Rabbi Schneider - How We Should Live Once We Are Saved
Since you met Jesus, has your life changed? Now many of you said, "Well, I met Yeshua, when I was just a little boy, or just a little girl". "I mean, I don't ever remember," some people might say. "I don't ever remember," some people might say, "what life was like before Jesus because for my earliest childhood memory I remember having relationship with God". But let me ask you this question, if that is the case, and I know that is the case with some, have you radically, passionately been living for Jesus in an uncompromising way, without taking detours since you put your faith in Him, even if that was when you were a little girl or a little boy?
The point I'm trying to make is when we come to Yeshua our life should change. We should be on a trajectory that reflects that we have a relationship with Him. So whether you came to faith as a real little person, your life should then represent the fact that you've been living for Him ever since. Or if you've come to faith recently, or even 15 or 20 years ago, I want to ask you, when you did come to Him, did your life remarkably change? Because once we go into this next chapter in the book of Romans, what Paul was going to tell us is that when we came to Jesus, we died in Him and our old life was buried. And when He was raised, we were raised to newness of life and became brand new creations in Him. And our new life should reflect that we've become different.
And so if nothing's ever changed in our life, if we say, "Well, you know what? I'm 50 years old and I came to Jesus 20 years ago," but you're really no more passionate about Jesus now than you were supposedly 20 years ago when you responded to an altar call, something's radically wrong. Because it's not people that simply said a sinners prayer or came to an altar that truly are Jesus' disciples. Jesus' disciples are those that are truly following Him in their life. They are those that have been marked. You know, we've kind of turned the process of getting saved into repeating a prayer or responding to an altar call. And repeating a prayer, responding to an altar call may be useful at times for some. But that's not how someone really enters into a salvation experience in the fullest sense of the word.
Someone enters into a salvation experience when they turn away from their old life, they turn away from their sin, they receive God's gift of who Jesus is, and what He's done and then make a radical decision to follow Him, and by the grace of God, follow through. This is why Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then you're truly disciples of mine". So that was an introduction to chapter 6. Hear the Word of God, the book of Romans. "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase"?
Now, this sounds like a ridiculous statement. But do you know that there are some major branches of the Christian church whose adherence have a theology that they could continue to sin and all they have to do is confess it and it's okay? If they sin, it's okay, someone will speak that they're forgiven. And so they never have been brought to the place "no, you can't continue to sin so that God will continue to give you grace. You can't continue to sin and then just assume that if you go to the confessional God will continue to pour His grace on you". This is what Paul's addressing here. Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God is saying, "May it never be. What are you thinking about? You don't understand. If you've really come into an experience with Me, you're not going to continue to sin, you're not going to want to grieve Me, you're not going to have a mindset that you could continue to sin and I'll continue to forgive you through some confessional. No, I'll forgive you when you fall. But you can't have a mindset that you can just continue and I'm just going to keep forgiving you without any process in your part in which you're trying to repent".
And so Paul says, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace may increase"? And let me say this to some of you that may not have gone to the extreme that I've just described. Perhaps there are some that are watching right now and you have the mindset, "Well, you know what, I know it's wrong, but God will forgive me. So I'll just do it anyway". I wonder how many of us have been guilty of that. All of us have to some degree. But some of us are making it a lifestyle. Some of you are continually to sin willfully in your life, knowing that's wrong, and then just assuming, "Well, it's okay. God will forgive me. I know it's wrong, I know that continuing to commit fornication is wrong, but God will forgive me. He understands". You know what Paul says here? "What shall we say? Are we to continue to just sin that grace may abound? May it," he said, "Never be"!
Beloved, this is serious. There's consequences for people that consider themselves believers and may even be believers, and think that they can continue to willfully sin against God's written Word and that God will continue to forgive. But I have news for you. God will discipline and chastise His people, and it will not feel good. And beyond that, for someone that has that attitude and has not been convicted in their conscience, I think it's right even to question one's salvation.
So Paul says, "What should we say then? Are we to continue to sin so that grace may abound? May it never be"! Salvation begins with repentance, turning to Jesus to follow Him. "How shall we," Paul continues, "who died to sin still live in it"? In other words, if we understand who Yeshua is, what He did, and what happened to us in Him and through Him when we received Him, if we understand that when we received Him we died in Him, we died to our old life, we died to a life of ungodliness, we died to a life of yielding to the material world, we died to a life of yielding to the power of the enemy, we died to a life of yielding to sin, if we understand that we died to that life, it's been cut off from us, that when we were baptized, when we went under the water it means that we were separated from our old life, how can we continue to live like we used to live?
This is what Paul is saying. "May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus had been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life". Listen to this. We died with Jesus in baptism, we died with Him, cut off from the old life, and we were raised with Him through the glory of God the Father so that we might walk, listen now, in newness, in newness of life.
Listen again. "For if we've become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves of sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is to be master over us. For the death that he died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus".
Beloved, this is what you call, not only old time religion but the most cutting edge, contemporary, relevant message that the world needs to hear right now. It's all about the holiness of God and separation from sin. You see, if you've read some of the Hebrew Bible, you've probably scratched your head at times and saying, why is all this in there all these restrictions: Against what food to eat, what food we can't eat, about separating this and separating that, about saying that this is holy, and that's unholy? Why all this separation? Why all these rules and laws? What the Lord was communicating there, beloved, is that He is holy, and His Holiness separates Him from that which is unholy. And so the Lord said in verse 11, "consider yourselves to be dead to sin". Even as Israel was not allowed to touch a dead body, to be contaminated by it, so too you and I should regard sin like that. We should not want to be contaminated by it. Beloved, this is serious. Do we want to live for Him? Do we want to please Him?
The Bible says in verse 10 here, "The life that Yeshua now lives, He lives to God". And so we've been raised in Him. We've been called to live a life unto God. And this affects my lifestyle. It affects your lifestyle. It affects the way we talk, what we watch, who we listen to, what we read, the disciplining of our thought. We have to overcome our emotions, we have to overcome our thoughts, to align ourselves with the Lord, and be separated from sin. Paul continues. "Therefore do to not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lust". It's not something that's automatic. We're still warring against sin. We're waging a war against sin. This is why the Apostle Paul, beloved one, when he got to the end of his life he said he had fought the fight. What fight did he fight? He fought the fight of faith. He fought the fight to believe. He fought the fight to bring his body under subjection. He fought the fight to resist sin. "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lust".
Now, I'm going to talk about something that we've heard about, but maybe not enough. And that is, how do we treat our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit? Because the Bible says that because our flesh and blood, because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we need to not just give in to the lust of our flesh as it relates to our eating habits. God cares about what you and I eat. Now, you and I, or I should say, you know, as someone that's not Jewish, you're not under the laws of what we call Kashrut in Hebrew or kosher. You don't have to keep the dietary laws of the Torah. But what I want you to understand is the principle. God still cares about what you eat. And we need to be treating our bodies in a way that reflects that our bodies belong to the Lord. We want to take care of our bodies. We want to take care of our organs. We don't want to eat food that poisons us, or disempowers us, or causes us to become obese.
A lot of time in the church we've all the sermons against sins that maybe nobody in the church is committing. Maybe there's, you know, 300 people in the sanctuary, none of which are stealing. Okay? And maybe in a particular congregation, no one is literally committing adultery. And yet the pastor is preaching against adultery and thievery, which no one is doing, but we got 30% of the congregation that's obese and the pastor is not preaching about that. So I'm not trying to condemn anyone today if you're struggling with weight. But I want you to know that God's called us to resist sin. And if our eating habit is killing the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we know that if we're overweight, or we've got diabetes, or we just continue eating junk food, beloved, it's sin.
And so the Scripture is telling us here to resist sin and not to give in to the lust of the flesh or the lust of the body. "Even so consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God". Our body belongs to the Lord. And when we discipline ourselves and treat the Lord in us in a way that we love Him and honor Him by eating what's holy, foods that are good for us, in moderation. "Therefore," finally, verse 12, "do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you will obey its lust, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God".
And so our bodies belong to the Lord. Let's treat our bodies as though they belong to God. We don't have the right to misuse our bodies, to just keep on eating junk food and things that make us sick. Because we belong to the Lord, our bodies belong to the Lord, let's live in a way that's alive to Him and pleasing to him. We're called, beloved ones, to repent of sin, to give ourselves to righteousness because God's got a happy call and a happy destiny over your life and my life. And as we say yes to God and walk in that, we're going to rise in the anointing, we're going to get stronger and stronger. And Beloved, mark my words, when you get strong, and as you get stronger, you'll become happier and happier.