Sermon Transcript – The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life

Series A – Second Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, June 22, 2014 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:27grace mercy and
0:29peace to you from God our heavenly
0:30father and our Lord and Savior Jesus
0:32amen I’m going to be preaching this
0:35morning from our epistle text from The
0:38Book of Romans chapter 6. if you
0:40remember back in at the end of Easter I
0:44preached on
0:46Christian suffering and persecution the
0:49week before Easter and thought it would
0:51be better if we did not do that again at
0:55least not so close and so what we’ll be
0:58looking at is Romans chapter 6 and if
1:00you have your Bibles you can follow
1:02along it our text this morning begins in
1:06verse 12 which is kind of a weird place
1:07to start a text therefore do not let sin
1:11reign in your body or Mortal body so
1:13that you do not obey its evil desires
1:15well whenever you see in the Bible the
1:18word therefore it’s best if you stop
1:21slow down and figure out what the
1:22therefore is there for right I mean
1:25because it’s like we’re starting in the
1:26middle of a thought here and what I
1:28thought I would do this morning
1:30is take this occasion in of this text
1:33because it ends so wonderfully with the
1:35verse 23 that says for the wages of sin
1:37is death but but the gift of God is
1:40eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord
1:42boy I can hear that every Sunday
1:45man I can I need to hear that every
1:47Sunday you know because over and over
1:49again you know the trials and
1:52temptations that we Face from the world
1:54our sinful flesh
1:56and it’s every week it just seems like
1:58you know you go through the week you get
2:00knocked around right and you come to
2:03church thinking I am so not worthy
2:07and of course that’s right because the
2:10text says but the gift of God is eternal
2:14life the gift of God is eternal life and
2:17so verse 23 I I think has this wonderful
2:21thing that it does it ends on the right
2:22note but there’s this thing going on in
2:26in the Book of Romans and in the
2:28Christian faith in general when you
2:29preach the real gospel
2:31when you preach that we are saved by
2:34grace alone through faith alone by what
2:36Christ has done alone oftentimes people
2:39hear that and go oh so what you’re
2:42saying is I can go out and sin like
2:46yeah yeah I like to send Jesus life to
2:50forgive sins this is a this is a match
2:52made in heaven right no that’s not how
2:56that works and it’s kind of a category
2:57error and so in order to figure out what
3:00the therefore is therefore in verse 12
3:02we’re going to back up a little bit just
3:04back up a little bit
3:05and if you would take a look back at
3:09Romans chapter 3 and we’ll look at verse
3:129 and I’m going to read through a
3:14portion of this here’s what it says so
3:17what shall we conclude then are we any
3:19better well no not at all
3:22we’ve already made the charge that Jews
3:24and Gentiles now when when the
3:26scriptures talk in the New Testament
3:28about Jews and Gentiles that’s just kind
3:30of code talk for saying everybody
3:32everywhere okay because keep in mind
3:35Paul is a Jew right and in the church in
3:38Rome at this time there are a lot of
3:40Jewish converts to Christianity they
3:42have these are Jews who believe that
3:43Jesus Christ is the Son of God and so
3:46he’s speaking to people who understand
3:48Judaism okay and he’s speaking as one
3:51Jew to another if you would he says so
3:53what should we conclude then are we any
3:55better well no not at all we’ve already
3:57made the charge that Jews and Gentiles
3:59alike are under sin
4:01as it is written there is no one
4:06not even one
4:08there is no one who understands no one
4:10who seeks God all have turned away they
4:13have to cut together become worthless
4:15there is no one who does good not even
4:16one their throat are open Graves their
4:19tongues practice to see the poison of
4:21vipers is on their lips their mouths are
4:23full of cursing and bitterness their
4:24feet are Swift who shed blood rude and
4:26misery mark their ways and the way of
4:28peace they do not know there is no fear
4:30of God before their eyes
4:33and you’re saying does that really
4:35describe me does anyone here think that
4:37doesn’t describe them
4:38if you don’t think this describes you
4:40come see me afterwards we’ll work this
4:42out okay right we’ll work this out
4:44because this describes all of us this is
4:46all of us okay because each and every
4:49one of us was born dead in trespasses
4:52and sins and so the law then it says now
4:55we know that whatever the law says it
4:57says to those who are under the law so
4:59that every mouth may be silenced and the
5:03whole world held accountable to God
5:05therefore no one will be declared
5:08righteous in God’s sight by observing
5:10the law rather through the law comes the
5:14consciousness of sin
5:16all right so when we look in God’s word
5:19and we see these passages like the Ten
5:21Commandments Thou shalt not or you know
5:24how you will have no other gods before
5:26me honor your father and mother you will
5:28not kill you will not covet you will not
5:29steal commit adultery all these right
5:31all right these are this is God
5:33conveying his will for us but then you
5:36look at God’s law and you sit there and
5:38you look at your life and you do do the
5:40little comparison thing and you sit
5:41there and go uh oh
5:46now what right
5:48well see that’s the function of the law
5:50God gave us his law so that we would
5:53become conscious of our sin that’s its
5:57that’s why he gave it he didn’t give it
5:59to us so that we can do this kind of
6:01business transaction where you sit there
6:03and go okay God look at I um I really
6:06liked my wife this week I didn’t quite
6:08love her but I really liked her a lot
6:09that’s close enough right
6:11um I didn’t steal anything I didn’t
6:12murder anybody and I really cut back on
6:15the coveting thing aren’t I good
6:18right you ever think this way I mean
6:21maybe it’s just me okay
6:25and this is how we try to negotiate
6:28things with God okay when you’re doing
6:30that you don’t understand what the law
6:32is saying okay the purpose of the law is
6:35to make you understand you’re not
6:37righteous and you sit there and go but I
6:39don’t like to be told I’m not righteous
6:41get over it
6:43that’s all of us there was only one who
6:45was righteous and that’s Christ and you
6:48can’t understand the gospel until you
6:50understand just how desperately sinful
6:53you are
6:54I mean you don’t need a life coach you
6:57need a savior right
6:59Jesus didn’t come to kind of give you
7:01tips and tricks on how to keep the law
7:03so that you can earn brownie points with
7:06God that’s not what Jesus is about Jesus
7:09came to save you and that salvation is a
7:13gift and you don’t you’re not even
7:15prepared to receive it as a gift until
7:17you understand just how desperately
7:21Wicked you are and that’s what Romans
7:24does here okay so we’re still figuring
7:26out what that therefore is there for now
7:28we know that whatever the law says it
7:30says to those who are under the law so
7:31that every mouth may be silenced the
7:33whole world held accountable to God
7:34therefore no one will be declared
7:36righteous how many people will be
7:38declared righteous before God by keeping
7:39the law
7:41zero okay if you want to try go ahead
7:45knock yourself out things will not go
7:47well for you on the day of judgment
7:48right okay yeah see this is the thing
7:52Jesus came for Sinners and if you ain’t
7:54one of them Jesus ain’t got nothing for
7:55you I know that’s really bad English
7:57okay but you get the point right
8:00but now we read this but now a
8:01righteousness from God apart from the
8:03law has been made known to which the law
8:05and the prophets testify this
8:07righteousness from God comes through
8:10faith in Jesus to all who believe there
8:14is no difference all have sinned and
8:16fall short of the glory of God that
8:18would be all of us right and okay all of
8:22sudden fall short of the glory of God
8:23and are Justified that means to be
8:25declared righteous freely by God’s grace
8:29through the Redemption that came by
8:32Christ Jesus
8:35ah this is why Jesus can hang out with
8:38tax collectors and prostitutes and
8:40really Spirit big spiritual train wrecks
8:43like me and like you right
8:45because he suffered for us and the
8:49gospel is this if you think of it it’s
8:51often described as this Great Exchange
8:53you remember Jesus on the cross remember
8:55that okay
8:57what was he doing on the cross again
9:01he was suffering
9:03for whose sins was Jesus suffering for
9:08his own
9:10he didn’t commit a single sin not one
9:12sin did Jesus commit so why is he up
9:14there suffering and dying because the
9:16wages of sin is death right
9:18well it’s real simple
9:20there’s this exchange that takes place
9:22when we read in Isaiah 53 he was pierced
9:25for our transgressions he was bruised
9:30for our iniquities the chastisement or
9:34the punishment that brings us peace with
9:36God was upon him
9:38so the first half of the Great Exchange
9:41goes like this all of our sin
9:44is given imputed if you would this is
9:47the great big theological term imputed
9:49and put on Christ
9:51right and what does God do with sin he
9:55punishes it
9:56so there’s Jesus on the cross suffering
10:00as The Sinner
10:04and you sit there and go wait a second
10:08should be me
10:10right now
10:13when you are brought to faith in Christ
10:16when God regenerates you and gives you
10:19faith and you trust in Jesus for your
10:22salvation here’s the other half of it
10:24remember Jesus was sinless so he becomes
10:27The Sinner
10:29all of that sinless righteousness that
10:31Jesus had
10:34he gives that to you
10:38by faith
10:39that’s what scripture talks about
10:41talking about the righteousness that
10:43comes by faith not a righteousness that
10:46comes by doing works or doing the law
10:49a righteousness that is completely 100 a
10:52free gift
10:53so that that’s the two halves of the
10:55exchange your sin on Jesus Jesus’s
10:58perfect sinless righteousness on you
11:00which then leads to this kind of
11:02interesting thing are you saying Chris
11:04that God sees me as righteous
11:08it’s exactly what I’m saying
11:11totally righteous now when we we just
11:13prayed here right now I don’t know if
11:15you’ve noticed but we have a little bit
11:17of work to do on the prayer Department
11:18we have some good humble prayers right
11:21but as humble as they are keep this in
11:24mind scripture says the prayer of a
11:27righteous man availeth much now in that
11:30sense man means mankind that includes
11:33men and women right this is the old
11:35school right so the prayer of a
11:37righteous man a veileth much have you
11:39ever stopped to think that is as humble
11:42as the prayers here at Kong’s Winger are
11:44because you are clothed in the
11:46righteousness of Christ your prayers
11:49Avail much
11:52and he said they go really my prayers
11:56well yeah
11:58you’ve been made righteous by faith in
12:02so when you pray
12:05God is attentive to your prayers every
12:08bit as much as he was attentive to the
12:09prayers of Jesus Christ himself
12:12because your clothed in his
12:16this is getting to be some good news
12:18there’s something like major
12:19implications here right okay
12:22so this is what’s going on here
12:25but now all righteousness from God whose
12:28righteousness is it is Christ’s
12:30righteousness it comes from God it’s
12:32apart from the law it has been made
12:34known to which the law and the prophets
12:36they all testify about it and this
12:38righteousness from God comes through
12:39faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe
12:41for there is no difference all have
12:43sinned and fall short of the glory of
12:44God and are Justified that means to be
12:46declared righteous freely by his grace
12:48through the Redemption that came by
12:50Christ Jesus God presented him as a
12:53sacrifice of atonement through faith in
12:56his blood he did this to demonstrate his
12:58Justice because in his forbearance he
13:00had left the sins committed beforehand
13:01unpunished he did this to demonstrate
13:04his Justice at the present time so as to
13:06be just and the one who justifies or
13:09declares righteous Those Who Have Faith
13:11In Jesus well then here comes the
13:13question so where then is boasting
13:16you ever been to a church where people
13:19boast about how holy they are
13:21I used to be like that
13:25but if you understand that salvation is
13:27a free gift for sinners
13:30there’s no boasting there’s no room for
13:32right and here’s what he says so where
13:34then is boasting it’s excluded
13:37there is no boasting on what principle
13:39on that of observing the law no
13:43but on that of faith for we maintain
13:46that a man is Justified there’s that big
13:48word again that means to be declared
13:50righteous a man is justified by faith
13:53apart from observing the law
13:59there’s hope there’s hope for me there’s
14:01hope for you
14:03here’s good news Jesus saves sinners
14:05that’s all of us right and we’re here
14:08today to hear his word and to be
14:10comforted by these promises so now we
14:13can kind of fast forward we got the
14:14gospel worked out here we can fast
14:16forward back to our text and we’ll look
14:18at chapter 6 verse one to get a little
14:20bit of the Fuller context because
14:21remember we’re on this hunt to figure
14:23out what the therefore is there for
14:24right so let’s take a look
14:27chapter 6 verse 1 well what shall we say
14:30then shall we go on sinning so that
14:32Grace may increase
14:36no all right now let me tell you a
14:39little bit uh we’ll do a little bit of a
14:40Roseboro biography here I I’m very
14:43hesitant to do this but I think it helps
14:44illustrate the point of what’s going on
14:46here I was raised in a church where the
14:49gospel was never preached to Christians
14:52what was preached to Christians was law
14:54law and more law and it almost made an
14:57atheist out of me okay and the central
14:59passage in the church that I used to
15:01attend was be ye perfect as your
15:03heavenly father is perfect that’s the
15:04central passage try that one for a few
15:07days and see how depressed you get Okay
15:10and like I said this nearly drove me to
15:13atheism now through a long series of
15:15events I found myself studying Theology
15:17and apologetics at Christ College in
15:19Irvine California which is a Lutheran
15:21institution and I didn’t I knew nothing
15:23about lutherans and I was very shocked
15:25by lutherans their pastors wear dresses
15:27although I’m not wearing a dress today
15:29um you know and they they do this weird
15:31stuff like bowing and people you know
15:33there’s this back and forth in the
15:34Liturgy and stuff like that I didn’t
15:35understand them at all but one of my
15:37professors his name was Dr rod rosenblad
15:39and he kept preaching the gospel to me
15:43tell me how what a miserable sinner he
15:46was and how he pleads the blood of Jesus
15:48and he keeps focusing on the gospel like
15:51it’s something to be preached and heard
15:53every day but when I was when I was in
15:55this other Church the only time I would
15:57hear the gospel was on evangelism Sunday
15:59and the only time it was ever preached
16:01to anybody was when they weren’t a
16:02Christian once you made the decision to
16:04follow Jesus you didn’t need to hear the
16:06gospel anymore you need to get busy and
16:08get to work right the problem was is
16:10that as a teenager I had raging hormones
16:12and and my sinful nature was quite
16:14active right and you sit there going
16:17your sinful nature was active well yours
16:19was too you know and it still is right
16:22let’s be honest
16:24and um and when I heard the gospel over
16:28and over and over again and how
16:30salvation was free and not something I
16:32had to earn I became very suspicious
16:36could this really be really so I went up
16:39to my professor and I said Dr Rosenblum
16:41if I’m hearing you correctly
16:44and I’m not sure if I am
16:47if what you’re saying is true then we
16:49can do whatever we want
16:52right what am I accusing him of I’m
16:55accusing him of teaching that Christians
16:57can just go out and sin like crazy right
16:58that’s really what I’m doing and he
17:00looks at me says well of course Chris
17:02now that you have been set free from sin
17:07what do you want to do
17:11hadn’t thought of it that way
17:13and that’s kind of the category we’re
17:15going to get to in this getting to the
17:16therefore why this therefore is
17:18therefore there right
17:19if you’ve been set free from sin what do
17:21you want to do
17:24and now that comes the major category so
17:26let’s keep reading so what shall we say
17:28then should we go on sinning so the
17:29grace may increase by no means
17:33we died to sin
17:36how can we live in it any longer
17:42okay here’s the important thing
17:45sin in scripture it’s big typological
17:49category is slavery
17:52sin is not something that you’re free to
17:56sin is something that enslaves you and
18:00Christ has come to set you free from
18:05big category difference you remember the
18:07story of Israel in Egypt in slavery with
18:11Pharaoh remember all that story okay
18:13that’s typologically kind of the big
18:17meta narrative that explains what’s what
18:21sin really is sin is bondage sin is
18:24slavery sin is not freedom
18:28and sin ultimately dams
18:34so if Christ sets you free he sets you
18:37free indeed free from what
18:41free from condemnation
18:44free from hell
18:46free from sin itself
18:49so when we talk about the Gospel of
18:51Jesus Christ it is this amazing good
18:54news that God is forgiving Sinners and
18:57setting them free from bondage to sin
19:02believe it or not we keep reading now
19:05or do you not know that all of us who
19:06were baptized into Christ Jesus were
19:08baptized into his death we were
19:10therefore buried with him through
19:12baptism into death and or that just as
19:14Christ was raised from the dead through
19:15the glory of the father we too may live
19:18to New Life
19:19when did we die to sin
19:23says it right there
19:25and we want to Hazard to guess
19:27baptism right
19:29right there
19:31when you were baptized you were baptized
19:33into Christ’s death you therefore have
19:37already died and this isn’t symbol
19:40this is the reality of this notice that
19:43Paul here in writing about this isn’t
19:44saying and when you were baptized it
19:46symbolized that you died no
19:49notice what he says
19:51we died to sin how can we live in it any
19:54longer he said when do we die do you not
19:56know that all of us who were baptized
19:58into Christ were baptized into his death
20:01we were therefore buried with him
20:03through baptism into death that just as
20:05Christ was raised from the dead through
20:06the glory of the father we too may live
20:08a new life if we have been United with
20:11him like this in his death we will
20:13certainly also be United with him in his
20:15resurrection for we know that our old
20:18self was crucified with him so the body
20:21of sin might be done away with that we
20:23should no longer be slaves to sin
20:25because anyone who has died has been
20:28freed from sin
20:33oh so you’re saying that at when I was
20:36baptized I actually died
20:41you were put into Christ’s death and
20:44raised in his resurrection and this is
20:46most certainly true now if we died with
20:50Christ we believe that we will also live
20:52with him for we know that since Christ
20:54was raised from the dead he cannot die
20:57again death no longer has Mastery over
20:58him the death he died he died to sin
21:01once for all but the life he lives he
21:03lives to God so in the same way count
21:06yourselves as dead to sin but alive to
21:10God in Christ Jesus let me give you
21:12another metaphor here okay everybody
21:13knows that when you’re married you’re at
21:15the altar and the priest or the father
21:17or the pastor whoever does the ceremony
21:19says till death do us part right you’re
21:23married as long as you’re alive
21:25okay as soon as one of your as soon as
21:29one of the you know the the partners die
21:31you’re no longer married
21:36okay think of it this way
21:39sin is kind of like that okay
21:43you’re enslaved to sin until you’re dead
21:48and now that you’ve been
21:50killed if you would you’ve died in the
21:53baptismal Waters with Christ
21:55you’re no longer you no longer need to
21:58obey that terrible awful spouse
22:01okay because sin is not a good spouse
22:04very abusive very demanding right and so
22:08now because you have died you can say to
22:12sin I don’t need to obey you go take a
22:14hike I’m going to get a restraining
22:16order against you you can talk like this
22:18to sin I know it seems kind of weird and
22:20you just say go away I’m baptized so
22:23when sin comes knocking on your door you
22:26can say no
22:31is that wonderful
22:33because all of us know that when we say
22:36yes when sin comes knocking we feel
22:42and we should
22:44because we know we sin against Christ
22:48and he’s come to set us free from this
22:52so now we say keep reading in the same
22:55way verse 11 count yourselves dead to
22:58sin but alive to God in Christ therefore
23:00do not let sin reign in your mortal body
23:02so that you obey its evil desires do not
23:04offer the parts of your body to sin as
23:06instruments of wickedness but rather
23:07offer yourselves to God as those who
23:09have been brought from Death to life and
23:13offer the parts of your body to him as
23:15instruments of righteousness for sin
23:18shall not be your master because you are
23:20not under the law but you are under
23:25So What then shall we sin because we are
23:27not under the law but under grace
23:31right and the reason why these questions
23:33are in there is because Paul when he
23:35would preach the gospel these were the
23:37questions he would get from people so he
23:38kind of anticipates him because he had
23:40them okay so you’re saying that because
23:43we’re not under the law but under grace
23:45we can just sin right
23:48no sin equals slavery
23:51Christ has set us free
23:54by no means don’t you know that when you
23:57offer yourselves to someone to obey him
23:58as slaves you are slaves to the one to
24:00whom you obey whether you are slaves to
24:02sin which leads to death or to obedience
24:05which leads to righteousness but thanks
24:06be to God that though you used to be
24:09slaves to sin you wholeheartedly obey
24:12the form of teaching to which you were
24:14entrusted now what does it mean to
24:15wholeheartedly obey the treat teaching
24:17to which you’ve been entrusted what does
24:18that mean you believe the gospel you
24:21believe Jesus died for your sins that
24:24you’re saved by grace through faith as a
24:26gift when you believe that that’s what
24:29it means to obey the gospel that’s what
24:30he’s referring to here so you have been
24:32set free from sin and have become slaves
24:35to righteousness so I put this in human
24:37terms because you are weak in your
24:39natural selves just as you used to offer
24:41the parts of your body in slavery to
24:43impurity and to ever increasing
24:44wickedness so now offer them in slavery
24:47to righteousness which leads to Holiness
24:49when you were slaves to sin you were
24:52free from the control of righteousness
24:53but what benefit did you reap from that
24:56at that time from the things that you
24:57are now ashamed of those things result
25:00in death but now that you have been set
25:03free from sin and have become slaves to
25:07God the benefit you reap leads to
25:09Holiness and the result is eternal life
25:12for the wages of sin is death
25:15but the free gift of God is eternal life
25:17in Christ Jesus our lord
25:20you see how that works
25:23the gospel truly is good news it’s good
25:26news because not only is our standing
25:28before God secure because of everything
25:30that Christ has done and our Salvation
25:32is given to us as a gift but the
25:34ramifications of that gift impact
25:37everything because when we’re baptized
25:39we’re we die with Christ and now
25:43we can live in righteousness and tell
25:47sin to go take a hike
25:49and these things are encouraging to us
25:52but keep this in mind
25:54walking this out day by day will be a
25:57challenge because you still have a
25:58sinful nature that’s what Romans 7 is
26:00all about if you want to read about that
26:02it sounds kind of schizophrenic Paul
26:03goes on to say that well the things I
26:05want to do I don’t do but the things I
26:06don’t want to do I keep doing them who’s
26:08going to save me from this body of death
26:09right but thanks be to God that there’s
26:12no condemnation for those who are in
26:14Christ Jesus so here and now we
26:17Christians have two Natures warring with
26:20each other the new regenerate nature
26:22that has been given to us and made alive
26:24in the waters of baptism and our old
26:26sinful nature which clings to us in
26:28battles against it which makes living
26:30the Christian Life seem like
26:31schizophrenia at times right
26:34but thanks be to God there’s no
26:35condemnation Christ has set us free from
26:38that and he’s ultimately set us free
26:40from bondage to sin and when he appears
26:43in glory to judge the living and the
26:45dead he will raise us up again in new
26:48bodies and we will be with him forever
26:51and ever and ever World Without End new
26:54Heavens new Earth new bodies no sin the
26:58way it should have been all along and
27:00all of this is given to us as a gift and
27:04received and held onto and clung to by
27:07faith don’t let anyone take that away
27:09from you or make you pay for the gift
27:12that God has given you right it’s all
27:15free that’s all in Jesus because the
27:17wages of sin is death but the free gift
27:19of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
27:21Is Our Lord in the name of Jesus Amen
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