Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
Sermon #69 — Romans Series
Title: “Free from Sin”
Text: Romans 6:7, 18, 22
Subject: The Believer’s Freedom from Sin
Date: Sunday Morning — November 1, 2015
Reading: Psalm 32:1-11
(Romans 6:1-23) (1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
(4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
(8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
(11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
(18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. (20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
(22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Three times in this chapter God the Holy Ghost declares that every sinner saved by the grace of God, every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ is “free from sin” (vv. 7, 18, 22).
(Romans 6:7) “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
(Romans 6:18) “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
(Romans 6:22) “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
As God the Holy Ghost will enable me, I want to preach to you on this great, blessed subject — “Free from sin.” — “Free from sin!” What a great thought! — “Free from sin!” It is my heart’s prayer and desire before God that every one of you will leave this house of worship today “free from sin,” consciously “free from sin,” by faith in Christ.
Proposition: All who trust Christ are free from sin.
Union with Christ
Throughout this chapter Paul keeps reminding us of our union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Š We lived with Christ while he walked through this world serving God, obeying God, believing God.
Š We were crucified with Christ (v. 6; Galatians 2:20).
Š We arose with Christ — (Baptismal Confession – vv. 3-6).
Š We ascended, and sat down with Christ, and have been accepted in Heaven with him (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Š We live with Christ and in Christ; and Christ lives in us (vv. 8, 11).
If God the Holy Ghost will enable us to grasp, in some measure, the reality of our union with Christ, if he will enable us to live in the awareness of the fact that we are one with Christ we would live with absolutely no sense of bondage before God, no sense of dread before him, and no sense of apprehension at the prospect of meeting him in death or at the bar of judgment.
“He that is dead is free from sin!” Sin has no dominion over, no control of, no demand upon, and no claims against us, because we are in Christ and being in Christ we are “dead to sin” (v. 2; 1 Peter 4:1-2).
(1 Peter 4:1-20) “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
If a man goes to the gas chamber, or to the electric chair for murder, once they throw the switch and he dies, he is free from his crime. The law has no more claims. The law has nothing else that it can do to him. The law wants no more from him. The law has no charge against him. — He is free from sin, free from his crime.
Romans 6:18 says this: — “Being then made free from sin, (delivered from sin), ye became the servants of righteousness. Being made free from sin, (being given this blessing, this glorious standing, this soul-cheering awareness of freedom from sin); ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Read verse 22 again. — “But now, being made free from sin, and become the servants of God, ye have your fruit unto (with reference to) holiness, and the end life everlasting.” Being made free from sin, and becoming the servants (the bond-slaves) of Jesus Christ, you have fruit now (Galatians 5:22-23). That fruit is unto holiness and the end result of it all is “everlasting life.”
This entire chapter is talking about the believer’s life on this earth, the life of faith, the life that is ours in union with Christ. It is a life “free from sin!” — Are you interested in that? If you are this message is for you.
Our great problem and concern before God is our sin. That is true of you; and that is true of me. David said that. He said, — “My sins are ever before me.” The prophet Isaiah said that this is our whole trouble. — “Your sins have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Man’s problem is sin. This is what stands between you and God, sin. That’s the whole trouble. There wouldn’t be any trouble if it wasn’t for sin. There would be no death, sorrow, or punishment if it were not for sin. Sin is the whole trouble; and it is between you and your God.
“The wages of sin is death.” — The wages are the results of sin. “Sin, when it is finished, (when it has run its course and brought its results), bringeth forth death.” All have sinned. There’s no one who hasn’t sinned. There’s no one without sin. There is no one that is not plagued with this problem. Sin is the plague of the heart, the heart dicease of our race. Everybody has it — even those little children down in the nursery. — “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Question — What would it mean to you to know that you were free from sin? What if all of your sins, past, present, and future, were pardoned, forgiven, and put away forever and ever, never to be remembered or mentioned again? David and Paul knew the joy, the blessedness of divine forgiveness. I pray that you will know it before I’m done this morning.
David’s Song — (Psalm 32:1-2) “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Paul’s Message — (Romans 4:8) “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
O the blessedness! O the happiness! O the joyfulness of the sinner made “free from sin” by God himself! God says, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). You might say, “God can’t forget anything.” That is true, but the blood of Christ is so effectual and strong that even the holy eyes of the omniscient God cannot see sin that has been eradicated, removed, blotted out, purged, and put away by the precious blood of Christ! — “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). I’m not talking about two or three or our past sins. I’m talking about all sin.
Š Secret Sins!
Š Open Sins!
Š Sins of Omission!
Š Sins of Commission!
Š Known Sins!
Š Unknown Sins!
Š Inward Sins!
Š Outward Sins!
Š Past Sins!
Š Present Sins!
Š Future Sins!
“My sin, Oh, the bliss
Of that glorious thought
My sin, not in part,
But the whole.
Is nailed to the cross,
And I bear it no more
Praise the Lord!
It is will with my soul!”
Three times in this great chapter, I read that “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live.” When Christ died, I died. When he arose, I arose. When he ascended, I ascended. When he was seated at the right hand of God, I was seated in him.
And three times in this chapter I read that I am “free from sin!” Paul is telling us that every believer has died under the judgment of sin is dead with Christ and he is free from sin. Just as Christ is free from the sins that he bore in his own body on the tree, when he who knew no sin was made sin for us, so we are free from sin in him!
He was made sin for us. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree. Did he not? He arose without sin. Where are the sins? He put them away. He cast them to the depths of the sea to be remembered no more.
Do you see that? Christ is free from sin! And in him I am free from sin, just as he is! — To put it in John’s words, “As he is so are we in this world!” That is what he is saying.
Š We are free from sin.
Š We are no longer in bondage to sin.
Š We are no longer under the guilt of sin.
Š We are now the servants of the Lord.
Š We are now the servants of righteousness.
He that is freed from sin, from the service of sin and from the bondage of sin, has become the servant of God and the servant of righteousness. The fruit of all this grace, the fruit of this salvation, the fruit of this great gift and boon of grace is holiness and everlasting life! — The result of all of it all is a sure hope in Christ of life eternal.
Divisions: Let me wrap this up by speaking to you as plainly as I can about the meaning of these three words — “Free from Sin.” I am not going to speak in riddles. I’m not going to speak in religious jargon. I am going to speak plainly and bluntly. And what I have to say you will find written out so plainly in Holy Scripture that you can’t miss it. Here are four things that I want you to se.
1. I have to show you what it does not mean to be free from sin.
2. Then I will show you what it does mean to be free from sin.
3. Third, I will show you from the Word of God how this great blessedness is obtained.
4. Fourth, I want you to know the results of being made “free from sin.”
First, when the Word of God asserts that all who trust Christ are “free from sin,” there are some things those words, obviously, do not mean.
1. To be free from sin does not mean that I am free from the presence of sin. Sin does remain. It does not reign; it does not control; but it does remain. Everyone listening to me is a sinner, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever.
Š The Bible tells us plainly in 1 John 1:8, — “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Verse 10 says; “If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar.”
Š When the disciples asked our Lord, “Teach us to pray,” he taught them to pray like this: — “Forgive us our sins.” Our Lord taught his disciples to pray every day for the forgiveness of sin.
The motions of sin in us are real, very real, to every one of us who know God. — I am not talking about getting drunk and rolling in the gutter. I’m not talking about murder, theft, rape, adultery, and those things. I am talking about the sins of the mind, the heart, and the imagination. There is the sin of pride, lust, covetousness, envy, jealousy, and prejudice. These things are sin. — The thoughts of our hearts are only evil continually!
We are not perfect in ourselves, far from it! But we are perfect in Christ. — He has perfected forever them that are sanctified. By one offering he has perfected us forever. I repeat, we are not perfect in ourselves. Anyone who claims to be perfect is a “liar and the truth is not in him.” He has even made God a liar. You never live a day without sinning, and sinning throughout the day. So, to be free from sin does not mean that we are free from the presence of sin. It is foolishness to even talk about it.
2. To be free from sin certainly does not mean that we are free from an awareness of sin. We are aware of things about us. Those things that are appealing to the flesh still appeal to the flesh.
There is a constant warfare in every believer between the flesh and the spirit. This is what Paul says, “The flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh so that you cannot do the things you would.” Read the 7th Chapter of Romans again. There the apostle Paul talks frankly about this warfare.
(Romans 7:14-24) “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
This same apostle Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Every heaven-born soul carries in him the heavy, heavy weight of this body of sin. We are not freed from that! We are not free from the awareness of sin, the conflicts of sin, and the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. Be honest with yourself; and be honest with God. He said, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin.” The Scripture says, “He that covereth his sins will not prosper.” The man that denies his sins and tries to cover his sins God will not prosper.
I’m telling you the truth; and you know it. I am not preaching for your money. I’m preaching for your soul! I am not promising prosperity like all those con-men on television. I am talking about spiritual prosperity; and that involves inward poverty, poverty of heart and soul. — “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of God!” I would rather have patches on my britches and know God than drive a limousine and be in the gall of religious bitterness!
3. For another thing, freedom from sin does not mean that we are free from the effects of sin. We are not free from the effects of sin. Sin is the cause of all sorrow, pain, unhappiness, sickness, and death in this world. Sin is the cause of all that we suffer in this world. — “By one man sin entered this world and death by sin.” Nothing was wrong with God’s creation until sin entered it. Nothing was wrong with humanity until sin corrupted it. And we will not be free from the effects of sin so long as we live in this world of sin.
Š Are you free from depression?
Š Are you free from loneliness? — Are you never lonely?
Š Are you free from sorrow? — Are you never depressed?
Š Are you free from pain? — Do you ever have a headache?
Š Are you free from sickness? — Are you never sick? — Do you never have a cold?
Š Are you free from sadness? — Are you never sad or blue?
Š Are you free from fear? — Are you never afraid?
Š Are you free from all tears? — Do you never cry?
Š Are you free from old age? — Are you free from death?
“It is appointed unto men once to die.” I will tell you this: if you had no sin, you would not die. The Scripture says, “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The effects of sin are going to stay with us until we leave this earth. When I say that we are free from sin in Christ, I am not saying that we are free from the presence of sin. I am not saying we are free from the awareness of sin and the conflict of sin. I am not even saying that we are free from the effects of sin. I get sick just like anybody else and will, at God’s appointed hour, according to God’s eternal purpose and good providence, I will die, just like all other men, because of sin.
I have shown you what it doesn’t mean to be free from sin. So, second, what does it mean to be free from sin? What are the Scriptures talking about when they tell us that we are “free from sin?”
1. To be free from sin is to be free from the condemnation of sin. That is what it means to be free from sin. It is to be free from its condemnation. Listen to Romans 8:1: — “There is therefore, now, no condemnation to them who are in Christ.” There is no judgment, no wrath, and no charge. “Christ hath redeemed us (freed us) from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us!”
Do you know why there is no condemnation against the believer? Christ took our condemnation.
“Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine!”
“Jesus paid it all, all the debt I owed;
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow!”
“Who can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect; it is God that justifieth!” — The word “justifieth” means to be without sin. It means not guilty. “Who is he that condemneth; Christ has died, yea rather, is risen again who is even at the right hand of God who also maketh intercession for us.” — He that believeth shall not come into condemnation.”
Preachers can talk all they want to about the believer being judged.
Š We have already been judged.
Š The debt has already been paid.
Š Full satisfaction has been rendered.
Š There is no charge against the believer.
Š And there is no condemnation against the believer.
Š There is no judgment to the believer.
We will be witnesses of the judgment. We will be judges with Christ at the judgment. But “Christ hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” We have already been accepted and are already seated at the right hand of God. There is no judgment awaiting us! That would be like bringing Christ into judgment again. We are one with him. — “I in them and thou in me, that they all may be perfect in one.”
Do you think God is going to bring Christ back into judgment? If he brings his people back he will have to bring back Christ because we are “one.” You cannot disassociate that which God has associated. You cannot disunite that which God Almighty has united forever. To be free from sin is to be free from condemnation. — The Great White Throne Judgment will not be a day of trial, but a day of revelation!
2. To be free from sin is to be free from guilt. It is to be not guilty before God. The jury comes marching out of the jury room and the Judge asks them, “Have you reached a verdict?” The jury says, “Not guilty.”
What are you going to do if he is not guilty? You are going to have to let him go. If a man is not guilty, then he is not guilty. He is not chargeable or punishable. In Romans 5, verse 1 and verse 11, it says; “Therefore, being justified (not guilty), by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” — “By whom we have received the atonement” (v. 11).
Pardoned does not mean that the person is not guilty. It means that he is guilty, but pardoned. Forgiven does not mean that he is not guilty. It means guilty, but forgiven. The word justified means that we have no guilt. We are justified. The law is honored by us and justice is satisfied. There is no charge.
3. What does it mean to be free from sin? It means we are free from sin’s penalty and free from sin’s punishment. — We shall never die. Christ said, “He that believeth on me shall never die.”
You might say, “Well, everybody is going to die.” The believer may sleep, and his body may be placed in the ground, but we will never die. We have already died. You can’t die twice. We may sleep but we are not going to die. — “If this earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have already a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
We will never be judged. That is what I am telling you. We will never hear God say, “Depart from me; I never knew you.” We will never be ashamed. — “He that believeth shall never be ashamed.” That is what it means to be free from sin, free from condemnation, free from guilt, free from punishment, and free from the penalty.
4. To be free from sin is to be free from its sin’s dominion.
Listen to me. There was a time, before we heard the Gospel and before we met Christ, when sin not only remained in us but it controlled us. Sin reigned over us and it ruled us. We walked in darkness and delighted in it. We delighted in rebellion. We wearied of the light and didn’t want anything to do with it. We delighted in sin. Sin controlled us, ruled us, and reigned over us. Sin dictated our course. We had very little conscience about it.
We cared nothing about God, truth, holiness, righteousness, honesty, and integrity. But now, being new creatures in Christ, we love God and love his law, his Word, his commandments, and love to do his will.
Š Walking in the Spirit, trusting Christ, living by faith in the Son of God, we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
Š We long to be like Christ (Philippians 3:10).
Š Christ reigns in us as our Lord and King.
Š We reign with Christ as his “royal priesthood,” “kings and priests unto God!”
Š We are the willing, voluntary bond-slaves of Jesus Christ.
Illustration: “Under New Management”
I will tell you this, when a man is redeemed by the grace of God, he has a new Owner and he has a new Manager. He has One, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has taken up his abode; and he reigns (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Third, I will show you from the Word of God how this great blessedness is obtained. How does a sinner come to be “free from sin?”
1. This great mercy comes to us by the grace of God. It is a gift. This freedom from sin is not something we buy, something we earn, or something we work for. It is the gift of God.
The wages of sin is something that we work for; but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. — “Where sin abounded (overflowed), the grace of God did much more abound (overflow).” It was grace that gave me to Christ in an everlasting covenant.
It was grace that chose me in Christ in sovereign election. It was God’s grace that gave his Son to redeem me by his blood on the cross of Calvary.
It was his grace that awakened me on my Damascus Road to hell, arrested me, stopped me in my mad rush to hell, and revealed Christ in me.
It is his grace that has brought me safe thus far, and sustained me and kept me, and will not let me go! It is his grace that will keep me until I lie down to die in faith.
It is his grace that will raise me from the tomb. It is his grace that will give me a new dwelling place in glory. And it will be his grace that will conform me perfectly to the likeness of his dear Son.
So, how does this blessing and freedom from sin come to us? It comes to us by the grace of God.
2. This blessing comes to us by the life and death of Christ.
People may accuse me of playing a one-string fiddle. That is all right if you have the right string. Having one message is all right if you have the right message. Paul had one message; he said, “I preach Christ and him crucified. I am determined to know nothing among you save Christ and him crucified.”
That is my message; and I am saying this: — I am free from sin by the work and by the labor of Another, by the doing and dying of the Son of God! It is not I that did it but Christ that did it. He came to this earth in the flesh, “Born of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law.”
He came to this earth. The Scripture tells me that — By one man’s disobedience I was made a sinner. By another man’s obedience I was made righteous.”
He went to Calvary’s cross. You might say, “How can one man pay such an enormous debt of sin, all the sins of all people of all generations of all nations, kindred, tribes, and tongues under heaven?” It is because of who he is. It is not how much blood Christ shed, but whose blood was shed. “Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died?” — “He was wounded for our transgressions and by his stripes we are healed.”
Then, he arose from the grave. His resurrection says that God the Father accepted all that the Son did and paid. If God the Father, the law of God, justice, and righteousness were not satisfied, Christ would not have risen.
When he brought him from the tomb, he arose without sin. He received him and said, “Come on up here and sit down on my right hand until I make you enemies your footstool.”
He intercedes for us. — And He’s coming back. He said, “If I go away; I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also.”
3. We are justified and this blessing of freedom from sin comes to us by faith.
(Romans 10:9-13) “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Illustration: “Somebody touched me!”
Fourth, I must take just a minute longer to show you the results of being made “free from sin.” — Oh, how I want you to know the results of being made “free from sin!”
Š Being made “free from sin” results in holiness. — Holiness is the fruit we now have for God (Hebrews 12:14; Colossians 1:12-14). — “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Š Being made “free from sin” results in “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!”