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Kampar Chinese Methodist Church (Morning) 09Mar2003
Bandar Baru Methodist Centre (Evening) 09Mar2003

How shall we continue living?

Romans 6: 1 - 23

Introduction

Describe how Christians are often ridiculed

Propose two questions for today's Christian living:

This passage from Romans 6 tells us that there are three things which form the basis for a Christian to continue living as a new person in this world:

I  He shall perceive himself

 - as alive to God

verse 11 - reckon (recognise, consider) himself as dead to sin and alive to God - through Jesus Christ.

The rationale for verse 11 is elaborated in verses 1 - 10, where the apostle tells us that as a result of being baptised into Christ we have already been

Likewise, we shall also be

A significant observation is that Christ has been resurrected from death, never to die again - death has no more dominion over him  - verse 9

Hence verse 2 and 11, a Christian must continue living by perceiving himself as -" we have died to sin, we consider ourselves a dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ."

II He shall present his members

 - as instruments of God

verse 13 - instruments, and verse 19 - servants

There are teachings from of scripture which teach us how we should put to use various parts of our bodies:

A. Our Eyes

Matthew 6: 22 - the eye is the light of the body.  Matthew 5: 29 - if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away ...

1 John 2: 15, 16 - the lust of the eyes is one of the desires of the world which does not belong to God.

e.g. we are quickly evolving from a listening and talking, reading and reasoning people into a "watching and wowing" people - TV, movies, videos, computer games, even simple lessons for school-children are being embellished with bright, colourful, rapidly moving pictures accompanied with enthralling sound effects etc to provide the "wow, that's cool man ..." factor.  It is easy for our eyes to cause us to sin.  Are we gradually getting addicted to colourful visuals and computer graphics and animations, making us feel bored with merely reading, or listening or talking face to face? Do our eyes lust for the things of this world?

In contrast, Christians are to present their eyes as an instrument of righteousness for God's use in this world.

B. Our Hands

Matthew 5: 30 - and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off . . .

Narrate story of a man whose wife was a gambler ...

Subsequently, wife separated from the man, and he went on to marry another woman:

Eventually the man passed away after a long battle with liver cancer.  By then the good wife was already suffering from cancer but she did not let her step-children know.  Last week, she, too, passed away after the doctors at LamWah Ee Hospital, Penang failed to save her.  When my wife and I went to pay our respects, at her house,

This morning, what hands do we have?  Do our hands offend us, causing us to sin?

C. Our Feet

Isaiah 52: 7 - "How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings ..."

Ephesians 6: 15 - " ... your feet shod with thepraparation of gospel of peace"

Where do our feet bring us? to what places? for what cause?

Narrate: conversation with friend who is a direct sales agent, who commented on Kampar folks being greedy for "small benefits" - by walking all the way to a new housing area to attend Japaneses style sales talks, submitting to demands to line up, bow and make greetings in Japanese, in return for free gifts of household utensils, groceries etc. 

D. Our Tongue

Matthew 5: 37 - " . . . but let your communication be yea,yea, nay, nay"

James 1: 19 - "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath . . ."

James 3: 3 - 8 - our tongue: a little member of our body, but causes great damage.  Likened to a small bit that turns a big horse, or a small rudder that turns a big ship, or a small fire brings great destruction. " . . . defiles the whole body, sets our life on fire."

Observation: growing up in poorer parts of downtown KL, heard frequent use of harsh words, condemnations, even some cursing, by angry parents on their mischievous children.  Today, the trend appears to be reversed, there is increasing prevalent use of harsh words, swearing, and cursing by young people, sometimes children, in public and among friends.

Question

 A Christian must continue living by presenting his body as instruments to serve God - Have we yielded the members of our bodies to God?

III He shall partake his gift

 - as everlasting life from God

verses 22 and 23 of tonight's passage:

Conclusion

A Christian, after recognising himself as dead to sin and alive to God through Christ, and who continually yield his body to become servants of God, can therefore continue living by receiving, partaking together with all fellow Christians this gift of eternal life from God.  In this manner, he does not come under reproach of unbelievers who often accuse Christians of having an "easy way out" of getting punished for sins.