Why Are You Still Getting Paid for Sin?

Why Are You Still Being Paid…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
For the Wages of Sin?

In Jesus Name

May you know in the depths of your being, that incredible gift of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, the freedom from sin, satan and the fear of death, and the gift of eternal life!

That’s it?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you worked so hard you were physically and emotionally exhausted?  Where you were so tired you couldn’t get up to walk to the refrigerator to get something to drink?

When you finally got home, kissed your spouse, hugged your kids, patted the dog (at least you know you did those things, not sure which thing to whom! ) sat down and fell asleep?

And then, you wake up, realize your paycheck is still in your pocket, you open it up and wonder…. “that’s it?”

That’s all I get for breaking my back, for losing my hair over this job?

I ought to go look for another one.  There has got to be something better out there… something less exhausting, something with more of a reward, something that gives me some sense of satisfaction, some sense of life.

Now let’s say that you are offered the position of a lifetime, you are to replace the president of Microsoft, or Apple computers, or become the new head of the I.R.S.  Your salary won’t be 6 figures, it will be 8……. A 30 hour work week, and that includes your own staff that does your nails, combs your hair, flies you to Hawaii in your own personal jet….gets you front row tickets to the Spurs, Patriots and Red Sox games…

After taking a week to think it through, you aren’t sure, and so you ask for a month, and for some reason you still aren’t sure…..

Wait – why wouldn’t you take that job?

Well, my bet is that is what you are doing spiritually these days… because I know I am doing it too!  Matter of fact, that problem goes all the way back to St. Paul, and the church in Rome!

We have to stop collecting the wages of death, and allow God to give us life!

Why are still collecting death?

As we look at this passage of Romans, we see this point in each paragraph.

In verse 12 and 13, Paul begs us,

12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Romans 6:12-13 (ESV)

In verse 16 he Says,

16  Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16 (ESV)

And in verse 21, Paul reminds US,

21  But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
Romans 6:21 (ESV)

What don’t we understand about this?

Yet we freely give in to envy, to lust, to hatred, to gossip about each other, to selfishness.  We forget the needs fo those around us, and focus on our wants.  We even disregard what God says, choosing to think what we want, thinking what we know is right, doing what brings us momentary pleasure?

We should be receiving Holiness, Righteousness, the Ability to do the things that take us this way…

Paul has spent an entire chapter telling us to live so hindered, so in bondage to sin is unnecessary.  In the next two chapters, he will describe this war even more,  For he fights it as well.  Paul knows what it is, to do the things we know are sin, and do not want to do.  He knows the heartache of wanting to do what is right, but failing to do it, over and over.

He started by saying we died to the power of sin, and satan, and the fear of death in our Baptism, when we were united to Christ’s death and resurrection,  He will say in chapter 8, again referring to our being united to Christ, that there is no condemnation for those of us in Christ.

Here he says,

“present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” Romans 6:13 (ESV)

and

17  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18  and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18 (ESV)

and

the free gift of God is eternal life….

You see, this justified, sanctified life that we have, isn’t by our power, it isnt’ lived by our strength.  It is found in dwelling in Christ, in realizing His work, in keeping our eyes on Him, and realizing He lives in us.  It is found in being quiet, and listening to the Holy Spirit.

It is realizing what happened to you in your baptism, what is given you at this altar, it is the reason we have joy and hope, the answer we have when others wonder why we can have hope, in the midst of this exhausting world.

It is the same power at work in us, when we look around us, and see the needs of others for Christ, and do everything we can, even more than we can, sacrificing to help them see Christ revealed in their lives.  That same power, as we are focused on Christ that enables us to serve the hurting, the broken, whether they don’t know Jesus yet, or whether they’ve known Him for 30 years, or 80.

For we all struggle, for we all do battle with sin, and all need to be re-focused on God’s work in our lives, as He counts us righteous, as He works through us, to see His greatest desire come pass, that all come to repentance, to realize that He is their delivered, their Lord.

As we realize that those who serve Christ, aren’t just counted as slaves, but as His friends, (John 15:15)  As we become adopted children of God the Father, co-heirs with Christ.

This is why we don’t continue to dwell as if we’ve earned death as our paycheck, as if we are still slaves, employed by the firm of Sin, Shame & Guilt LLP

Know my friends, that this is God’s plan for you, that you would see Christ. That would know Christ, that you would love Christ…..

And then look back, and see that God has used you, to bring to others, that incredible peace you know, the peace of God our Father, in which you dwell in Christ, your hearts and minds secure in Him.  AMEN?

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 22, 2014, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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