I want to talk today about living victoriously. As a matter of fact I want to ask a question: How many really victorious Christians do you know? Let me narrow the focus just a little bit. How many in this building today can say, "Pastor, I am living day by day in constant, noticeable victory?"
Now we know that we're saved by grace, there's absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves or to help save ourselves. We're saved by the grace of God. If we come to God as a prince, we'll go away a beggar, but if we come to God as a beggar, we'll go away as a prince. He will save us by His grace.
Now we're not saved by works of any kind. Good deeds cannot save us. Does that mean, however, that it makes no difference how we live? Of course not. In Romans 6:1. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
That is, if we're saved by grace, shall we sin more so that grace will be all the richer? Paul answers that question, "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Now that's a very interesting statement. God saves us by grace, but the way God saves us by grace is to make us dead to sin.
In the sixth chapter of Romans is the key to this victorious life; there are three key words I want us to look at. First, in verse 6, this word knowing, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him." Now, church, that is a fact. I’m going to talk about that in a moment, but right now I just want us to see it, "Knowing this."
Now skip down to verse 11. "Likewise reckon… Now, go on down to verse 13. "Neither yield” ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God."
Those are three words, know, reckon, yield. Say them with me. Know... reckon... yield. One more time. Know... reckon... yield.
If we get this in our heart and in our mind, I mean let the Holy Spirit emblazon it into our heart and mind, etch it upon our soul 'til it reverberates through our consciousness, we will find that day by day by day by day and night by night by night we will by living, walking, waking, and sleeping in victory.
These three words, the first word, know—that deals with fact. The second word, reckon—that deals with faith. The third word, yield—that deals with function, which tells us how we put the fact and the faith into action.
When we understand the fact, we put our faith in that fact, that is we reckon, and then we yield to it, we function, then we begin to live victoriously.
When we live victoriously, this thing called Christianity will become a bright, living reality to us. It's not just something we do on Sunday morning when we come sit on a pew thinking you've done God a favor.
Now let's see if God the Holy Spirit will open our hearts and our minds and teach us how to live in victory. Look at the first word know. The key to the first word, it is a fact. There's something we are to know. And what we're to know is our identification, that is, our identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Read verses 6-10. Here's what you're supposed to know. "Knowing this, that our old man… he's talking about us—what we used to be before we were saved. "... that our old man is crucified with Him." With who? With Jesus. "... that the body of sin [that's the old man) might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
Before we were saved, we were slaves, servants of sin. But he says that our old man, that old slave, was crucified with Jesus. "For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ [underscore that, dead with Christ], we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God."
Stay with me now, let me give you some facts. We're talking about a fact.
We're talking about something we should know, and what we should know is our identification with the Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, when Jesus died on the cross, we died with Him because He died for us. He died as our substitute; He took us to the cross, and on the cross when He died we died. His death had our name on it.
Look at it again, verse 6 "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him." When He died on the cross, He not only died to take away our sin, He died to take us, not only our sin, but our self was nailed to the cross. Our sin, that deals with sin's penalty, but when He took us to the cross, that deals with sin's power. Now we died on that cross. He died for us, and therefore we died with Him.
It’s told that Dr. Robert G. Lee; (1886 – 1978) pastored Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee from December, 1927 until April 10, 1960. During his pastorate at Bellevue, over twenty-four thousand people joined the church, over seventy-six hundred of these for baptism.) Anyway its told he went to the Holy Land for the first time and went to the place called Calvary. As he stood there the guide said, "Have any of you ever been here before?" Dr. Lee said, "I've been here before." The guide said, "When?" He said, "Two thousand years ago." And he was right. When Jesus died he was there. When Jesus died, we were there, on that cross we died with Him. He died for us. We died with Him. We must know to be identified with His death.
Why is that important? Let's suppose that a man has committed a crime. Let's take someone that we all suppose is guilty. Let's take Lee Harvey Oswald. I think most folks believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy. They had him arrested, they had him jail bound, and he would've been put on trial, but what happened? Jack Ruby, came up and shot him. He died. The law says, "forget it. You can't put a dead man on trial. It's over. That's it." I mean, he died! You can't put him on trial anymore.
Now we're all guilty of our sins, but when we died, what can the law do to a dead man? Do you get that?
Let's suppose that Lee Harvey Oswald was a slave. Let's suppose he had a master who told him when to go to bed, when to get up, what to eat, what to do, how many hours to work, and so forth. When he dies, his master can't say go to bed, get up, do this, do that. What power does his master have over him? None! He is dead.
Now, when we die with Christ, what power does the law have to condemn us? None. We're dead. What power does Satan have over our life? Our old master, None. You see, before we were slaves to sin, but we died, and so our old master has absolutely no more power over us.
You see when Jesus died for us, that deals with sin's penalty, but when we died with Him, that deals with sin's power. The law has no more power over us, and Satan has no more power over us. Church that is good news.
We just have to know that. It's something we have to know if we are to live this victorious life.
But not only did we die with Him, we were buried with Him. Look in verse 3 for a moment. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him." We are buried with Him. Not only did I die with Him, His death had my name on it, but His burial had my name on it also.
Put in your margin I Corinthians 15:3, 4. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried." He was buried.
You say, "What does His burial have to do with me?" Well, what do you do when somebody dies? You bury them, because the body, the corpse, will decay.
When Jesus died, He dealt with the power of sin over me. I'm no longer sin's slave. He, Jesus, dealt with the penalty of sin—the law can do nothing to me any more. And He also deals with the pollution of sin. The old “Pastor T” is put away! I mean, my sin, though it was red like scarlet has become white as snow. All of the stench, all of the rottenness, all of the decay of the old man—it is buried in the grave of God's forgetfulness.
Not only did He take us and remove us from the penalty of sin, and not only did He remove us from the Power of sin, but by His death and burial, He removed us of the pollution of sin. We have been buried with the Lord Jesus Christ and we don't need to be haunted any more by the ghost of guilt.
Buy wait, it's not over yet, what else happened? He was raised. Look in verses 4, 5. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so [underscore this] we also [that's us] should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
We are raised with Him. What incredible power brought Jesus from that grave! So do we know that that power is available to us today? That's the reason the Apostle Paul said, "Oh, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection."
Do we know that the very resurrection power that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us today. Think of it. When He died, we died with Him. When He was buried, we were buried. When He rose, we arose. That is a fact! And we need to know it if are to Live Victoriously.
Also, that's the reason we have baptism. Baptism doesn't make it so; it shows that it is so. Verse 4, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
Now baptism, only declares it. It only shows it. It doesn't make it so. It has to happen in our heart before it ever happens out here.
That's the outward expression of the inward reality, but it is a picture. Don't you think the devil would love to remove that picture from the church? The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for this is the Gospel, how that Christ died for our sins, how that He was buried, how that He was raised again the third day.
"When Jesus died, I died. When He was buried, I was buried. When He came up, I came up. Not a resurrection someday. I'm already right now walking in resurrection life." Now that is a fact. We must know it to live this victorious life.
When the church gets this into their being, our heart, our soul will know who we are and “Living Victoriously” will become normal.
There will be a resurrection someday, but you don't get eternal life when you die, you get eternal life when you believe. The moment you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that moment you have eternal life.
Secondly, look at the next word, reckon. That deals with faith, verse 11 "Likewise reckon yourselves, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." Now he's already said, "We're dead," but now it says reckon.
It literally means to calculate, it's a bookkeeping term. We are to calculate on this fact. We are to count on this fact. It doesn't deal with feelings. You say, "Pastor, if I am dead, buried, and raised, how come I feel the way I feel?" Cause the devil's pulled the wool over your eyes.
I mean it can be a fact, but if we don't reckon on it, what good does it do us? We need to act upon this fact. We reckon on it as an act of faith. Faith is reckoning or acting on what you know to be true.
We already know how to reckon if we're saved. We do a pretty good job of reckoning to the fact that Jesus died for our sins. We say, "Okay, my sins are paid for." But we also need to learn how to reckon that we died with Him. Most of us have the idea of substitution. We've got that down. But we don't have the idea of identification.
The truth of the matter is that we have been dead for 2,000 years. Don't you think it's time we had a funeral? RRRRECKON on it! It's a matter of faith! No matter how you feel about it, it's a matter of faith.
In verse 6 the word crucified is in the Arras tense in the Greek, it means it's a once for all happening. But in verse 11 the word reckon is in the present tense, and that means it's something we are to be doing constantly. He died for us; we died with Him—that's once for all. But day by day by day by day, we need to take that fact and turn it into faith and reckon on it. Daily I must reckon that the old “T” is dead—dead to his plans, his wishes, his will, I'm dead to Satan's slavery over me, I'm dead to sin's power over me—I must reckon it.
Here's the third word, yield; that word is emancipation. Listen: identification, appropriation, and now emancipation. But there is something we must do. Now there's a fact.
We put our faith in that fact. But there is a function that we must fulfill. Look in verse 12. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." That means there's something we should do. Verse 13, "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God."
Look in verse 16. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey."
Look in verse 19. "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." Yield. Yield. Yield.
This imputed righteousness becomes practical righteousness when we begin to cooperate with God and we yield.
This is not just simply self-effort, but there is something we must do. We must when temptation comes yield our self to God. That's what most of us don't want to do. And it's such a simple thing. Just simply say, "Here I am, Lord. I make myself available to You. I cannot just yield."
When temptation comes, there's only one thing to do and that's yield. Either we'll yield to the temptation, or we'll yield to God. But we will yield.
We can say, "I don't have to do that. That old nature is dead. I have been buried with Christ. I have been raised with Christ. Resurrection power is available to me. I count on it. Here, God! I yield myself to You!" And don't say it won't work if you haven't tried it. On the Word of God it will happen.
But now, Satan doesn't want us to learn this, and he'll try and tell us, "You don't have any right to this. You don't have any power to do this. You're so weak, you’re old flesh. "You can't have victory. You can't live in victory. That's not yours.
You say, "Devil, it's mine, and I'm taking it" I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at it again in verse 12! "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
We don't have to do it! We have resurrection power. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Just yield.
We have to know it; that's a fact. We have to reckon on it; that's faith. And we have to yield to it; that's function, put it into practice. Know, reckon, and yield. Identification, appropriation, emancipation. Amen! The altar is open.
United Methodist Church
218 College Street
P. O. Box 327
Ducktown, Tennessee 37317
Sunday School: 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.
Rev. "T" Reamsnyder, Preaching