Thank God You Obeyed!! (Romans Sermon 38 of 120)
August 26, 2001 | Andrew Davis
Christian Freedom, A New Creation, The Power of Sin
I. Your Emancipation Proclamation
Please take your Bibles and open to Romans 6. This morning, we're going to continue looking at Romans. We're going to be looking at Romans 6:15-18. But I want to begin by taking you back in time a long time ago to a synagogue in Nazareth when Jesus began his public ministry there. He appeared one Sabbath morning and walked forward and took the Scripture. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, unrolling it he found the place where it is written, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners."
But when the people heard what Jesus said namely, "Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing," they rejected him. They drove him out of the synagogue and drove him to the cliff and went to push him off, but yet the message stands, doesn't it? Is there not in Jesus freedom from sin? Has not the year of the Lord's favor been declared? Are not all of us who are called by his name, who have trusted in Jesus as our Lord and savior free from sin? Is this not our Emancipation Proclamation, that Jesus has freed us forever from rebellion and from sin?
In that same spirit, Paul wrote, in Romans 6:14, he said, "Sin shall not be your master, for you're not under law, but under grace." And he continues in verse 15, "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey them as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed that form of teaching to which you are entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness."
This is the victory message that Jesus came to proclaim, and he came to buy that victory with his own blood. I've already referred to the Emancipation Proclamation. That's a statement made by President Lincoln in the middle of the Civil War. He made it on September 22, 1862, an interesting document, interesting statement. But this is what he said, "All persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward and forever free." That's what the statement made. And it laid the ground work for the later 13th Amendment, which freed our country forever from slavery, from the scourge of slavery.
Now the Emancipation Proclamation was an odd statement. Did the president have the authority to make that statement? People questioned that. And then it said, "It's only to be enacted in those parts of the country that are in rebellion against the United States." Will they listen to this? Of course not. But here's how it worked. As the armies advanced through the rebelling territories, the proclamation came with them. And everywhere that that victory went, freedom came.
Now here's my question. Suppose at the end of the war, you're in a part of a formerly rebelling state, 13th Amendment has been passed. There is no longer slavery, but the news hasn't reached that part of the country yet, and you're serving as a field hand, and you've got those tools in your hand and you work in the fields just like you always have. Now your master knows about all these things, knows about the Emancipation Proclamation, knows about the 13th Amendment, but is not interested whatsoever in those things. And why? Because he wants to keep you as a slave in his field. He wants to fight against your knowledge of this freedom, this truth. And so, he does not want you to find out that you are truly free. This is the devil. And this message is a messenger coming down that dusty road saying you're free. Your master no longer has any legal right or authority over you whatsoever. You don't have to work in this field anymore. Throw down your tools and come out of the fields. And so, it is with us and sin.
Formerly we were slaves to sin, but Jesus has set us free, and we're free forever. Jesus said, "If the son makes you free you'll be truly free, free indeed." But what happens? What happens is somewhere along the line in our Christian life, we wander back into the old field. We pick up the old tools and we begin to work the field. Then why? Because the master commands it, sin. And what is it that resists? Authority, law, rule, he is not your master anymore and you have the authority to say no. You're free forever from sin. That's my message.
II. Context: Shall We Sin?
Now we just want to unfold it from the Scripture. Now where are we in the study of Romans? Understand that Paul is preaching the gospel. He says, "I'm not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first to the Jew then to the Gentile." So, what is he saying? He's proclaiming salvation. Salvation from what? Salvation from sin. The very thing that Jesus claimed that first day in Nazareth. Free from sin. But why do we need to be freed from sin? Because we are slaves to sin, even worse we're dead in transgressions and sins and so we need liberation, we need a savior. And why is that? Because our own righteousness can't save, our own righteousness cannot save us on Judgment Day.
And so, we must have a righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ and that righteousness is there. Formally, we were under law, we were under sin, we're under the dominion of sin, but suddenly grace has broken in, that powerful message. And it says in Romans 5:20 and 21, "The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." We are formally under the dominion of sin and death, and the devil.
We've been transferred over into the dominion of grace, and grace reigns. Therefore, right in the middle of that is an incredible statement, "Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more." What does that mean? No matter how much you sin, grace is always greater than your sin. You can't sin your way out of God's grace. It's impossible to sin more than grace can cover. Well, if that's the gospel, what does it lead you to think? It leads you to think what it says in Romans 6:1, "What then, if that's the case, shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? No way. May it never be." That's what he says, "may it never be." Why? Because you died with Christ, you're united with him by faith. Christ's death has become your death. Christ's resurrection is your resurrection. And therefore, he says in Romans 6:11 that you should think of yourself this way. Count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Last week, we talked about how that worked itself out practically. Your body is different than you. You inhabit your body. He calls it, The body of sin," "the body of death," this "clay, " this "jar of clay" in which this spiritual treasure, our new nature is inhabiting. And this body of sin has habits, doesn't it? Sinful tendencies that pull you towards sin. You must not present your members, your hands, your eyes, your stomach, your body, any part of yourself, to sin as an instrument of wickedness to sin. But rather, present yourself to God as those who've been brought from death to life. And present the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. And why? For sin shall not be your master because you're not under law but under grace.
Major Point: You Demonstrate Whose You Are by Whom You Obey!
The purpose of this message, the purpose of this section is to ask, "Who is your master?" And to say that, according to Scripture, you demonstrate who your master is by how you live. You show who your master is by the way you live your life. Has Jesus truly set you free from sin? And that is the point that he's dealing with here.
III. The Former Master Commands (verse 15)
Now in verse 15, we hear the beckon, the call of the former master. "What then? Shall we sin," it says. "Let's sin." There's a pull, there's a call, come on back to the field, pick up those tools and begin to serve me again. Shall we continue to sin? Shall we go on sinning because we're not under law but under grace?
The Party of the Legalists
Now realize that Paul is dealing on opposite sides where people were attacking his doctrine. On one side, he's got the legalists. On the other side, he's got what we call the libertines. Legalists are people who say, that you are saved by your good works, by obeying the law, by living a good life, being a good person, you're saved that way. And they would say, you would never want to sin so that grace might increase. That's just not the way we're saved. And so Paul, therefore, your doctrine leads us away from salvation. People need to do good works, they need to be good people. And your doctrine leads away from that, Paul. So, he's got to answer that, doesn't he? He's got to prove that his doctrine does not lead to a godless life.
The Party of the Libertines
But then on the other side, he's got libertines. What are they? They are people who live for "freedom, " and they define freedom as the ability to give in to any sinful lust, or tendency that they have. A desire to live for sinful tendencies and lust that we all have. They want to give into it. They think that grace means a total freedom from restraint. They want to use therefore, a doctrine or grace as a cover up for sin. We got to forgive, got to forgive, it doesn't matter. We can sin all we want because grace is always going to be there to cover it up.
So, he's got to deal with both sides. Of this second category, Jude says, "They're godless men who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality." And 1 Peter 2:16, Peter commands, "live as free men but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil, live as servants of God." And so, there's this desire to take grace and use it as a cover up for evil, or that grace is 2 or 3 million dollars deposited into the account of an alcoholic, or somebody addicted to a drug. And you just keep drawing on it, and drawing on it as you live in that sin. That is not what grace is for.
We're going to find how deep and how powerful is grace. But just stop a minute and think about the relentless wickedness of sin. That sin, this principle of rebellion can take grace and turn it around so that we sin all the more. Isn’t that terrible? But yet, we have that principle in us, don't we? We have that sin. If we understand the gospel right, if we understand Paul's doctrine properly, this attack will come up, "Well then, we can sin all we want." But if we understand Paul's doctrine right, it can be refuted and answered. And so he does.
IV. The True Master is Obeyed (verse 16)
Look at Verse 16. First of all, he gives a passionate answer. "Shall we continue in sin?" He says, "No way!" "By no means!" "Absolutely not, it can't be, may it never be, God forbid." This kind of passionate answer. "No way! We can't see this." So he answers with passion. But then he answers with doctrine. The very next thing he says, look at it. "Don't you know that…" stop right there. The battle for holiness, the battle for sanctification is in the mind. How you think is how you live. How you understand doctrine is how you will live. Doctrine is all important in how you live. I can trace back in my life any faulty behavior pattern to a faulty understanding.
It all starts in the mind. And so he says, "Don't you know that…" And he gives us a basic principle of life. Slaves need only obey their legal master. You don't have to obey somebody who's not your master. Look what it says, "Don't you know that when you offer yourself to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you actually obey." This is a basic principle. It's impossible to serve two masters. You can't have two legal owners if you're a slave.
Jesus said this in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. Either you'll love the one and hate the other, or you'll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Jesus said there, it's impossible to serve two masters. Imagine, a servant or a slave with two masters going to the marketplace. And one master says, "Go and buy this for tonight's feast." And the other master says, "Go and do this." It doesn't work. It's impossible. You can't serve two masters. And it says that, "Don't you know that when you present yourself to someone to obey them as slaves," this is the same word we just saw in verse 12 and 13. "Present yourselves to God as those who've been brought from death to life. And present the members of your body to him as instruments or tools of righteousness." Present.
Remember last week, how we learned about that word. Jesus was about to be arrested. And one of his disciples, Peter, drew the sword and Jesus said, "Put your sword away." And then he said, "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal…" That's a good way to say it. "More than 12 legions of angels, but how then would the Scripture be fulfilled? But say, it must happen in this way." So I urge you to think and imagine as 72,000 angels came down from heaven, ready to obey. "Yes sir," they would say, whatever he commanded they would do. Can you imagine if at that moment, the Roman commander said, "Oh, could I have a detachment of 50 angels come over and fight against Christ?" What would they say? Impossible. "Christ is our Lord, and we will follow the instructions of no one else. No one else, for he alone is our master and our Lord." And so, we must be just like the angels. "May your will be done on earth as it is heaven." Those angels would never follow another, but only the word of God so must we be.
And so, when you present yourself to Christ, this is what you're doing. You're saying, "I am yours to command. You are my master. You are my Lord. And I want to follow you." Now, there's two different servants or masters out there. You've got sin as one master, and then interestingly, you've got obedience as the other master. Whether you are slave to sin, which leads to death or a slave to obedience which leads to righteousness. So first, he personifies sin like the wicked master. Simon Legree in Uncle Tom's Cabin, this evil man who seeks only to kill, and steal, and destroy.
Simon Legree, this wicked master's sin is far worse than that, devastating force. All the problems in your life come from sin. Did you realize that? Everything you struggle with comes from sin, not from the devil or the world, but from sin. Jesus made it through this world and never sinned once. All the struggles and problems you have in your life come from sin. And so, sin is this wicked master, this evil master. And then on the other side, you've got a different master. You've got in this case, in this verse, obedience as a master. So, just as he personifies sin, that principle of rebellion, he personifies obedience, that principle of submission to God. And so, obedience is your master.
Now, we think of the gospel as something to be believed. Isn't that true? We should believe the gospel, and it's true. But interestingly enough, the Scripture says that we should also obey the gospel. Did you realize, the gospel is something to be obeyed? Listen to what it says in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. It speaks of the time when the Lord Jesus will come back, the second coming of Jesus Christ. You read about it in the Book of Revelation. A terrifying time at the end of the earth, and Jesus Christ comes. It says, "The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God, and do not listen, do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Did you hear that? "Obey the gospel." The gospel is something to be obeyed.
1 Peter 4:17, "It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God. And if it begins with us, what will the outcome be, for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" Obey the gospel. Or then it says at the beginning of this book, Romans, speaking of his apostleship he says, "Through him and for his name's sake, we receive grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to," listen, "the obedience that comes from faith." If you have saving faith, it will result in obedient life every time. It doesn't mean you'll obey every single time. I'm saying, in every case, if you are justified, declared not guilty by faith, it will lead you into a righteous obedient life, and obedience to Jesus Christ. The gospel is to be obeyed.
And then finally in 1 Peter 1. It speaks of God's elect to have been "chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ, and sprinkling by his blood." Do you want to be sprinkled by the blood of Jesus? There is no other cleansing for sin. Well, it's coupled together with obedience. Obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood. That's why you've been chosen. That's why God's working in you. Obedience and sprinkling. So, here it is. Sin was personified.
Sin Leads to Death
You had an old master named sin, and you have now a new master, which he calls in this verse, obedience. Well, these two different masters lead to two different lifestyles. And those two different lifestyles lead to two different destinations. "Sin… leads to death," It says. "Obedience… leads to righteousness." Now, this is very interesting. We know what it means, "Sin leads to death." It leads to spiritual death now, no relationship with God, but ultimately leads to the second death, eternity and hell apart from God. That's what sin leads to.
Sin, it says in the Book of James, when it is fully born... When it's fully grown, gives birth to death, second death judgment. But then you've got this other thing, obedience which leads to righteousness. Now that's interesting. Up to this point, in Paul's gospel, in Romans, righteousness has been a gift from God. A cloak of righteousness has been draped on you through the blood of Jesus Christ. You don't have any righteousness of your own. You're not going to be able to stand before God on Judgment Day. You've got nothing to show him.
And so, just from grace, he gives you the righteousness of Jesus Christ, cloaked around you, but that's not the righteousness described here. This is speaking of a practical daily obedience in righteousness in your life. Obedience, your obedience leads to a practical righteousness in this world. In this world, we are like Christ. We think like him. We act like him. We move like him. We speak the word of God like he did. We are like Christ. Now, the moment of justification, you are declared not guilty of sin, but nothing has changed within you except you've been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. But you have not changed your lifestyle, not yet. Then he begins to work out obedience in your life, which leads to a practical daily righteousness.
That is the true Christian faith. And why is this? Because Jesus is working it out in you. Only he can do this. Have you ever heard that saying, "Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last?" Can I change it a little bit? Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done by Christ will last. What's the difference? "Apart from me, you can do nothing," Jesus said. But if Jesus works righteousness in you, it will last for eternity. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
V. Thank God You Obeyed!! (verse 17)
And so Paul can say in Verse 17, okay, if obedience is our master, where did the obedience come from? We used to be rebels. Where did it come from? Look at verse 17, one of the most stunning verses in the entire Bible. Perhaps you didn't even realize it, but look at it. In verse 17 it says, "But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed that form of teaching to which you were entrusted." Look at the cover of your bulletin. You take all the words out and just boil it down to this. See the bulletin? What does it say? "Thanks be to God that you obeyed." Thanks be to God that you obey?
Think about this for a minute. Let's say you're sitting and it's Christmastime, and you're enjoying Christmas with your family. And let's say the husband gets up and gets a big gift for the wife, brings it over to her and says, "Here hon." And she looks at the tag. It's from him and all that, and big beautiful gift. She unwraps this incredible thing. It's something she always wanted and then she looks over at her son and says, "Thanks hon for this." What would you think if you're in that room? Wouldn't you have an urge to correct her? It's not from him. It's from your husband. Thank the one who deserves the credit. We give thanks to the one who deserves the credit. Is that not the case? Isn't that how we thank? Isn't it kind of insanity to thank somebody who doesn't deserve credit for it?
Well, who should be thanked for your obedience? You tell me. Thanks be to God that you obeyed. This is fascinating. Do you realize that if God hadn't worked obedience in you, you would not obey. You'd still be a slave to sin. Thanks be to God that though you used to be slave to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed that form of teaching. God has done something in you. He's working something in you, if you're a child of God.
It doesn't say by the way, thanks be to God that though you used to be an employee of sin. What's the difference between an employee of sin and a slave of sin? Well, can you terminate the relationship if you're an employee? Yes, you can. Can you terminate this other relationship? No, you cannot. Somebody more powerful has to come liberate you. This is the view that we have, I think, of salvation. We're just average Joe or Joann Pagan walking down Worldly Street. One day we look over, we hear a voice calling out. We look over and there's somebody selling salvation over there free of charge. You don't have to pay for it. It's a Salvation Store.
And then you listen for a while and you say, "I want to get some of that," and you walk over and you go in and you hear, and you obey, and you follow, and you believe. Jesus made it possible, but you're the one that walked in there and procured it for yourself. Your obedience is your work, right? That's not what this verse says. "Thanks be to God that you obeyed."
Augustin wrestled with this. He was struggling with lust in his life, struggling with sin.
And he realized no matter how hard he fought he could not obey. He kept trying and trying and trying, and he could not obey and finally, he came to understand the grace of God. That the grace of God is a transforming power inside the heart of a sinner, and this is what he wrote in his confessions. "My whole hope is only in your exceeding great mercy. Give what you command, and command what you will."
Do you hear that? Give to me sexual purity. You command it, give it to me, because if you don't, it won't happen. God has put over us a standard, hasn't He? Matthew 5:48, "You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." Can your obedience get you there? No, but the work of Jesus Christ within in you can. So let's unfold the truth in this verse.
First, a Christian is someone who has undergone a great transformation, a tremendous change. It's not a matter of I needed a little brushing up in my life, things were mostly alright but I just needed a little help. No, Christian is somebody who has undergone a great transformation. A change of heart and a change of ownership. A change of heart is what we call regeneration, a new creation, as radical as what happened when God spoke into the darkness and said let there be light, that's what he does into the heart of a Christian. He creates something that wasn't there before. Now you speak about free will, every sinner does have a free will, there's no question about that. You have a free will to choose how and when you will sin. But you do not have the free will to stop sinning because you can't change your nature. This is the way that Jeremiah put it. Jeremiah 13:23, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots, neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." You can't change yourself.
And therefore the joy of the gospel is that it reaches into our inner being and transforms us from within. Listen to the promise of the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36, this is a great verse. Ezekiel 36:26-27, "I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and I will give you a heart of flesh and I will put my spirit in you and I will move you to follow my decrees and to make you careful to obey my laws." Do you see that? I will move you to obey. What does that mean? "I will move you to obey, my grace is going to change you from inside. I'm going to give you a new heart and I'm going to move you to obey my commands."
Jeremiah spoke of it this way, the New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:33, "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people." That is salvation folks. He gives you a new heart. He changes you from within. Sin owns you, sin was your master, and God came in and changed it all. Thanks be to God for your obedience. Change of heart and also a change of ownership, you have a new owner, a new master. Formerly a slave to sin, now a slave to Jesus Christ. A slave to righteousness.
Now how did the change happen? It happened by the gospel. It says "You obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted." What is that form of teaching? It's doctrine. You were entrusted to a form of teaching. What is this word entrust mean? You're handed over to it by God. God handed you over to a form of teaching. Any of you who have children, you entrust your children to a babysitter when you go out for the evening, right? "Please take care of them." Or if you have a youth leader like Andy, you entrust your children to him for the retreat, and he takes good care of them, right? How many of them come back from the trip 95%? 100% come back right? Andy's got a good track record, 98% of the kids that are entrusted to him come back safely.
100%, nothing less. Alright, well what did God do with your soul? He entrusted your soul to a form of teaching. He handed your soul over to doctrine for safekeeping. That's what the verse says, look at it again. "Thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves of sin you wholeheartedly obeyed that form of teaching to which you were handed over, entrusted, committed. You were handed over to a form of teaching."
And that doctrine is going to get you home, it's this gospel, it's this whole Book of Romans, not just the simple message of the cross and empty tomb, it's more than that. It includes sanctification, holiness, righteousness, growth, obedience, fruitfulness, death, resurrection, and eternity in heaven. It's the whole message. And God has committed you for safekeeping into the hands of the gospel message. Isn’t that amazing? We already said it's the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, it's sufficient to get the job done and that's why we're going through it carefully.
And it's interesting this word handed over, Romans 1:24, it says there he handed over sinners in the depravity of their hearts to sin, handed over to sin as the biggest judgment God can ever do in your life. Say go ahead do it, "I'm handing you over to what you want." He also used the word in Romans 8, "He who did not spare his own son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also along with him graciously give us all things." Here's how it works. The person he hands over under Judgment he hands over to his sin, the one he's saving he hands over to doctrine and to a righteousness that Jesus earned by being handed over to death.
That's how it works. You were entrusted to a form of teaching. And who did it? God did it. That's why he's getting credit for your salvation. And what is the outcome of this change? This new person that you are, you obey from the heart gladly. Glad submission is the result of salvation and therefore you cannot sin so that grace may increase and you cannot sin because law is no longer over you. You don't want to, you're done with it, you hate it, and you would love to have it out.
VI. Your Emancipation Proclamation (verse 18)
And so Verse 18 stands as your Emancipation Proclamation. Look at it again verse 18, "You have been set free from sin, and you have become slaves to righteousness." Notice that this is simply a statement of fact, he's not exhorting you to become free from sin, he's telling you that you are free from sin. You're free, drop the tools, come out of the field. He's not your master anymore you don't have to obey him anymore. You're free. Stop sinning, count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, same teaching. Your former status has changed and now you have a new master, and you do have a new master. I know we think of ourselves as totally free, right? We don't have anyone over us. We'll have no one ruling over us, you're born for servanthood. You're born for it. You're either going to serve sin and the devil or you're going to serve God, there's no third option, no third option. But the beauty of it is that Jesus is a perfect master, is he not?
Think again about these famous verses, Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." What's the next part? Think about it. "Take my yoke upon you." What does that word "yoke" mean? You look it up, in every case it refers to slavery. "Let me be your master," he says. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Jesus is a wonderful master, but he is a master. "You call me teacher and Lord and rightly so for that is what I am." Jesus is a master and he calls you to obedience, but he's a good master and all of his commands lead to holiness and righteousness and health and joy for you. Sin is a wicked master and all of his commands seek to plunder you of everything good.
Paul put it this way, Romans 1:1, he says, "Paul a bond-slave of Jesus Christ." I'm happy to say I'm a bond-slave of Jesus Christ." He's glad to proclaim that he's in servitude to Christ. And then he's saying that you are too. 1 Corinthians 6, 19, and 20, he says, "You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body." It's the same teaching as here. You don't belong to yourself. Sin is not your master, you have a new master and he commands holiness, he commands righteousness. You're bought at a price. Well, then what? Work it out in your life. I have discovered that the greatest lie, the greatest lie that Satan teaches us is in the moment of temptation don't bother resisting because sooner or later you're mine. Have you ever heard that?
Maybe you're trying to change some habit pattern. Maybe feel like you eat too much, maybe some people struggle with smoking or some other thing and you want to get rid of it and you start to step out to make a change to grow on holiness and godliness and then that voice comes in, "Why bother? You can't keep this up the rest of your life. Sooner or later you're mine." Is that true? Is it true? Sooner or later, we've got to go back and sin? The message here is you're free. You never need to do that sin ever again. It's a matter of authority.
So, what is our conclusion? Well, sin is monstrous. Why serve it? Serve instead righteousness. Charles Wesley wrote it this way, and the closing hymn that we're going to sing in a minute. Charles Wesley and over a thousand tongues who sing he says this, "He brakes the power of cancelled sin. He sets the prisoner free." Sin is cancelled in your life if you come to faith in Christ, but it's still got that power. It's a power of deception, of lying that you must sin. This message here frees you from that lie. I'm not a slave to sin anymore. I never need to do that again. I have power to say no to temptation. Please close with me in prayer.
Oh, God, we come humbly before you and we acknowledge that you are master, you are Lord. That before you the angels with six wings fly and serve. With two wings they cover their faces because of your radiance and brilliance and holiness. With two wings they cover their feet because of your holiness and with two wings they fly and serve. Oh, God, I pray that we would be in the same way, stricken by your holiness, a sense of your power and majesty and also of your incredible love to us in Christ. That you freed us forever from sin and it made us slaves to righteousness.
Oh, I pray if there's any here who have not come to faith in Christ, who do not know this freedom from sin that they would come to Jesus Christ. "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you'll find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Oh, bring them, God, bring them. Make them obey by your power. Give them a new heart that they might follow your ways and obey your commands. We pray this in Jesus' name, amen.