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Sixth Sunday after Holy Trinity

                                                      Sixth Sunday after Holy Trinity

                                                      Sixth Sunday after Holy Trinity

The Sixth Sunday after Holy Trinity

July 23, 2017

Texts: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 5:20-26; LSB #562 All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall

Grace and mercy to your from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Amen)

Our sermon text is from Romans 6:1-4  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Thus far the text.  Let us pray:

Merciful Father, who desires not the death of a sinner and who yet knows that all mankind fell in Adam's fall and one common sin infects us all; from sire to son the bane descends, and over all the curse impends.  But Christ, the second Adam, came to bear our sin and woe and shame, to be our Life, our Light, our Way, our only Hope, our only Stay.  For as by one man all mankind fell and, born in sin, was doomed to hell, so by one Man, who took our place, we all received the gift of grace.  Keep us dear Father, in this grace….

In the name of Jesus (Amen)

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Greek mythology has a character named Narcissus.  Narcissus was a hunter.  Narcissus was known for his beauty. Narcissus was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis, another mythological character, noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool.  Narcissus saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died.

Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance and/or public perception.

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

A very real and renown narcissist was released from prison last week.  O.J. Simpson took 30 minutes talking about himself before claiming responsibility for the crime that sent him to prison.  He claimed that a major goal of his new civilian life is to live as a better Baptist.  

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  

Narcissists spend a lot of time staring at themselves.  Staring at their image in the mirror or on facebook.  

Narcissists spend a lot of money on themselves.  Buying new clothes, new toys; spending more than they can afford.

Narcissists spend a lot of thought thinking about their great thoughts.  Talking about themselves during work meetings, in the teachers classroom, during Happy Hour.  All topics are about themselves.

Narcissists love themselves more than anyone else.  

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

No, we should not continue to sin which means to love ourselves more than anyone else.  Why? Because you are a new person since you are baptized and believing in Jesus Christ.

You don’t spend your time focusing on you.  Well, if you do then may God repent you of your sin-fullness because you have just found your repentance for this morning.

Rather, you are looking to Jesus.  He has made you a new creation.  The old narcissist is passing away.  The new creature - which you are - is begun and will never end even though you wait for the resurrection of your body from the dead.

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  Let us learn to answer with God’s answer, saying: Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

You are the Narcissists that fell into the pond.  You are baptized and those who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You are now different than you were before you were baptized and believing.

How so?  The splash stopped your navel gazing.  You are not focused on yourself like you once were.  You look to Jesus.  Every day is now a drowning of the Old Adam and rising of the New Man because you are baptized and believing.

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Well, now you know with your heads.  God our Father speaks in this text that you are a different person.  You are baptized into Jesus Christ.  You are baptized into Jesus’ death.

You are now dead to sin because you are baptized and believing.

A brief example.  In the beginning, you did not hear God say ‘Let there be light’.  However, today you see light and you know that God did it because He said it.  In a similar manner, but opposite in your experience, today you hear God say ‘You are dead to sin!’ but you do not see all the results.

In both cases, God spoke.  He said, “Let there be light” and there was light.  And He said, “You are dead to sin” and you are dead to sin.

What are dead people really good at doing?  That’s right, nothing.  They just lay there.  So also, when it comes to sin, you do nothing.  Why?  Becaused you are baptized and believing.  You are a new creation.

What kinds of things are you dead to?  What kinds of things bring about no response from you who are baptized and believing in Jesus Christ?

Let’s look at a part of the list in Galatians 5 to show you who God says you are not:

You are not adulterers (if you are married) and you are not fornicators (if you are unmarried).  That is not who you are.  You can be tempted but you don’t act on the temptation.

You are not unclean (watchers of pornography).

You are not lewd (filthy talkers).

You are not idolaters (you do not try to keep up with the Jones’.  When are friend gets new stuff you do not act on the impulse to go out and do the same.  

You are not sorcerers (dabblers in magic)

Hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, and dissensions are not enjoyable to you like they once were.  

You delight in Christ’s teaching rather than heresies and the like.

You are different because you now recognize that you are not beautiful, but Jesus is.  You look to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of your faith.

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

No, even though grace does abound.

Who are you?  You are those born from above; born of the Holy Spirit by water and the Word.  

What are the fruits of this birth?

Love.  Narcissists are unable to love other people.  Your Father loves you like this, He sent His only-begotten Son to die for you.  Now you are the ones who receive His love.  And now you are the ones who genuinely love other people, even enemies.  You are a new creation.

Joy.  You remember the Three Wise Men who visited the infant Jesus at Epiphany.  “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.”  You too rejoice that the Savior comes to you.  Jesus comes to you and fills you with joy.  A little more each time you meet with Him.  You are a new creation.

You have peace with God.  Your heard it said to the shepherds keeping watch at night, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  Jesus makes peace between you and God.

You delight in showing mercy to those who need mercy (e.g. The Mercy-Fund).  You delight in showing kindness to those who need kindness.  Goodness to those who need goodness.  Faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to those who need the same.

So, back to the question, Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Well, no because your sinful nature is passing away while at the same time you are a new creature in Jesus Christ.  You are the baptized and believing ones who delight in looking to the Author and Perfecter of your faith.  Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus is beautiful.  And with His gifts of repentance and faith in Christ, Jesus makes you beautiful too; in the name of Jesus.  (Amen)