How Do I Change? – Sermon Recap
Sin is a difficult subject to address from a balanced perspective. Either the subject is ignored altogether
or it’s the main focus of conversation. Although sin doesn’t have any dominion over the life of a
Christian, it is still a reality that every Christian has to wrestle with. The shame, condemnation, and guilt
that tends to creep up in our conscience can make it feel like change is impossible. Yet Paul doesn’t want
believers to keep living life the same, but to instead receive the free gift of Jesus Christ as we strive to
live like Him.
In the first half of chapter 6, Paul shares three principles that will help every believer experience true
1. I have to know something (I am united with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection)
2. I need to believe it’s true (God loves me. Jesus died for me. I am forgiven and set free from
sin and death)
3. I have to be present before God (With the old me dead and buried, I no longer have to fear
By following this order, Paul teaches us that change doesn’t come from our own works, but only through
the transformative power of God’s grace and steadfast love in our lives.
I have to know something (Romans 6: 1-10)
In this passage, Paul repeatedly asks the reader to know something essential. Why? Well, in order to
overcome the domination of sin, this essential fact needs to be the foundation that every Christian
should stand on in any season of life. In verse 5, Paul mentions that every Christian is united in Christ.
Our restored union to God allows us to bury our old, sinful selves and to live life under God’s grace. We
follow Christ through obedience and the way we live our lives. Paul states this truth in order to change
our perspective on sin. Grace does not give us a license to sin because it has no place in the life of a
believer. Why go back to the very master that enslaved you?
Baptism is a public illustration of the union between a Christian and God. By sharing in the suffering of
Christ (being crucified and buried in death), it’s possible to know the power of His resurrection and
experience His dominion over sin in the process. While our sinful desires still remain, we are called to
die to them daily. Of course, we don’t do this perfectly, which goes back to the original argument that
Paul begins chapter 6 with. If sin continues to abound despite the overwhelming grace of God, how can
we overcome it? Paul answers that hypothetical question by demonstrating that grace doesn’t simply
cover sin, but provides a new path that leads us away from sin and closer to God’s presence.
I have to believe it is true to me (Romans 6:11)
To only be aware of the truth will not produce any meaningful change in our lives. Paul wants us to fully
embrace what God has revealed to us. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we
are dead to sin and alive to God. Even at times when it feels like that truth is not evident in our lives,
remaining confident in God’s faithfulness to us will affect our actions and decisions in life. Our old selves
do not define us anymore. We are now free from sin’s influence, forgiven and found righteous in God.
I present myself to God (Romans 6:12-14)
Are you afraid of people seeing you for who you are behind closed doors? More importantly, do you
often worry about being exposed before God himself? It’s easy to live life defeated and discouraged as a
result of sin, but Paul ends this section with encouragement for the anxious believer. As a new creation
in Christ, Paul encourages each Christian to not allow sin to reign in their lives. Use what God gave you
for good, which in Paul’s case is your very own body. Your body is a temple, not a tool shed. Your eyes,
mouth, ears, hands and even your mind should not be tools that allow you to pursue sinful passions.
Instead, present yourself to God as one who has been brought from death to life.
God desires to see us for who we truly are, flawed yet redeemed through Christ. In the same way, God
invites us to view Him as sovereign and merciful. Only God can see the real us and not turn away, even
when we do the same to God. The changes that we seek in life may not come all at once and it won’t
happen the way we expect, but we can trust in the unchanging God to bring about those changes in His
perfect timing. Only by God’s grace can we be equipped to experience the change that sin and self-
righteousness can often promise but never deliver.