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A Change of Kingdoms
09/29/2013
Scripture: Romans 6:6-7; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1...
Track 3 of in the series
Many Christians have a basic desire to live a holy life, but have come to believe they simply cannot do it. They have struggled for years with particular sins or deficiencies of character. While not living in gross sin, they have more or less given up ever attaining a life of holiness and settled down to a life of moral mediocrity with which neither they nor God are pleased.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


A Change of Kingdoms

Romans 6:6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Many Christians have a basic desire to live a holy life, but have come to believe they simply cannot do it. They have struggled for years with particular sins or deficiencies of character. While not living in gross sin, they have more or less given up ever attaining a life of holiness and settled down to a life of moral mediocrity with which neither they nor God are pleased. The promise of Romans 6 and Galatians 2 that we just read seems impossible and beyond them. These verses only frustrate the Christian.

What are the ways by which a Christian tries to be holy for God? On their on power, by faith, through a lot of prayer.

In our search for answers to our sin problems, a troublesome question arises: What should we look to God for and what are we responsible for ourselves to be victorious over sin?

Many Christians are confused at this point. When we first start to live the Christian life, we confidently assumed we will simply discover from the Bible what God wants us to do and start doing it. But we fail to reckon with our tendency to cling to our old sinful ways.

True or False: We need to stop trying and start trusting or let go and let God

After experiencing a great deal of failure with our sinful nature, we are told that we have been trying to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh. We need to stop trying and start trusting or let go and let God. We are told that if we just turn our sin problem over to Jesus and rest in his work at Calvary, we will then begin to start experiencing victory. How many of you have heard this before?

After hearing this, how does it make you feel and does it work?

If we are honest with ourselves, we discover we are still experiencing defeat at the hands of our sinful nature. The promise that was given to us still seems to be far off. We still struggle with pride, jealousy, materialism, impatience and lust. We still eat too much, waste our time, criticize each other, shade the truth just a little and indulge in a dozen other sins, all the time hating ourselves for doing them.

So what is wrong? Why can’t we experience the victory described in Romans 6 and Galatians 2? What is wrong with us? Do you feel despair sometimes over this issue? I find myself wanting to find a whole somewhere and to crawl into it and stay away from everyone so not to contaminate them.

If you were Satan, what would you want us to do when we sin? What words of confusion would you give us to help make the situation worse?

The lack of understanding on this issue has led to great confusion in our pursuit of holiness. It is very important that we make this distinction, God has indeed made provisions for us to live a holy life, but He has also given us definite responsibilities.

Let’s look at God’s provisions:

Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

The first thing we have to recognize is this passage, this is something that we are responsible for. The experience of holiness is not a gift we receive like justification, but something which we are clearly exhorted to work at.

The second thing to note about this passage is the word “therefore”. Everything found in verse 12 is based on what was said before it. We are to pursue holiness because certain facts are true. Lets look at Romans 6:

• do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires because (verse 2) We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
• do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires because (verses 2-11) Christ died to sin, we died to sin how can we live in it any longer?

Because Christ died to sin, we died to sin. It is apparent that our dying to sin is not something we do, but something Christ has done. And because He did it, the value of it accrues to all of us who are united with Him.

Romans 6:11-12 (NIV) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Those of you who are in the financial business, what does accrual mean. When and investment accrues, what is happening? It is the natural increment added because of the investment like interest or the advantages that accrue from study. This is the same thought about us united with Christ and his death to sin. The advantage is our death to sin.

So what does Paul mean by this expression, died to sin? He means we died to the dominion of sin or to the reign of sin. Before we trusted in Jesus for our salvation we were in the kingdom of Satan and sin.

There is a change of Kingdoms

Ephesians 2:1-2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Col. 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.

Every man born after Adam, except for Jesus, was born into this kingdom of sin, slavery and death. But through our union with Jesus we have died to this realm of sin. We have been set free from sin, rescued from the dominion of darkness and turned from the power of Satan to God. Before our salvation we were in bondage to sin, under the reign and rule of sin. But now through our union with Jesus in His death to sin, we have been delivered out of the realm of sin and placed in the kingdom and realm of righteousness.

Because we were in this realm of sin, under its reign and rule, we began to sin from infancy (explain how this works). Because we were slaves we acted like slaves. We developed sinful habits and a sinful character. Even if we were what the world would call “a good person” we lived for ourselves and not to God.

Here are some tough questions to wrestle with:

But if we have been delivered from the realm of darkness and transported to the Kingdom of righteousness, why do we still sin? We still live within our physical, imperfect bodies which is a product of sin and still is affected by the disadvantages of sin.

What disadvantages do our bodies have because of sin and how might those disadvantages hinder our pursuit of holiness? We still die, grow old, desire the sinful nature and follows old habits.

Even though Jesus won the war for us against sin, Satan still is fighting. He hasn’t given up. He has changed his attacks and uses guerrilla warfare against us to try to bring us back into slavery. All of this results into a struggle between the Spirit and our sinful nature which Paul wrote about.

Galatians 5:16-18 (NIV) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Before our salvation, before our death to the reign of sin, what Paul said here in Galatians 5 would have been futile. You cannot say to a slave, “Live as a freeman”. He can’t because he has no choice. He can’t because he is in slavery. But you can say that to a man delivered from slavery. For the Christian, we are no longer slaves. We can now stand up to sin and say no to it. Before, we had no choice; now we have one. When we sin as Christians, we do not sin as slaves, but as individuals with the freedom of choice. We sin because we chose to sin.