

Read Romans 6:1-4, 12-14

I. Death and Life. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how being justified doesn’t mean that we should simply waddle in sin. Baptized believers are called to live as those who have died to sin and now live a resurrected life unto God.

They are called to keep sin from reigning in any part of their bodies. They are to offer every part of their bodies to the Lord.

Applications –

- Ready to answer. Notice in vss. 1-2 of our Sunday School material that Paul anticipated a question about sin, and he responded to it. In like manner, as we minister to people, there is some value in anticipating some issues and having a ready response.

When we don’t respond to reasonable questions in an effective way, it hurts our attempt to win people over to living by God’s will. Let’s work on being ready for reasonable questions.

- Baptized believers. Notice in vss. 2-4 that Paul explains the symbolism of water baptism. In water baptism, we symbolically die with Christ to sin, when we are dipped down in the water.

When we come up out of the water, we are symbolically resurrected with Christ to live according to God’s will.

Notice that there is no salvation in the water. In fact, if a person is not saved and have a made up mind to live by God’s will, the baptism is little more than a person getting wet. Let’s work on living as baptized believers.

- The reign of sin. Notice in vss. 12-14 that Paul wants his readers to move from letting sin reign in their lives to offering their lives to God, as instruments of righteousness.

First, there is a difference between having some sin in our lives and letting sin reign in us. When it “reigns” we don’t even try to avoid it, get rid of it, or at least manage it. We just accept it as what we do.

Thus, there is a difference between someone who is trying to stop smoking and the one who simply accepts it as what they do.

Second, we are not forced but urged to offer ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness. The reason the “decision” of discipleship is so important is because we are free to choose between right and wrong.

Third, to be an instrument of righteousness is to live by God’s word, the Bible. The need to prayerfully study and obey the Bible should be obvious. Let’s work on being instruments of righteousness, instead of allow sin to reign in our lives.

Read Romans 6:17-23

II. Sin and Righteousness. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how baptized believers are free from sin. However, they are now called to be slaves of righteousness and God.

The result of offering one’s self to sin was death. But the result of offering one’s self to God is holiness and eternal life.

Applications –

- Slaves to sin. Notice in vs. 17 that Paul’s readers used to be slaves to sin. First, before we got saved, we were all slaves of sin. We were sinning and on our way to Hell.

Second, those who are not saved are slaves to sin. Think about how many of your loved ones are not saved. And then think about how hot Hell is. Let’s be so thankful for being freed from being slaves of sin that we help others get saved from sin as well – evangelism.

- Effective communication. Notice in vs. 19that Paul used an example from everyday life because of who he was talking to. In like manner, as we minister to people, we should speak in ways that make it easy for people to understand us.

First, there are too many people who use a church jargon that the world is a little confused by. Terms such as discipleship, edification, sanctification, and others often need to be broken down or explained.

Second, there are too many people who don’t know how to explain even basic ideas to others.

This is why we make such a big deal out of the Membership Orientation material at SBC (i.e., scriptures as well as questions and answers related to Bible, salvation, discipleship, and church).

Let’s work on being effective communicators. Illustrations or comparisons from the everyday life of those we are talking to can be very helpful.

- Slaves to God. Notice in vss. 18-23 that Paul urges his readers to be slaves to righteousness and God, instead of slaves to sin.

First, there are those who say that they are “free from the law” and then behave as if they are free to do whatever “they” want to do. Some are bold enough to say that “I am grown. I can do what I want to do.”

Second, God never planned for us to be free to simply do what we want to do. We don’t know what to do. Our ways are so limited and often polluted by the world that we live in.

Third, God wants to be free from slavery to sin, so we can be slaves to Him. He wants us to be slaves to loving Him with all that we have and loving others, as we love ourselves.

Fourth, whereas being a slave to sin leads to death, being a slave to God and righteousness leads to eternal life. Eternal life is so much better than death.

Let’s work on being slaves to God, instead of slaves to sin. A measure of how well we are doing with this application is how well we continue to serve God, when we are upset with people and don’t feel like serving.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living as slaves to God, not sin. God has much for those who obey His will.

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