Before & After Obedience
By Bobby Blakey on February 26, 2023
Before & After Obedience
By Bobby Blakey on February 26, 2023
I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to Romans chapter 6. We're going to conclude our study of this chapter of Scripture, Romans 6:15-23. Hopefully this will be a great encouragement to you as we as we conclude this chapter. So, Romans 6. I'm going to read from verse 15, all the way to verse 23. And I want to invite everybody, once you get there, to stand back up for the public reading of Scripture. This is the Word of God. And so, let's give this our full and undivided attention. Please follow along, as I read.
“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please have your seat. And one of the things we have learned, in Romans chapter 6 we're calling it this sanctification two-step. And it's right there in verse 19. So if you weren't with us last week, Romans 6:19, reviews what we learned last week when it says right halfway through verse 19, “For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” So, we got to step away from the sin that used to define us, we got to step away from our temptations. And we’ve need to take a step of obedience, we need to present ourselves to God and present our members to righteousness, a step away from sin, and a step towards presenting ourselves righteous to God. That's what we learned to do. Now, this passage is going to give us the big picture, why we're doing this, and it's going to give us some encouragement, so you can actually go and obey Jesus this week. So, we're talking about your obedience, and we're going to learn what God has done before your obedience, and after your obedience. But look back at verse 19. Because it says, “I'm speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations.” I'm just telling you that what this passage is going to say is going to be hard for some of us to hear, it's going to be hard for us to really accept because it's spiritual a reality. So, it's hard for us to comprehend them also, because, honestly, we're just proud, and it's going to be hard for us to hear what this Scripture is really saying, because we want to believe that we are in control of our own lives, and we can do whatever we want to do. And that's not what the Bible is teaching you here today.
Go back to Romans 6:15. Now, let's go through this whole passage here together and notice how he starts with a question, just like he started with back in Romans 6:1. Let me see if you all remember. Let me ask you, “shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” “By no means!” Excellent, right. Well, notice, look, now he says, are we to sin because we are not under law, but under grace? Same answer, absolutely not. Okay. Under Law means you think it's based on your own works, that you're going to get righteous. Well, no, we know there's no works of the law are that we can be justified, we're only justified by faith in the work that Jesus has done for us. So, if we're not under law, and we're under God's grace that he gave us the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord, well, since it's not about what I do, should I now just do whatever I want? No, by no means. And in fact, verse 16 is the part where it's going to be hard for us to really hear this sermon. It says, “Do you not know?” And this is the same format I used earlier. So earlier, it was very personal that you had been placed into Christ. Now he wants to look at it as a little bit more of a big picture, and he says, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,” and then look at this line, underline this, circle “as you are slaves of the one whom you obey.” Yes, everybody is a slave today because you're obeying some authority, some power beyond yourself. You are either a slave of sin, that's going to lead you to death, or, look what it goes on to say, “you are a slave of obedience, which leads to righteousness.”
So, we’ve got a handout there in your bulletin, if you want to jot down some notes. Point number one: Every one of us is a slave to who we obey. Every one of us is a slave to who we obey. And if you don't like that idea that you are a slave, I completely understand. That's not a way that we think. You might want to reject that. You might want to think of yourself as independent. After all, we are Americans, and this is the land of the free; we have a very bad connotation with slavery in our nation. So, this idea of being a slave might grate against you when you first hear it. But you're either listening to your own body and you're doing what sin is telling you to do, or you're now listening to the Lord Jesus Christ, and you're living to obey him. You are not just some independent operator in the universe. You are a slave to who you obey. And maybe you're thinking, I'm not a slave. I've been set free, I'm free at last. I'm free. Indeed, I'm not a slave. They don't tell us here at church we’re slaves. We've been set free. No, look what it actually says there in Romans 6:18. It says, “having been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.” You have a better master now than you used to, but you are still a slave is what he's teaching us here in Romans chapter 6.
And so go with me to John 8:31. Let's go hear Jesus teach us about this, because I know this is going to be hard for us to hear. So, let's hear what Jesus had to say about being free in John 8:31. Okay, and Jesus is talking to a bunch of Jews here who are saying they believe in him. Hey, Jesus, we believe you're the Messiah. We like your teachings; we want to follow you. So, they're saying they believe in Jesus. This is John 8:31. So Jesus said to the Jews, who had believed in it, so these are people saying, okay, Jesus, we're in, we believe. “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you,” what everybody? Free! See, we like that. The truth sets me free. I like that. But look at what their answer is. And I wonder if this might be some of our answer here today. They answered him. “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say you will become free?” See, this is classic right here. Jesus is trying to share with people good news, and people are insulted by the premise of the good news. Hey, I want to set you free. Why are you, why am I a prisoner? Who am I? Who am I enslaved to? Why do I need to be free, people? Here's like a great offer, the truth, everybody, I'm here to tell you today that the truth will set you free. And we're going to see in a second, he who the son has said free is free indeed. You could be free. I don't need to be set free. I'm not a slave to anybody. Like these are the Jews saying they've never been enslaved to anyone when one of the most famous stories in the history of planet Earth is when they were slaves in Egypt, and God delivered them through ten plagues, and Moses led them through the Red Sea on dry ground. What do you mean you were never slaves to anyone? That's not factual. That's just a feeling that they have. See, here we are in America, the land of the free. Yeah, that is after we fought a war with the British. Right? I mean, we see people, we have this pride, we have this independence, we want to be our own boss. What the Bible is telling you today, you never have been your own boss; you used to have a really terrible boss. Now you have a really awesome boss. That's what the Scripture is here to say. And if you don't accept the premise, if you're like, I'm already free, I don't need to be delivered, I don't need to be set free, well, see, then you'll be like these Jews here. And look how this conversation goes. Romans John 8:34, Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you,” which is what Jesus says when he's going to say something that's hard to hear. It's hard to believe. But he wants you to know he front-loads that he wants you to know this is the truth. “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” If you're living a lifestyle of sin, okay, a practice of sin. This isn't talking about someone, they sin and then they repent and turn away from the sin. This is talking about someone, they sin, they feel bad, they're sorry, and then they sin again. In fact, they keep on doing that sin, that sin is their practice, that sin is there a walk, it's their lifestyle. If you keep on doing that sin, even you know what's wrong, even you feel bad, but you keep doing it, you want to know why you make a practice of that sin, because that sin has power and authority over you, you are a slave to that sin. So, you don't think you need to be set free.
Now, one of the first things we all need to agree on is that we were born into sin, and sin reigned over us, and we were all slaves, doing things maybe we didn't even want to do them sometimes. But we literally couldn’t stop ourselves because we were slaves of sin. And he goes on to say, John 8:35, “the slave does not remain in the house forever, but the Son remains forever.” So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed, he said. So, Jesus here, he says, you’re going to be free of your slavery to sin, the Son will set you free. You'll really be free if you remain in the truth. The truth will really set you free. But these people, who claim to believe in Jesus, look what he's saying to them by verse 42. Everybody, look at John 8:42. He's saying, you're either under somebody, or you're under somebody else, look at how Jesus says. This is intense. John 8:42-47, Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
So, Jesus says you're a slave of sin, but his truth can set you free. And then he kind of switches the analogy to be you’re a son. And okay, son sounds better than slave, but here are your two options for father, either God is your Father in heaven, or Satan is your Father, Jesus says. And he looks at these people who claim to believe in him and he says, you’re of your father, the devil. He's saying everybody's got a father; there's a spiritual realm beyond our natural limitations, beyond what we can see. Beyond the wallpaper of time and space there is a spiritual realm. And there are fallen angels, we refer to them as demons; and the leader of the fallen angels is the devil, Lucifer, Satan, and there's some kind of battle going on between the angels and the demons and Satan. He's blinding people, so they can't see what's really going on. And if you think you're in control of your own life, Jesus is saying, you're of your father, the devil, that everybody has some kind of power or authority over them in the spiritual realm. This is hard. Jesus knows this is hard to hear. He says, there's only one way you can really agree that you are a slave of sin. And there's only one way you can really agree that Jesus can set you free and that's if God's opened your eyes, if God's given you the ability to hear. God has to do this work in you so you can really get what's really going on in the universe.
And so, maybe some people, even here this morning, you might not like hearing that you would be a slave of whom you obey. But we need to see here today that is definitely what Paul is saying in Romans 6. That's definitely what Jesus is saying right here that all of us are obeying somebody. And you’ve got to make sure you're obeying God, not the devil. You don't want to be a slave of sin. You want to be able to obey God from the heart.
Go back to Romans chapter 6, because that's where it goes, now that he says, “We're all slaves of whom we obey.” Well, then here's the good news in Romans 6:17. Let's look at verse 17. Verse 17 is a very important verse for us to go through because when you read it in English, this is the kind of verse where things could get lost in translation. So notice how in verse 17, it says, “But thanks be to God,” hey, if God set you free, if the truth of Jesus set you free, if you now can have victory, and you can say no to sin, and you can obey the Lord, does anybody here want to thank God for setting the captives free? Does anybody here want to thank God for saving you so sin is no longer the boss, and Satan's not your father, but you've got a new father in heaven, and you're now living for the Lord Jesus Christ? Thanks be to God that you, who were once slaves of sin, have become “obedient from the heart” is what he says here in verse 17. Now, if you're reading that in Greek, it doesn't say give thanks to God, it actually says, by the grace of God, the word there is actually grace. And we're just saying, give thanks to God, because that's the response. Because the only way that you got delivered out of sin, and you're now obeying God from the heart is because God saved you. And that was all done by his grace. So, we're going to thank God for what he's done for us in Jesus when we take communion in a few minutes, but it's saying here, it's by the grace of God that you used to be a slave of sin. Just like actually God has the power and authority to deliver his people out of slavery from Egypt, in the same way, in the spiritual realm, God has the power and authority to deliver you from Satan's domain of darkness and the reign of sin. And God can bring you to the marvelous light, he can transfer you to the kingdom of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, God's done this by his grace. And then look what it says, “You have become obedient from the heart to the standard, the type of teaching to which you were committed.”
Now, this is the other thing. When you read it in English, you could miss this because when I read that in English, the first thing I think it means is, I'm committed to a type of teaching, maybe that's what some of you are doing here at church. You come to our church because you want to hear Bible teaching; our gospel preaching is a certain type of teaching, and maybe you're committed to it, maybe that's what you think, yeah, I'm committed to the standard of teaching. But that's not what this is saying. And by the way, I do appreciate your commitment to being here, Sundays at 11 o'clock. Just want to say, that's a great thing. Those of you who are committed, some of you literally sit in the same seat every Sunday at 11. We should try to get your name on there. I appreciate you. But actually what it's saying is that God committed you to the teaching. It's not saying you were committed to the teaching, it's saying God committed you to the teaching. So, this word here paradidómi, in the Greek in the book of Romans, every single time this word is used, it means God is giving someone over or delivering someone over. So, it's used in Romans 1, when people rejected the truth about God for the lie, God gave people over to sin. You want to sin, then God gives them over to sin. And it's used two times in Romans 4:25, and Romans 8:32, about God giving over Jesus as a sacrifice. And if God did not spare his own Son, but gave him over for us all, how will God not graciously give us all things? Jesus was given over, or delivered up for our trespasses, it says in Romans 4:25. So, God gives people over to sin, and God gives Jesus over to die for our sin. Well, it's saying here that God gave you over, how you got free from being a slave of sin is God delivered you over? He gave you over to a type of teaching the truth of Jesus that sets people free from sin and makes them obey from the heart. So you would not be free from being a slave of sin if God hadn't given you over to the teaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can I get an amen from anybody on this? Satan had you blinded, Satan had you where you could not hear? You didn't want to listen about being a slave. You didn't want to listen about sin. You didn't want to accept the premise of the gospel. Satan had you right there, but God came in, and he took you even when you are a slave of sin, and God committed you to the type of teaching that changes you from the inside out and gives you the new life of Jesus Christ. So now you obey because you want to obey, because God has done a work in your heart; the truth has set you free, and he who the Son sets free is free indeed. Before you ever obeyed God, God taught you who Jesus is.
So, let's get that down for point number two: Before obedience God puts the teaching on your heart. Before obedience, God puts the teaching on your heart. I just want to try to encourage those of you who are going to go obey Jesus this week, because you need to learn how to do this sanctification two-step you need to step away from temptations. You need to present your members to righteousness. This is something you have been told to do. And you're told to do it again, here. You're a slave of righteousness, Romans 6:19, present your members to righteousness. But here's the thing, I don't want you to go and feel like I’ve got to obey, and it's just up to me. And it feels like a list of things I’ve got to do. And it feels like such a burden. No, the reason you can obey from the heart is because God gave you over to a type of teaching. And the truth of Jesus has set you free. You don't have to go muster up willpower to obey, you don't have to go try harder to obey. You’ve just got to remind yourself of the truth of who Jesus is and what he did for you. And that will empower you to obey from the hearts. It's not up to you. It's you responding to what Jesus already did for you. It's that truth, if you remain in the truth of Jesus, that's how you show you’re his disciples. That's what gives you freedom from sin he who the son sets free. So don't just go be like, okay, well, Jesus saved me. But now obedience is completely up to me. Well, you’ve got to go do it. We learned that last week. But the reason you can do it is because God gave you a teaching, and that teaching has done a work in your heart. The truth sanctifies.
You can write down John 17:17, where Jesus prays for his disciples, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” So, to be sanctified means you're set apart from sin. It means you're not doing the things you used to do. You're set apart from the old you and you are more holy, you are more like God, you're more like Jesus. That's what it means to be sanctified. You're set apart, set apart from who you used to be as a slave of sin, and set apart to a slave of righteousness, ready to obey your Master Jesus Christ, ready to be a slave of God. That’s sanctification. You used to be over here, now you're being moved over here. And what sanctifies you? The truth sanctifies you; the truth sets you free. You wake up and you the first thing you do when you wake up is you think of all the things you've got to do that day, you might feel very burdened. You might feel like, wow, there's so much to do, how am I going to do it? If you wake up, and the first thing you do is get the truth, you might feel sanctified, you might feel set apart, you might be reminded what Jesus is doing in your life, and that you've been set free, and you might be ready for the day.
Sometimes people think, well, I'm so tired. I'm just feeling so worn down. Like, have you ever gotten so tired that you realize the only thing you could do to stop being tired was wake up even earlier? Am I speaking to anybody right now? Like, there's a tired when your body is not feeling like it used to the coffee isn't even working like it used to. You know what I mean? And you realize I'm so tired. There's only one place for me right now. It's like when that alarm clock goes off super early in the dark of night still, and I actually get up, and I'm the only person awake in my house. The sun's not even up yet. And, actually, I realized as I open up my Bible, and I start praying for revival, I'm not the only one awake in my house this morning. Because the Lord is here with me. And his truth is now stirring me up. And the Word of Christ is now dwelling in me richly. And I'm now being filled by the Holy Spirit, and all of a sudden, I don't need coffee anymore, and I'm not tired anymore because the truth has set me free and I'm ready to obey God. Because how could I not obey God? I was a slave of sin and he delivered me. And Jesus, I want to give my whole life to him today. See? See if you just go try to do it yourself... No, get the truth in your soul and let the truth, let God give you over to the truth, and let the truth make you obedient from the heart. See, you will be sanctified as you get your eyeballs in your Bibles. That's how you got saved, you were at one point lost, blind, could not hear and God gave you over. He showed you your sin. He showed you Jesus there on the cross. He showed you that you were going to die in your sin, that your sin was lying to you. It was always promising and never delivering the saying. It would give you life when it was taking life from you the whole time. And you saw your sin for what it was, and you realize you were going to die in your sin. But there's Jesus, you can see him dying for your sins in your place. That moment when you could see yourself as a sinner and you could see Jesus as your savior, that God gave you to that type of teaching, and then you became obedient from the heart, that truth of Jesus set you free. And if you need a free refill of that kind of life, it's waiting for you every morning when you wake up.
The truth will sanctify you, that this truth of God, this revelation of God is the only sure reliable source you have as to who you really are. Satan is lying to you every day. Your whole, your own body is deceiving you. If you want to know who you really are, and you want to see what Jesus can really set you free to be, you've got to get sanctified by the truth. So, before obedience, God already gave you over to a type of teaching. Let that truth of Jesus empower you to step away from temptation, and to go and live righteous each and every day. So, what this passage does here at the end of Romans 6, it doesn't give you more to do. What it does is, it reminds you of what you're supposed to do. And it gives you reasons you want to go and do it. One thing is God by his grace has opened your eyes to see the teaching of Jesus Christ. And that teaching has changed you from the inside out. You have a new heart; you have the Spirit of the Living God. And when you get in the Bible, you get filled up with all of that life. Don't forget, that's how obedience started. Keep going back to the truth, so you can keep being sanctified.
Now look with me at Romans 6:20. Okay. So, we've kind of gone through 15 to 19 now, but look at look at what happens as you go about this, as you stop presenting your members to the old way of sin. And there's a once now in this passage, once you were this way, but now present yourself to righteousness, be a slave of obedience. Maybe that's a phrase you've never really thought about before, that in God in the truth of God's Word, God's power is causing you to obey. The blood of Jesus has made you righteous. So, you can go and practice righteousness, obedience, it's a responsibility that you have to do but the power to do it, the ability to obey comes from God's work in your life. You're a slave of obedience and righteousness and God because God is the one working in you. Now, look what it says in verse 20, it wants to take you back. Let's remember when you were slaves of sin, maybe you've never thought about this before. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So, you didn't care about obeying or doing what was right when you were a slave of sin. Okay, but you want to be free. You don't want to have anybody over you. You want to be your own boss? Well, you could go back to being a slave of sin. But let's think about it, would you really want to go back to be if you don't want to obey God and you want to do your own thing? Well, do you really want to go back to being a slave of sin? Because remember, what fruit were you getting at the time from the things of which you are now ashamed? Remember when you were trying to make that relationship work, but it was sinful from the start. Remember, when you were trying to satisfy yourself with that pleasure? And then you were always still running on empty. Remember when you thought that this thing was really going to help you in your life? And then you realize it was a big mistake. And you were ashamed of your own self and your own things that you were doing. Do you really want to go back to that? See, this is the hard thing for us to understand I think in this passage. Is there is no middle ground that you can find in this text? You are either a slave of sin or you are a slave of obedience. As you sit here right now, you have to identify as a slave of one of those two things. And I think, for a lot of us, you might be like, well, I don't want to go back to being a slave of sin. I don't want to admit I’m that person. I don't want to die in my sin. I don't want all of that. But being a slave of righteousness, that sounds pretty intense. I'm not sure I can claim that either. Well, you’ve got to take your pick here today because you can't be, well, I'll just pick I'm not sure which side I want to be on. You know, it's telling you, you were a slave of sin, or you are a slave of sin. And you don't want to stay a slave of sin. Because all that leads to is shame. And all that sin leads to is death. That's the fruit of that.
But then there's this other kind of fruit, Romans 6:22, this is the fruit that you should all, we should all want in our lives. It says, but now that you've been set free from sin, and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get, the fruit that God bears in your life, it leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. If it's hard for you to think of being a slave of sin, or a slave of righteousness, well, what do you want? Do you want death? Or do you want eternal life? Well, if you want that, then you’ve got to be a slave of God, because he's the one who gives the fruit of sanctification. See these actions that we do if we present ourselves to sin, well, there's fruit of that, and it's shame. Or, if we present ourselves to righteousness, there's fruit from that, and it's sanctification. What kind of fruit do you want in your life? That's a reason you don't want to be a slave of sin, but you want to be a slave of God.
Let's get this down for number three: After obedience, God gives the fruit of sanctification. After obedience, God gives the fruit of sanctification. It says very clearly here, everyone who's set free from sin, you're set free for what not for yourself, no, you're set free to be a slave of God. And when you are a slave of God, it says in Romans 6:22, the fruit you get leads to sanctification, and it's an eternal life. If you are a slave of God, God will bear fruit in your life. Does anybody want to say Amen to that? Because these days, I don't know, if you really need to bear fruit, it seems like all you’ve got to do is say, I believe, and you're fine. That's how it works in American Christianity. You say you're a Christian? No. How dare anybody question you. Like you must be the authority on you being a Christian. Who can talk? Do you realize that Jesus just looked at a group of people that said, they believe in him, and by the end of the conversation, he was saying, you’re of your father, the devil? So, the Bible has a different expectation than churches these days. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruit. That's how you're going to know. You say you're a disciple. Well, if you remain in the words of Jesus, the truth of Jesus will set you free and you'll prove to be one of his disciples. The Scripture has an expectation that everyone who is saved from slavery to sin, all of us will bear fruit of sanctification in our lives. Okay. Let me just give you some passages that make this very clear. John the Baptist, he said in Matthew 3:8, “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Okay, so he's looking at people, they're saying, they repented, okay. Let's see the fruit. You're saying you've turned from sin? Let's see the fruit of sanctification now in your life. God will sanctify everybody that God saves out of being a slave of sin. Everybody who the Son sets free, they're not just free in word, they are free indeed. And so, we will see that you've been set free from sin because you will put off that sin and you will start doing some righteous things in your life. Jesus says two times in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:16. And in Matthew 7:20, he says you will recognize them by their fruits. Does anybody here have a fruit tree at your house right now? Anybody got a fruit tree? Where are my fruit tree people? I know, we've got a lot of people who have fruit trees at this church, because you bring your fruit in bags, because you've got so much fruit coming off your tree that you can't eat all the fruit, your family can eat all the fruit, the neighbors can eat all the fruit. So, you're like, what am I going to do with all this fruit? I know the church needs some fruit. That's what you do. And sometimes you just leave bags of fruit in your seat at church. I picked them up before. And I want to say thank you for the delicious fruits that you're leaving behind, right? When there is a tree that's full of life, and it's in season, and there's something coming out of that tree when it's fruit time. You’ve got so much fruit. You're like I'm sick of this fruit that we’ve got at our house now, because we’ve got so much of this fruit. But you talk to Christians, and they're like, well, you know, I don't really like it when there's any expectation of fruit. Uh, you know I've met people who will claim to be a Christian for 30, 40, 50 years, and they’ve got no fruit in their life, but don't question them. They're a Christian, you better believe it. There's this movie, Jesus Revolution just came out about the Jesus Movement of the 70s. And there are people that I've met claiming to be a Christian from the 70s. And they're still doing the same old sins that they've always done. That's not the fruit of sanctification in their life. They're not stepping away from that. They're not putting on righteousness. You keep stepping away from temptation, and putting on righteousness, over time, you're looking back, you're like, hey, I'm not even the same person I used to be. I don't talk like I used to. I don't think like I used to. I used to do that all the time. I can't even remember the last time I did that. Somebody who's been bearing fruit, God's been working in you for 30 years. You’ve got no fruit on your tree. That does not make sense in accordance with the Scripture. And people are like, well, we're not all going to bear the same fruit. Some are 100-fold, some are 60-fold, some are 30-fold. I agree, fruit’s not going to look the same in all of our lives. But I promise you there is no 0-fold fruit Christian.
If you don't have the fruit of sanctification, if you can't see that some of the ways you used to live, you don't live those ways anymore, and you’ve got some new ways that you never used to live. But that's what you're doing now. That is God bearing the fruit of sanctification in your life. And if you've been a Christian for a long time, and you can't see that, we have a real problem. That's what the Scripture teaches. If you're a newer Christian, hopefully you're starting to see that radical change where you are being set apart, and you are being made holy, and you're becoming more like Jesus, and less like you. In fact, the awesome thing about being slave, saved out of slavery of sin, and being a slave now of God, is someday people will look at you and they won't even see you anymore. They'll just see Jesus in you because you're so not like who you used to be. And you're so new, that they're going to realize you're not one of those hypocritical Christians. You're the real deal. And they're going to be like, wow, look what Jesus has done in this person's life. The best compliment you will ever get is when you have left your legacy here on earth, when you are dead, and people are talking about you, but they're not talking about you. They're talking about Jesus in you. That is the fruit of sanctification in your life, where even the people who love you and know you realize there's something more than you to you now. And that's the work of God bearing the fruit of sanctification in your life. God will do this. Just like that tree is bearing fruit in the backyard, every believer, everyone that God has saved, they will be sanctified, because it is God's power working in them. There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian, you will know them by their fruits.
That's what the Scripture says. Galatians 5:22 promises that you will not be continuing in the deeds of the flesh, but you will bear the fruit of the Spirit. And instead of the sexual immorality, and the drunkenness and the outbursts of anger, and the divisions in rivalries that there used to be, there will now be things that God will produce in your life, things like love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness, and faithfulness and gentleness, and self-control. You will now be able to tell yourself, no, because you're not a slave of sin anymore. And you're now empowered by the Spirit of the Living God inside of you. The Spirit cannot be in you and not bear fruit; he will bear fruit in your life. It says in Ephesians, chapter 5, that you're out of the darkness, and you're now in the light. And because you've been delivered out of the kingdom of darkness, under the reign of Satan, and now you're in the kingdom of light under the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, you should, according to Ephesians 5:9, you should bear the fruit of light, and the fruit of light is all that is good. And all that is right. And all that is true. That's the kind of fruit that God is going to bear in your life.
So, it's saying here, look at Romans 6:22. “Now that you have been set free from sin, you have become slaves of God. The fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end is eternal life.” Everybody who’s set free from sin is sanctified. We will see God bear the fruit in your life. Go over to Philippians chapter 1. Here's a good prayer that we can pray about the sanctification of all the believers here at our church. Look what he says to this church here in Philippians 1:6. What a great promise this is right here. Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this,” I am convinced that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God does not start something in your life without finishing it in your life. Jesus is both the author of your faith and the Perfecter, the Completer of your faith. Everybody that God delivers out of slavery to sin that God gives over to the type of teaching of the gospel of Jesus, everyone saved will be sanctified. They will be glorified in the presence of the Lord Jesus, and the angels in God's throne room that will happen to all of us. If God has started a good work in you, he will complete it. Do you see how this works? Do you need to go and obey? Do you need to step away? Do you need to present yourself and your members to righteousness? Yes, you’ve got to go do it. But the reason you can go do it is God is doing it through you. That's where the power comes from. We work out our salvation, because God works in us both to will and to do for his good pleasure, God. He's put his life in you and his life and you will bear fruit. He will complete the work that he has started. So, look what he prays for these people that he loves, that he's confident they will be completed. He says in Philippians 1:9-11, we should pray this for everybody at our church. “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” I want you to be filled with the fruit of righteousness. I want so much life coming off your tree, that you've got extra bags, and you don't even know what to do with it. That's what we're going for. That you would be filled, that God would, through his truth working in your life. Look what God is doing in you, as you're really learning to step away from sin, and to do what is righteous in God's sight. Wow, look at the fruit that is happening. I want you to be filled with the fruit of righteousness so that people can see that it's not just you, it's Jesus in you. And people, when they look at your life, they won't just think that person's righteous, they'll be like, they'll glorify your Father in heaven because they see his glorious light shining through you. That's the goal, that we would all be bearing fruit. And it might look different in different people here, but all of us who are in Christ, we will bear the fruit of sanctification. And so, we should pray this for one another. I want to put on righteousness, I want to be filled with the fruit of righteousness. I want people to see that I have been delivered from who I used to be. And I'm now happy to serve the one true King, my Lord Jesus Christ. He is such a better master than Satan and sin and my own ways ever were. I'm so thankful that God, by his grace, taught me the type of teaching of Jesus so I could obey my Lord Jesus, so I can live for him. It is so much better to live for Jesus than anything else this world affords today. Do people see that in your life? Does your spouse, do your kids, your roommates, the people that you live with? The people that sit next to you at work? Are the people that you go to school with? Did they think what's going on with this person right here? Why is this person always stepping away from that temptation? Why are they always trying to do what is right and good and true? Why are they always loving? Why do they have joy and peace? What's going on with this person? Again, they see that God is doing his work in you through his Son Jesus Christ. That's the way we're supposed to be. It's clear we're out of this world. We're not of this world. We're citizens of heaven because we're serving a different master than everybody else around us. We're in a different kingdom.
Go back to Romans chapter 6. We're going to have a different outcome is what it ends with here. It says, this is so important, everybody here you're a slave of whom you obey. And I hope that God has opened your eyes to this type of teaching so you can obey from the heart. And I hope you're seeing the fruit of sanctification be born in your life as God continues his work in you, because it says, if you're just doing sin, you're going to get what you deserve. You're going to get what you're earning with all your works, they're going to get you something, and the wages of your sin is death. You don't want it to be based on what you're doing. Know the free gift, all by his grace. The free gift of God is eternal life and Jesus Christ our Lord.
See, that's what we're here to now celebrate as we take this communion. We're here to say that God, by his grace in Jesus, he opened your eyes to see that you were a sinner, and you needed Jesus to die for you. And because God did that work, you now have received freely, and you will have eternal life. You have God is your Father now, and you will be with God forever in heaven. What an amazing thing for us to be thankful for. And so, I just want to draw your attention to the communion, I think it should be there on your seat. Hopefully, you’ve got a little hourglass of communion you can pull out there, right. And we're going to take some communion here together in a moment. And this is hopefully an opportunity for everybody who's believed in Jesus, if you have, if the truth has set you free, I’ll thank you very much. I'll hold this up as an example. This is the hourglass of communion, ladies and gentlemen, the sands of time in your life are quickly fading through the hourglass, everyone who knows how many hours you have left? And so, let's spend them wisely, everyone. So, here's the thing. Do you realize that based on what this passage just told us, there are some people in this room that are on their way as slaves of sin to death. And there are those of us, not because we're any better than anybody else, we were the exact same. But by grace, we were given over to a type of teaching. And what happened is that teaching, it got to our heart, it came through our blind eyes, and suddenly we could see. It came through our deaf ears, and suddenly we could hear. And we could finally see ourselves for who we really were. I'm praying that that's going to happen right now. I'm praying that God is giving somebody over here in this service to this type of teaching right here today. Because those of us who have already had this, the truth has already set us free. We can already see that God is bearing the fruit of sanctification in our lives. This is a time for us to worship. This is a time. But thanks be to God, that you're no longer that slave of sin you used to be. Thanks be to God that somebody preached you the gospel. You heard it in a sermon like this, you read it in the Bible, somebody shared it with you one on one, and your eyes were open, and you started to obey from the heart. And look at you now remember how you used to be; you're not like that anymore. You're not the same as the old you. No, you're putting on righteousness. No, God is bearing the fruit of sanctification in your life. Sure, you may have a ways to go, but the sin you're struggling with today, it's not the sin that you used to give in with all the time. No, God, he has set you apart. If you can see that in your life, thanks be to God for the work he has done in you through Jesus Christ.
And this is a time for us to now worship him. Why would he take people who are slaves of sin? Why would he take people who are like, I don't want you to set me free? I don't need to be set free. I'm fine. Why would he come for sinners like that? And save us and set us free? Why would Jesus give his life in your place? Why would Jesus offer his pure blood and sacrifice his body to pay for a sinner like you? What wondrous love is this right here? The only reason I can ever obey God is because of the grace that he has given me in Jesus Christ. And I'm here to thank him today. And you, if you are a slave of sin, and you know that you can't stop doing that sin, you could cry out to God right here. You don't need the reminder of Jesus that we're going to take together, you need Jesus to deliver you today. This is the type of teaching that people can hear. Oh, it's hard to hear. People don't like this type of teaching. But if you can really hear what the Word is saying today, if God's opening your eyes, to see your need for Jesus today, you can cry out to God and ask him to deliver you out of your slavery to sin, and to give you this righteousness in Jesus Christ. And you could walk out of here today, obedient from the heart. If you really call out to God, and confess your sin, He will save you even now. He’s still saving slaves to this very day, making us now his slaves. And all of us that have been saved by God, we are so thankful to be in his service. Look at the fruit of our lives now compared to what it used to be. And so, this is a moment for real, honest soul searching between you and God. So let me pray for you. And then, while we hear this song, you can pray to God yourself. Let's pray.
Father in heaven, I want to thank you so much, that we got to go through Romans 6 in the year of our Lord 2023 together as a church here at Compass HP. And I thank you for teaching us that nobody here has to continue in sin. Nobody here has to be a slave anymore. Nobody has to serve the devil and his lies all the way to their death, that in Jesus Christ, we can be dead to sin, we can be alive to you, we can consider ourselves as new creations. And we can now honestly step away from that sin, and we can present our members to righteousness. Father, we thank you so much for this good news. We give you all the glory for the gospel of Jesus that has saved us. And we want to take this communion in a few moments to remember Jesus and to say thank you for your grace. So, Father, I pray that this would be a moment here where we can really worship you, where we can really come before you. And we can say, Yeah, I was a slave and you set me free; and I really am free now. And I could see what you're doing in my life, and I worship you, I give you the glory for it. I would still be the same old me if it wasn't for the thank you so much for Jesus. And Father, I just cry out to you on behalf of those who are here in this room who are watching this service right now. And in their hearts they know they're a slave to sin. Father, will you please set the captives free today? Please don't let people leave here in bondage to Satan today. But let them cry out, let them agree with you that they are slaves. Let them agree that Jesus, they need his blood, they need his sacrifice. And let today be the day that they are free, indeed. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.