Overcoming Faith, Overcoming Life

 Scripture Reference :  Romans 6:1-4

  1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Introduction:

As we celebrate what is known to many as Easter Sunday or the Resurrection Sunday, we will discover that this event is not just a historical event but it has a huge direct spiritual blessing for every believer and disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 What is an overcoming faith? Well, let me say on the outset that an overcoming faith is an overcoming life!  I’m sure that many of us are asking the same question: How Can I Lead A Victorious Life?  Or Can I Have An Overcoming Life?  Well, today, the answer is “YES.”   In Christ, you can live a victorious life, an overcoming life because God has already given you an overcoming faith. 

 BACKGROUND

 From our study of Romans 1-5, we learn from Paul how the Lord provided our redemption and justification.  Declared as sinners because of our rebellion or disobedience to God’s command, we were doomed for judgment and hell. But because of God’s mercy and grace in Christ Jesus, He gave us a Savior who redeemed us from God’s judgment (He took our judgment upon himself) and died for us on the Cross.  In Romans 3 we learned about the Good News of God’s righteousness – a righteousness based on faith.  All a person, a sinner needs to do is to place his faith in Jesus or repent of his sin and acknowledge him as Savior and Lord.  The Lord justifies him, declares him not guilty but saved –redeemed in Christ through His Blood.  But it does not stop here.  For Paul teaches us that salvation is a process. Jesus not only justifies the sinner but also sanctifies him and will glorify him.  In Rom. 6-8, Paul will teach us doctrine of sanctification or how a Christian or disciple grows in maturity in Christ or becomes holy in Christ.

 Now, here is a basic Bible teaching that we need to know by heart – the three stages or process or three tenses of our salvation.

  1.  By His death and resurrection, we were saved from the penalty of sin.
  2. By His death and resurrection, we are being saved us from the power of sin.
  3.  And by His death and resurrection, we will be saved by from the presence of sin. 

Here in Romans 6, Paul will teach us the believer’s freedom from the mastery and oppression and dominion of sin.  Having born with a sinful nature or “old nature,” we are dominated by sin.  Sin is our master.  But when a person turns to Christ, we are set free from sin and power. This is the essence of sanctification.  We are being empowered to overcome the power of sin in our life.  As we look at the first four verses of Rom. 6, I want to submit to us that the resurrection of Jesus gave us new life faith in Jesus and that this faith in Jesus results in an overcoming life.             

A.JESUS’ DEATH & RESURRECTION AUTHENTICATES OUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.   

In verse 4, Paul clearly tells us that our newfound faith in Jesus brings a “new life” in our life.  In verses 1-3, Paul was arguing about the wrongness of living in sin when you are already in the state of grace. Paul is simply teaching that grace is not a license to sin but a power to live a new and transformed life. So, he cites our baptism which is symbolic of our union with Christ’s death and resurrection.  By being submerged under water (“death”) and rising from the water (“resurrection”) we acknowledge now Christ as Lord and Master and we are no longer slaves of sin.  And so the bottom line is this – our UNION WITH CHRIST has given us as new life, that is, we have a new Master and Lord.                    

1)   It proves that Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Now, the resurrection of Jesus is very important to us because of two things.  One it proves that He is the Son of God that He claims to be and that He is the promised Messiah.  Prophesies in the OT as well as the very claims of Christ declare that the Anointed One or the Messiah shall not die or suffer death.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. (Ps. 16:10;cf Acts 2:27).  

Our Lord Jesus claims that He had authority to lay down his life and take it up again.

17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (Jn 10:17-18).

2)  It proves Jesus has the Spirit of God, the power to give life.   It also proves that Jesus is God or has the Spirit of God and has the power to give life.  In many places in the Bible, our Lord Jesus claims this. Before He started His ministry, He was anointed by the Spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  (Luke 4:18,19).

In John 11, He claims to give eternal life.  Wanting to comfort Mary and other loved ones, Our Lord tells them:

 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn 11:25,26). 

B. JESUS’ RESURRECTION ASSURES US OF AN OVERCOMING LIFE IN CHRIST.  

But not only the resurrection of Jesus authenticates our new life in Christ, it also assures us of a victorious and overcoming life in this world.  The resurrection of Jesus shook the spiritual world.  It defeated and conquered Satan and the spiritual world/realm and it did two important things in our spiritual life.   

1) The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus renders our old life/nature defeated and powerless. READ vv. 5-7.        

 It means rendered my old nature defeated and powerless; meaning it has lost its total control on my life.  Satan and Sin is no longer my Master and Lord. I have now the FREEDOM to choose the right from the wrong or the godly from sinful

2) The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus renders our new life/nature active and powerful.  READ vv. 8-10. On the other hand and positively, Christ’s death and resurrection it renders our new nature active and powerful.   We have been imparted with a new nature and we have been empowered to live a new life, an overcoming but the key is FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!  There are many passages in the NT that supports this truth. One important passage is Titus 2:

 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14). 

 Another passage is 2 Peter 1:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:3-5).   

Now, these are objective truths or statements. This truth had to be understood and internalized because it has to start in the mind – our understanding, our perception.  Have you heard about the story of this man who thinks that he is dead and is being convinced by his doctor that dead men don’t bleed.   

LLUSTRATION:  

A man was convinced that he was dead, So he was committed to the care of a psychiatrist who tried to reason with him to no avail.  Finally, the doctor read to him an anatomy book and had the patient watch films to show that dead men do not bleed … then he took the patient to a room full of cadavers or Corpses.  The doctor poked several of the cadavers with a pin and showed his patient that none of the dead men bled … finally the patient caved in and admitted, “ok, I convinced, dead men don’t bleed.”  Suddenly, the doctor poked him and a tiny drop of blood oozed out of his patients hand; the patient responded when he saw the blood, “Well, what do you know, dead men do bleed after all!” 

The problem was not the fact or truth of the matter. The problem was his perception and he refused to changed it! –( SOURCE UNKNOWN).

This is a funny story but this could be applied to many Christians today who still believe that they can never overcome their sin or sinful habits.  This is the reason why Paul was praying very hard for the Ephesians believers.  And he wrote in his letter to them:   

 “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”  (Eph. 1:18-20).

 For a long time since that age of accountability, Satan has been our Master and had taken hold of all our faculties, believing his lies and half truths but now we are being set free.  Now, we have to be convinced of this truth.

 Now, this is the reason why the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and the Church were given to us in order that our minds could be taught and transformed. These three teach us the truths about God and about us.  They tells us the true purpose of our life and why God has called and made us part of His forever family.    

NOW, what are the Practical Implications of this teaching:

(a) In Christ, I can overcome sin and temptation (Titus 2: 12).

(b) In Christ, I can overcome the testings and trials of this earthly life (1 John 5:4,5).

(c) In Christ, I can overcome Satan and his evil works in our life (Col 2: 15;  1 John 3:8).

CONCLUSION:

Therefore, the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is not just a historical event but also a personal and spiritual breakthrough for our life as believers and disciples of Jesus Christ.  It teaches us that we have a new life in Christ and that we can live for God. We can live a victorious and an overcoming life through Jesus Christ! 

 

 

 This message was delivered by Dr. Valentino Natcher at Emmanuel Church Ministries International in Makati City, Philippines last Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. 


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