The Freedom of the Christian Life

What’s It Like being “Free Indeed”?

Romans 6

November 27th 2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.                   Introduction (Psalm 119:133) “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”


A.    What would it be like to live free of the grip of sin in our lives?

B.     It has been given to us!

C.     Two basic ideas on preaching thoughts for this month:


1.      Taking Orders! and,

2.      Freedom in Christ!


D.    Both concepts are tough for modern Christians to accept.

E.     The first being that freedom comes not because we have no master, but that we have the right Master. And the second concept being what freedom from iniquity means! Freedom from sin should mean more than freedom from slavery, debt, health problems, troubles, and enemies!

F.      I preached last week on Taking Orders from God – and I mean ORDERS, Commandments!

G.    This week, I want to show you just how free a Christian is, and how to stay that way!


II.                Message


A.    What is Victory to a Christian?


1.      The opposite of defeat!

2.      The opposite of the way you naturally are. No matter how good you may seem to be, you are in bondage (John 8:44)


a.       You are related to the devil (not to God) – HE is your father

b.      You are doing what HE lusts for – not what you want


3.      The Christian’s life is freedom from the devil’s grip – from the devil’s dominion


a.       There was no freedom under Josef Stalin, or Adolf Hitler

b.      There is no freedom under religious tyranny

c.       But there is freedom in Christ


4.      It is freedom from the bondage and grip of sinful desires


a.       You never stop being tempted, and pulled by sin

b.      But the Christian life is free from sin’s control – of your thoughts, and reactions, and feelings


5.      It is NOT the freedom to do as you please – that is the LIE of the devil


a.       He taught that lie to Eve

b.      Satan taught that lie to the children of Israel who just wanted to be left alone by God after He brought them out of the bondage of Egypt


6.      But the freedom to finally live as you were designed


a.       IN the will of God

b.      Doing right

c.       Being just like Jesus

d.      THAT’S the life of victory!


7.      Freedom from sin, and Victory over sin go hand in hand! You cannot be free, until you have victory over sin! And the amazing truth is that Christ offers us all victory over the dominion of sin at His own expense!


B.     God’s Promise of Freedom and Victory over Sin


1.      1John 5:4 “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world”

2.      Rom 6:14 “Sin shall not have dominion over you”

3.      1Cor 6:12 I will not be brought under the power of any

4.      Romans 6:17, “ye were the servants of sin!”

5.      2Cor 2:14

6.      Rom 8:37

7.      John 8:32, 36

8.      Apply these promises


a.       To all your SINS, not to your situations

b.      To the BIG sins: drink, drugs, porn

c.       AND to the small ones too – as if there are small sins:
Like pride, jealously, envy, anger, laziness, stubbornness, arrogance

d.      You need victory over ALL those sins!


C.    So, what does a Christian’s Life of Victory look like?


1.      It is a Spiritual Freedom – it is not visible. The root problem with all our bondage is not our environment, not our economy – it is sin in us being defeated, and overwhelmed!


a.       An inner peace that passes all understanding in the midst of disaster

b.      A joy that is unnatural and unhindered by any circumstances

c.       A love for others in the midst of such great need yourself

d.      A person who has all of that, is a “free indeed” person!


2.      Spiritual Freedom looks like a man who enjoys praying when it is against the law and his life is in danger

3.      It looks like three young men smiling while they are being bound and thrown into a fiery furnace for not bowing to an idol

4.      It looks like two men preaching about a risen living Saviour, getting in trouble, and standing before the very same men who crucified Jesus, and not being afraid or backing down!

5.      It looks like an old man building a boat with his 3 sons for a hundred years against all mockery and persecution – fully convinced it was going to rain!

6.      It looks like Paul getting stoned and left for dead, only to see him get back up and walking right back into the very town that stoned him!

7.      It looks best of all, like Jesus Christ – who owned nothing, who wrote nothing, who in the end was rejected by the majority of the people, and yet was freer than any man who ever lived!

8.      FREEDOM LOOKS GREAT! When you know what it looks like!

9.      Would ANYONE in this room like to be free from…


a.       The fear of failure? Noah was!

b.      The fear of death? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were!

c.       The bondage of the past? Repetitious cycles that people are locked into!

d.      The bondage of guilt and shame for sins that so easily defeat you?

e.       Those are things you can be free indeed from! Jesus promised it!


10.  Such Freedom is available to EVERY Christian, but ONLY to Christians – people who CHRIST has made free (John 8:36)!


D.    The Ingredients of a Life of Victory instead of Defeat.


1.      God’s Grace (Romans 5:17-21; 6:1,2)


a.       It starts with God – with HIS attitude towards your condition!

b.      Grace is more powerful than Sin’s power – and we all know the power of sin to lure, and pull and trap, and crush a life – GRACE is more powerful

c.       Grace is God’s attitude towards your sinful habits – He SHOULD want to judge you and destroy you for all of them, but instead, wants to change you for the better, and make you righteous and clean, and forgiven!

d.      If it weren’t for God wanting to fix you, wanting to save your soul from His wrath, then you would have no hope at all, no matter how hard you tried to fix yourself

e.       Grace is when someone is kind when they shouldn’t be

f.       Grace is when someone sacrificially gives when they instead deserve to be given to!

g.      Grace is when God loves someone who doesn’t love Him back!

h.      THAT is the first ingredient of Victory!

i.        God’s grace is greater than your past, than your failures, than your weaknesses!

j.        Live under His work grace in your life as it changes you, NOT you trying to change yourself by trying to satisfy His laws and expectations!


2.      God’s Substitute (Romans 6:3-7)


a.       This was how your freedom was obtained – at what cost!

b.      Jesus’ death – so that you don’t have to die


1)      Baptized not by water, but by faith in Him

2)      When a person trusts Jesus to save them from the wrath to come, you are participating in His death

3)      And His death was a punishment for YOUR sins by the way

4)      He paid for every sin you will ever commit

5)      So, according to God, “I” died with Christ! That took care of MY punishment! It’s a done deal!

6)      Our “old man” is crucified with Him (6:6)


c.       Jesus’ burial (6:4)


1)      Burial is a final act of death – it closes the book on that life

2)      A Christian has been buried WITH Him

3)      When they carried Jesus’ body into that tomb and left it there, they carried your sinful body I there WITH Him


d.      Jesus’ resurrection (6:5)


1)      Did any of you notice that it was ALL Jesus’ efforts being talked about here?

2)      HIS death, HIS burial, and HIS resurrection!

3)      Just as Jesus got up out of that tomb 3 days later, so we should NOW live with nothing having a grip on our lives but GOD!

4)      Death has no more dominion over Jesus! Sin should not have any more dominion over us!


e.       Jesus didn’t just die as a good show, but as a valid, substitute in our place. Everything He did was for us and was applied to our account!

f.       When we get baptized into some water down at a river, we are just illustrating all this – we are acting out what happened 2,000 years ago, and telling the whole world that is has finally taken effect on us now!


3.      A Reckoning – a Confidence (Romans 6:8-12)


a.       Add everything up and what is the conclusion? That we are now free

b.      To reckon is to firmly believe


1)      Add up two numbers (2+2) and you firmly believe without a doubt the answer is 4

2)      Add up 4 billion, 3 hundred and 92 thousand different numbers, it is a little more difficult to believe that all your math is right and reckon that your answer is correct

3)      But a Christian adds up all that Chris did, and puts it against all the debts that we owe, and we walk away debt free!


c.       Reckon/believe that death has no more dominion – I have eternal life

d.      Reckon that sin has no more dominion – Jesus is my Lord now!

e.       Reckoning is when FAITH takes over and believes what God says, instead of what I feel, and instead of what the world says

f.       Faith rests in what God says (Rom 1:17; 1John 5:4)


1)      It is the an inner confidence that overcomes discouragement, doubt and unbelief.

2)      It is the assurance that God is in control, and as we love the Lord and live a life in obedience to Him, we know all things and circumstances are somehow working together for our good (Romans 8:28).

3)      A victorious life of faith no longer lives by feelings, emotions or circumstances.

4)      It is no longer manipulated by the emotions of discouragement or depression.

5)      As believers, we live and react according to what the Word of God says, not by what our circumstances say. "We walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).

6)      This way of living (a walk of obedient faith) is what brings victory.

7)      Most people are living in hope, but not by faith


a)      Hope wants to be victorious

b)      Faith goes ahead and lives victorious


4.      A Surrender and Yielding (Romans 6:13-16)


a.       The Concept of Dominion (Romans 6:14)


1)      Mankind once had dominion over this entire world (Gen 1:26,28) but lost it! Was tricked out of it!

2)      Dominion by outside forces (like being controlled by sinful habits) happens because we are in bondage on the inside

3)      We need to EXCHANGE the dominion of sin for the Lordship of Jesus Christ

4)      Freedom requires surrender to a greater force – an exchange of dominion

5)      We need to become servants of righteousness

6)      Ye are not your own… (1Cor 6:19,20)

7)      Take a good look at your life and see what is in charge!


a)      Worry? Then it is not Jesus Christ in charge

b)      Fear?

c)      Anger? Constant, rage and being upset? Then JESUS is not in charge!

d)     Sorrow?

e)      Self Confidence? Arrogance? Then Jesus is not in charge! You are!

f)       Drugs? Cigarettes? Can’t put them down? Then they are in charge, and not Christ!

g)      Friends?

h)      The pillow? Laziness?

i)        Depression?


8)      All of that stuff has an affect on you!


a)      You only become more and more a servant and a slave of every one of those things! It never lets up!

b)      It only gets harder and harder to get free the longer you wait! That’s not a cop out, but a reality!


b.      Surrender – to a New Master


1)      Walking in response to the Spirit, not the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16)

2)      The Problem With a Christian’s Life…


a)      We want to conform to the world around us – we want to be just like the fashions and the habits

b)      God challenges us to come out and be separate

c)      To put away childish things

d)     Can’t be free, and still hold onto what we really want

e)      You have to choose one or the other – both are MASTERS, Lords of your life


3)      Be led of the Spirit (Gal 5:18) – listening and OBEYING! We know how to obey our feelings…


a)      Giving out to people - Lashing out

b)      Striking back

c)      Attacking, rejecting…


4)      Crucifying the fleshly desires (Gal 5:24) – allowing yourself to be hurt


a)      Christ did not kill Himself

b)      He DID allow others to crucify you

c)      Will you allow God to put you through some tough times?


c.       Yielding - Trusting, Not Trying (Romans 6:13,16)


1)      Starting over – a thousand times if necessary

2)      Perfected in weakness, not strength and ability (2Cor 12:9)

3)      Build your life, your thoughts, your concerns on a ROCK

4)      Did you know that Jesus is alive and quite well?

5)      Do you realise that he is quite able to defeat any enemy you face?

6)      Well, he can and will defeat any bondage AS you yield to His presence in your life

7)      EX: Yielding to someone in the room who has authority – let HIM speak, and act on your behalf!


d.      Yield specifically to the Will of God (Gal 5:13)


1)      Not to our own will anymore

2)      Liberty is enjoyed doing the will of God – not your own will anymore

3)      How many of you EVER say, “not my will?” ANYONE?

4)      Your own will may be great looking, but it is a trap

5)      The will of God may look terrifying – but it is absolute freedom and joy and peace


5.      A Burying (Romans 6:17,18)


a.       Like burying an old, drunkard, abusive husband – you are now free

b.      Not to go marry ANOTHER drinking, abusive husband, but to marry a godly, kind, compassionate, loving one!

c.       Put all the past in an unmarked grave, and bury it all, and then keep it buried!

d.      If you are not willing to bury some things and make them part of your PAST, then you are doomed to struggle and lose the fight with sin!


6.      A Steadfastness (Romans 6:19-23; Gal 5:1).


a.       Stand Fast – it won’t just be active unless you stand in it!

b.      Stay this way – KEEP yielding

c.       Salvation was a one time event that forgave you

d.      Yielding is a constant work to make sure you stay free from sin’s dominion

e.       It is worth the effort (Rom 6:20-23)


III.             Conclusion


A.    What is Victory to a Christian?


1.      The Christian’s life is freedom from the devil’s grip – from the devil’s dominion

2.      It is freedom from the bondage and grip of sinful desires

3.      It is NOT the freedom to do as you please – that is the LIE of the devil

4.      But the freedom to finally live as you were designed


B.     Thank God for showing us what a Christian’s Life of Victory looks like


1.      Such Freedom is available to EVERY Christian, but ONLY to Christians – people who CHRIST has made free (John 8:36)!


C.     The Ingredients of a Life of Victory instead of Defeat.


1.      God’s Grace (Romans 5:17-21; 6:1,2)

2.      God’s Substitute (Romans 6:3-7)

3.      A Reckoning – a Confidence (Romans 6:8-12). Faith rests in what God says (Rom 1:17; 1John 5:4)

4.      A Surrender and Yielding (Romans 6:13-16)


a.       Under the Dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ

b.      Surrendering to Him as our New Master

c.       Yielding - Trusting, Not Trying (Romans 6:13,16)


5.      A Burying (Romans 6:17,18). Put all the past in an unmarked grave, and bury it all, and then keep it buried!

6.      A Steadfastness (Romans 6:19-23; Gal 5:1).


D.    The Prayer of Freedom


1.      Let not any iniquity have dominion over me (Psalm 119:133)

2.      Keep me back from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me (Psalm 19:13)

3.      Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil! (Mt 6:13)

4.      Help me overcome the world like you promised I could in 1John 5:4

5.      Let me live no longer like the servant of sin

6.      You promised those things to me!

7.      And I now believe them!

8.      But don’t just “believe” all that… live like you believe it!