Risen With Christ

April 17, 2022 Preacher: Luis A. Cardenas Series: Other

Topic: English Passage: Romans 6:1-14

From the earliest records we have, the people of God have believed in a resurrection of the dead. Death came into this world because Satan tempted the man and the woman in the garden. Because of their disobedience, sin and death spread to everyone. But when God pronounced a curse upon this world, He also gave a promise.

One day, a Son would come who would crush Satan’s head. This Son would destroy our enemy and undo the curse upon the world. He would undo the power of sin and death.

Ever since that promise was made, God’s people have lived with the hope that death would be conquered. Death would not win.

The man named Job, after losing his wealth and his children and his health, said this in Job 19: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”

Abraham, when God asked him to sacrifice his promised son, responded in obedience because, Hebrews 11 says, “he considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead.”

King David, who has given us many of the psalms, expressed the same hope when he wrote that God would ransom his soul from death. He would not abandon him.

The prophet Isaiah expressed the same hope to Israel in chapter 26. He writes: Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

And Daniel, in the final chapter of his prophecy writes: Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

To believe in God is to believe in the resurrection of the dead. Sin and death will be conquered.

But from the earliest time, there have always been those who deny God’s promise and God’s truth. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really say that?” And that has been the response of critics and mockers for generations. Is God’s word truly reliable?

Jesus’ harshest opponents were the Sadducees and the Pharisees, the religious leaders. Some of them did not believe that the dead would be raised, and none of them believed the message of Jesus. They did what they could to silence Jesus. They sent false witnesses to condemn Him, and they convinced the Romans to crucify Him.

Once Jesus died, they wanted to make sure there was no talk of a Resurrection. So, they arranged for Roman soldiers to secure the tomb. Then, after an angel appeared to the soldiers, knocking them unconscious, the religious leaders paid them off to lie about what happened. They knew the tomb was empty, but they did all they could to change or to silence the story.

And that’s been the case ever since. In every generation , there have been those who deny the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That has led Christians to have to think about how to defend against those attacks. The most foolish attacks come from those who say that Jesus didn’t really die, but that’s an easy criticism to respond to. Everyone there knew Jesus died.

But what about the Resurrection? What evidence is there that a man named Jesus really rose from the dead?

One line of defense comes from the Old Testament prophecies. God predicted that the Messiah had to die and be raised.

A second line of defense is connected to the empty tomb itself. Why was it empty? What other plausible explanation could there be? There’s a reason Christians don’t worship at Christ’s tomb, because there’s no body there.

A third line of defense comes from the eyewitness accounts in the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all claim that this is what happened, and they even point us to eyewitnesses of the Risen Lord. At one point, Jesus even appeared to 500 people at once.

A fourth line of defense come from the Apostle’s transformation and proclamation. These were weak, scared, uneducated men. But something changed them. Most of them ended up giving their lives for the message that Jesus had risen from the dead. If you read the book of Acts, you see that the Resurrection of Jesus was the backbone of the sermons. And you also see that it was the Resurrected Christ that converted Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, no one would be preaching.

Each of those lines of reasonings exist because the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a monumental event with immediate and lasting results. It’s what inaugurated the church.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of His message. That’s why Christian for almost 2,000 years have been gathering on Sundays—to commemorate His Resurrection. You cannot reject the Resurrection and still claim to believe in Jesus. That’s why Romans 10 says salvation comes if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.

But is there any new evidence for Christ’s Resurrection? Is there something happening today that serves a testimony that Christ was raised from the dead? Or, to say it another way, what effect, if any, does His Resurrection have on us today?

That’s the question that Romans 6 helps us answer. You can go ahead and turn there if you haven’t already. Romans chapter 6. The Apostle Paul, in writing to a group of young Christians in Rome, makes another connection regarding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died and rose again. Therefore, the Old Testament prophecies are true.

Jesus died and rose again. Therefore, the tomb was empty.

Jesus died and rose again. Therefore, we had plenty of eyewitnesses.

Jesus died and rose again. Therefore, the Apostles boldly proclaimed His message.

In our passage today, Paul gives us one more result of the Resurrection. Jesus died and rose again. Therefore, His people walk in holiness. His people walk in holiness.

The power of God to raise Jesus from the dead, and the reality of that event, can be seen today in the holiness of those who truly belong to Jesus Christ. Paul makes a very simple connection between the death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the lives of those who claim to follow Him.

Jesus died, and then Jesus rose again. There was death, and there was life. If that death and that life really happened, and if someone has really embraced them, there will be clear evidence of that in that person’s life. The evidence of that is a person’s sanctified life. The modern-day evidence that Christ is risen is the holiness of His people.

Paul had to deal with people claiming to be Christians but assuming they get to live life however they want. And there have always been people who have that kind of perspective. Maybe it’s people who went to church as children, maybe they were even baptized—but they assume they are saved because of a brief experience rather than because of current evidence in their life.

Something is missing in that kind of understanding of Christianity. What’s missing there is an individual’s union with Christ. And that’s what Paul is pointing out.

Yes, Jesus died, and yes, Jesus rose again. But since Christians are united to Christ, here are Paul’s two main points: Number 1, if you have trusted in Jesus, you have died with Jesus. And number 2, if you have trusted in Jesus, you have been raised with Christ. That’s Paul’s message to Christians: You have died with Christ, and you have been raised with Christ.

Those truths have a profound impact on your life today. For Christ’s people, those truths produce in them and prompt them to holiness.

Let’s take a closer look at how Paul explains this. In verse 1, we have a summary of what Paul is responding to—What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

People were thinking, “Well, I’m forgiven, so I can do whatever I want. God will forgive me no matter what. Since forgiveness glorifies God, why don’t I just keep on sinning, so that God’s forgiveness can be shown even more in my life?” Is that a valid conclusion for a Christian?

Verse 2 is Paul’s response: By no means! Other translations put it like this: “May it never be! Absolutely not! You have the Christian life all wrong if that’s what you think!

Why? Again, we get two simple reasons. The first reason is because those who belong to Jesus have died with Him. You have died with Christ. The end of verse 2 says it with a rhetorical question—How can we who died to sin still live in it?

For those of you who are parents, how many times have you seen your kids do something absolutely foolish or dangerous, and you say to them, “What were you thinking? What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you know that aluminum foil is metal, and you’re not supposed to put metal in the microwave? Didn’t you make that connection?”

The questions highlight the ridiculousness of the actions. And that’s what Paul is doing. Verse 1 has two questions. Verse 2 has another question. And then we get a final question in verse 3—Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

In the Bible, baptism is connected to personal faith in Jesus Christ. There is no evidence of someone being baptized who didn’t claim faith, and there is no evidence of someone claiming faith legitimately without being baptized. They are united. So, on the one hand, baptism is a personal expression of someone’s faith, but it’s more than just a personal expression.

When you come to genuine faith, you are obeying Christ’s command to take up your cross, which means that you are putting your old self to death. You recognize that your sinful desires and patterns, and even your own righteousness, lead you to hell, and so you surrender your life to Jesus. That is a kind of death. And that death of the old self is pictured when someone gets immersed in the waters of baptism.

More than that, getting dunked in the water is a picture of your connection to the death of Jesus Christ. In conversion, we died to sin, and we were united to the death of Jesus Christ.

Verse 4 says it like this: We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death. 

Just like Jesus’ frail body was put to death, if you trust in Him, your earthly, fleshly, sinful nature was put to death on the cross. Verses 6 and 7 say it like this: 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.

At the cross, the penalty of sin was paid for, and the power of sin was broken, in the lives of everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ. You have died with Christ. And if you have died with Christ, then yes, you are forgiven. But in addition to that, the power of sin is broken. There is a transformation that takes place at conversion. Your old nature is dead.

The pleasure of sin might remain, but now you see how temporary it is, and how hurtful it is, and how dangerous it is to your own soul. Sin leads to more sin. So, God puts in you a desire to be rid of it. To do whatever it takes. That’s the death of the old nature. So again, how in the world could someone claim to be a follower of Christ and want to continue in sin. If you belong to Christ, you have died with Him.

But that’s only one side of the coin. There’s a second reason why you can’t legitimately claim to follow Christ if you aren’t concerned about sin. Not only have you died with Christ, secondly, you have been raised with Christ. The old nature has been defeated and a new nature has come. You have been raised with Christ.

Look again at verse 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.

Just like Christ rose from the dead through the glory of the Father, in Christ you have been given new life so that you will live for the glory of the Father.

And verse 5 continues—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.

That’s not just pointing to the final resurrection of the saints, when we get our glorified bodies. That’s talking about a converted life today. The body Jesus was raised with was still physical. He ate and drank after the Resurrection. But it was a different kind of body. And in the same way, if you belong to Christ, you live a different kind of life. You don’t live for yourself anymore; you live for God.

Just like Christ’s death and Resurrection were a one-time, definitive, unmistakable historical event, never to be repeated, a genuine conversion is a one-time, definitive event in your life. At that moment, there is a decisive transformation.

Look at verses 8-11 with me. This is Paul’s message. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you have died with Christ, and you have been raised with Christ. Verse 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.

This isn’t just some theological principle you need to understand; it’s something you need to apply in your own life, both mentally and physically. The mental application is verse 11. The command there is “consider.” Take these amazing truths about having died and having been raised with Jesus Christ and preach them to yourself constantly. Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God. Then, you take that mental application and you apply it in the rest of your life.

If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, you are headed to eternal judgment. Your sins are piled up to heaven. God sees all of them. And there is nothing you can do to fix it other than to turn from your sin and call out to Jesus Christ for mercy and forgiveness and a new heart.

And for those of you who have done that already, God’s message for us today is that confession and repentance and turning away from sin isn’t just a one-time deal. We are called to do it every day, and that is a major result and evidence that Christ has risen from the dead.

Do you want to see evidence of Christ’s resurrection today? Do you want the people around you to see the evidence for the power and the reality of Christ’s resurrection? Then you need to put sin to death in your life and pursue the holiness of Jesus Christ.

That is true individually and that is true corporately. If we want to see more people come to recognize the power of God and the power of Christ’s resurrection, we need to be a church marked by holiness. We have died with Christ, and we have been raised with Christ. And if we believe that, then those truths need to be put into practice.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ didn’t simply have implications for you on the day you came to faith. It matters today. It needs to be demonstrated in your life.

And if we’re going to do that, and if we’re going to help one another do that, then let’s listen to God as He speaks through the Apostle Paul.

Look with me at our final verses for today. Romans 6, verses 12-14. Here’s the final exhortation for us today. After telling us that we have died with Christ and we have been raised with Christ, here’s the outflow of those truths.

Verses 12—Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Sin is still present in our bodies, but it’s no longer in charge. So, don’t let it rule over you. You belong to the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of using your mind and your words and your body to pursue your own desires or the things this world says should matter, you give it all to God. You were dead to God, but now, by faith, He has made you His child.

Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we are no longer under law. That’s what verse 14 says. Our status before God isn’t dependent on how well we can keep God’s law. If that were the case, none of us would be good enough. But now, because Jesus has died to pay the price of sin, and because He has been raised in victory over sin and death, we are under grace.

The grace of God in Jesus Christ brings forgiveness. And that grace, by the Spirit of the Resurrected Lord, empowers us to be obedient and to be victorious over sin. When you and I pursue the holiness of Jesus Christ, when we demonstrate His love and His righteousness in our marriages and in our homes and at work and in our communities, when you and I demonstrate victory over sin, our lives serve as an amazing and powerful testimony to the victory of Jesus over sin and death. Your holiness gives the world evidence that Jesus was raised from the dead. And God will be glorified.

More in Other

May 22, 2022

Called to Serve

May 8, 2022

Staying Faithful in Ministry

April 10, 2022

Understanding Faith and Truth