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Pastor Brant Seacrist

February 18, 2018

"FROM JUSTIFICATION TO SANCTIFICATION"

TEXT: Romans 6: 1-7
READING:  1 Peter 2: 1-25

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SUBJ: The fact of being dead to sin put into practice as we are to live in Christ and unto Christ in full identity with both His death and His risen life.

AIM: That we might consciously labor against any thought in us or in others as that there is any rationalization for sin.

INTR: Paul at this point presses the argument for the pursuit of holiness as opposed to any idea that sin might be accepted by us in that God so intensely hates it.
1. The matter of justification is a settled issue at this point in the presentation of Paul to the Romans as he would lay down the foundations for the believing life.
2. The tendency of men is to look for ways to minimize the impact on their worldly approach to things and Paul very firmly addresses such a possibility.
3. He would therefore bring the fact of a sanctified life into view here as the intended outcome of the work of grace in true believers leaving none with an excuse for sin; it rather that he would point to the spiritual logic after the example of what Christ has done.

THESIS: The blood of Christ has fully accounted for the issue of the sins of His people. The validation of that accounting is seen in a life lived before God unto Christ Jesus our Lord giving evidence thereby of the eternal work of the Holy Spirit.

I. An absurdity refuted (vv. 1-2)
1. Paul often anticipated an attempt by men to put a warped interpretation on some precious Gospel Truth.
1) Here the preposterous idea is that since grace abounded where sin abounded that somehow sin was the source of abounding grace.
2) To most, this will immediately appear as what it is – an attempt to rationalize sin by proposing that more sin just makes grace look good.
2. In fact, grace is manifested against sin, but “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
1) Certainly, it is grace that is the efficient cause in our justification and our forgiveness and
2) It is grace that enables the manifestation of a sanctified life
3) There is no place for presumption on the grace of God: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Psalms 19:13.
3. Paul countered this abhorrent thought with the strongest of terms: God Forbid!
1) The thought here of being dead to sin is a clear reference to justification and so appeals to what the blood of Christ has accomplished.
2) The thought that it produces the idea in any that, since we are justified, further sin doesn’t matter us repulsive to all who love mercy.
3) The thought that we should live under the rule of that which Christ has delivered us from is an insult to Him and His work.

II. A precious truth illustrated, and an ordinance explained (vv. 3-6)
1. Employing the manner of Christ and others for emphasis sake, Paul poses a question:
1) Do you know what happened at the cross and do you remember what you testified to when you were baptized?
2) Remember Paul’s declaration that he was crucified with Christ. Compare: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
3) The fact is that we were in Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection and so brought us from death unto life – we were dead in trespasses and sins!
4) The experience of the believer in coming to Christ and being baptized into Christ in regeneration answers to what He has done.
2. This does not set aside the need for water baptism as picturing both what He has endured and conquered and so the directive is everywhere stated or implied.
3. Further in importance is that submitting to water baptism depicts what has occurred in the experience of the believer. Dying to an old life, being buried and raising to “walk in newness of life.”
1) This is the answer to justification in that our lives are made to be distinct and lived with purpose in Christ Jesus.
2) The words are strong in that this is in the “likeness of His death” and the “likeness of His resurrection.”
4. An important thing to know: