Wednesday, 1st December 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-11 No Longer the Same
V1-2 ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?’ What is a new beginning? All the problems in our lives are not problems anymore, the old is gone and new is here. Where is this new beginning? In our lives, our relationships, our health… we must believe we are no longer the same. The first thing is our own faith, do we believe that we need to ‘die’ before we receive the new life?
V3-4 ‘Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.’ To ‘die’ in our flesh means to stop thinking about the past, things happened before will be in the past, when we got rid of the past then we can receive the new hope and new life. When we are willing to ‘die’ in our flesh and our old self, to be baptised, then we are showing our willingness to glorify God.
V5-7 ‘For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.’ Our past hurt and pain have been nailed on the cross, they are no longer our excuses of our behaviour, do not go back to the cave, to self-pity and self-condemnation. We are entering the new beginning now, have faith that Jesus can overcome everything once and for all! If we continue to give ourselves excuses, then we are resurrecting our old self! Simon Peter said to Jesus that he also wanted to walk on water, such an impossible thing to do, Jesus allowed him to experience, as long as he had the faith.
V8-9 ‘Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.’ Do we know what is in the Word of God? Do we really know the power of the resurrection of Jesus? Our lives have been through ups and downs, we are struggling all the time, because we do not truly believe that our old self has already died on the cross. If we bring back the old self that’s already dead, then when we feel weak, we let it become our excuse not to move forward.
V10-11 ‘For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ When our old self died, we must learn from scratch, let our lives be like a blank paper, like an infant, and live a new life we have never lived before. Which part of our old lives have we not given up on? What are we still holding onto? When we die and revive with Jesus, we don’t revive as our old self but as a new creation. We should not live like how we live before, not think like how we think before, and not behave like how we behave before. There is nothing impossible in God, we can resurrect as a new creation, if we believe. Our old self is full of the past pain and hurt, the unforgiveness, the bitterness, the anger, the disappointment, the discouragement… if we continue to carry this old self, then we don’t have the power to preach the Good News and we cannot live a life of a new creation.
Section Two V12-14 Never Turn Back
V12 ‘Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.’ How do we let our sin reign in our body? It is to use our old self as excuses not to move forward. We tend to think that we are like this, and we cannot change, but when we have this mindset, at the same time, we are telling ourselves and telling God that we cannot change. We are implying that Jesus doesn’t have the power of resurrection in our lives.
V13-14 ‘And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.’ Do not let sin lead us, in our head we know we are sinning, but in our actions, we still let it reign over us. We don’t control our anger, our lustful desires, our slandering, our negative emotions… we become the slaves of sins and we don’t let the power of resurrection come into our lives.
As resurrected Christians, we are under grace not under law, therefore do not think how we are going to overcome, but to ask and seek God first. Pour out our feelings to Him and let Him do the work. We don’t need to give ourselves excuses, just simply come to God, and have faith that we are no longer the same and we will never turn back.
Section Three V15-23 Take the Action
V15-16 ‘What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?’ We must take the action, to admit our mistakes in front of God, like a child, and use our own ways to express ourselves that we want God, and we need God. Have this determination to get the attention from God, His love for us is our blessings. God wants us to receive this new life because He knows we cannot enter Heaven with the old self. Life and death He have laid down in front of us, so what is our choice?
罗马书 6 – 新的开始
V1-4 当我们说“新的开始”的时候，首先要有信心，在还没有开始的时候就相信我们已经不再一样。我们为什么要相信呢？仇敌常常会在我们耳边欺骗说我们或别人还是一样，然而，我们不是靠着行为称义。古时希腊文化崇尚“doing”、因果报应。保罗教导我们，新的开始不是从doing开始，而是“岂不知我们这受洗归入基督耶稣的人，是受洗归入他的死吗？ 所以，我们借着洗礼归入死，和他一同埋葬，原是叫我们一举一动有新生的样式，像基督借着父的荣耀从死里复活一样”。我们跟随神，不是因为做了什么就得到什么，而是要愿意先“死”。我们不要再去想过往的东西，因为“死”代表着过去发生的事都成为过去了。世界上的“新”是从“doing”的角度来看的，比如新的工作、事情等等。然而，我们要愿意“死”才能有新的生命。我们是否愿意让过往一切的光辉事迹以及坎坷、败坏的生命“死去”？若不是，那些旧有的东西就会一直拖拽我们，让我们无法进入新的生命。我们愿意死，就能彰显神的荣耀，这才是真的信心。若我们一直拉着过去，不肯“死”，就是不相信神，不愿意用我们的生命荣耀神。所以，不要在夸耀自己过去多厉害，或者抱怨过去人怎么伤害我们，不然，耶稣的复活在哪里？我们不要拿过去的东西来做自己软弱的借口，因为耶稣的复活是有力量、有权柄的，耶稣曾说过，天上地下的权柄都给了我们，我们能做的比耶稣做得更大。
V8-10 死“只有一次”，我们在今天之前的一切旧我的东西都死了，我们就不要回头看，不要去抱怨过去。我们要“向神活着”- 就是一个新的开始。基督教的“复活”不是一个死去的人按着原来的样子活过来，而是一个新的创造。我们若是已经复活，就不应该把几十年前的包袱又背回身上，在复活里，这些包袱都要丢掉，不然我们就会成为软弱无力的基督徒，也无法传扬出有复活大能的福音。不要再被过往的成长背景和伤痛缠绕。我们是否相信过去的包袱已经死了，现在的我们是跟过去完全不一样的全新的人？耶稣基督的救恩是真实的，使我们不用再跑回过去的山洞、按照过去的思想和行为模式来活，我们相信吗？