6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 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. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Some might say that believing in Jesus is taking the easy way out. "All we have to do is believe in Jesus", they say. They think that this means that if I just believe in Jesus, that he died on the cross for me and rose from the dead so I can live forever, then I can do whatever I want. I can go commit crimes, cheat on my wife, and be a glutton as much as I want.
This couldn't be further from the truth. The whole reason Christ had to suffer and die in the first place was to pay the penalty for our sin. To think that we can just go do whatever our sinful nature desires is like a dog going back to his own vomit, or like a drug addict going back to his drug after he has just announced that he is clean. We died to sin! Why would we continue to live in it?
The biggest part of confession and repentance is our disgust and shame from our sin. We don't like it. We don't want to do it. We want to turn from it. It is our desire and our want that makes repentance true and real. True repentance comes from the heart and God sees straight to the heart.
Certainly we can't repent of and overcome every sin in this life. We will always have sin in our lives. That doesn't mean we should just give in to sin or, even worse, like it. It doesn't mean that we should live our lives free TO sin.
It means that we live our lives free OF sin. We died to it, means that it is no longer an acceptable part of our lives and should be confessed, repented, and fought against. Our sins should be shoved right back down the devil's throat. They should be left at the cross and not picked up again.
And so we live in this continual, conflictual state as both saint and sinner at the same time. We are saints by virtue of our baptisms into Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us, and we are sinners by virtue of these sinful human bodies that we still live in until the day of our death or the day of judgment, whichever comes first.
So we pray "COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS!" so we can be free of these bodies. Until then we have patience and peace as we continually pray "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with Your FREE spirit. Amen
Wed- Choir 7pm
Thurs- Alzheimers Group 1pm
Sat- worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45; Elder's Meeting Noon; High School Youth Bible Study and Pizza @ Church 5pm
Acolyte- 8:30- Dawn Sherman; 11- John Pezold
Ushers- Allan Dreyer, Lew Feldkamp, Kent Jacobsmeyer, Paul Klovver
Altar- Set up- Marilyn Foster and Sue Ruhl; Clean up- Wanda Turnure
Elders- Sat- Steve Robine; 8:30- John Hachtel; 11-Dave Winter
Greeters- 8:30- Tom and Pam Linke; 11- Doug and Ruth Walters
Lay readers- Zach Hoelscher; Hannah Johnson
Sat. Pianist- Kathy Barrow
Organist- Rachel Fisher
YESTERDAY'S BIBLE QUIZ: Why does the Bible say that God chose Noah to build the ark? Here's Pat King's answer:
Noah was chosen because he was the most righteous man on earth.(Genesis 7:1)
He 'walked faithfully with God' (Genesis 6:9NIV)
He was a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5 NIV)
He showed 'godly fear' (respect) and faith (Hebrews 11:7ASB)
(Note: Someone else better start answering, because Pat is going to be gone for a couple weeks on a trip.)