FREE AT LAST
Intro: Imagine a man who was born into slavery. He is
raised as a slave, trained as a slave. All he knows is
slavery. Now, imagine that one day this slave is sold at
the slave auction. He is bought by a kind man who
immediately hands to the slave papers that declare him
to be a free man. Imagine that slave rejoicing in his
freedom. He runs through the crowd waving those
papers in the air and he shouts, "Free at last! Free at
last! Thank God I am free at last!" The man who
brought him to the auction to sell him sees all this and
starts to leave, and immediately the former slave falls in
behind him. The former owner looks around and says,
"Man, you're free! You don't have to work for me
any longer!" The slave answers and says, "I know the
paper says that I am free, but all I know is how to do
is to be a slave. I am going to follow you and
continue to work for you." The former owner gladly
accepts the offer, but the freed slave has done a foolish
We hear a story like that and say, "That would
never happen! Why, a slave who was freed would
never return to slavery!" I want you to know that it
happens all the time! You see, the Lord Jesus
promised freedom to all those who would follow Him,
John 8:32; 36. However, there are many who have
received Jesus as their Savior, who still live in the
bondage of their sins. Like the slave in the story, they
hold in their hands their emancipation papers, but in
their lives, they still live like they are slaves.
For those who still feel like they are trapped in their
sins, this passage offers help this evening. For
Christians to be free from the power of sin, they need to
understand a few fundamental truths. Notice the word
"knowing" on verse 6. This is a word that means "to
know by personal experience." To bee free, there are
some things that we need to know for sure!
Many never learn them, and as a result, they live
their entire Christian lives in a state of defeat and
misery. I want you to know that this does not have to
be true in your life! You have been set free by the Lord
Jesus Christ! You have been eternally liberated from
the power of sin! These verses tell us how to walk in
that freedom, so that we may lift our voices unto the
Lord Who bought us and freed us and cry, "Free at
last! Free at last! Praise God Almighty, I am free at
last." Let's think together about this thought: Free At
I. V. 6-7 THE TRUTH OF OUR PAST
A. V. 6a The Reality Of Our Death - This verse tells
us in no uncertain terms that we "are" crucified
with Christ. That is, when He died on the cross,
the old man of sin died with Him! Our old fleshly
nature was forever put to death on the cross!
This is a fact! The tense of the verse "is" is one
that implies an event that transpired at some
point in the past. It is completed forever, but the
results of that event continue on into the future.
In other words, when Jesus died on the cross,
God took our old, fallen, wicked natures and put
them to death also. When Jesus died for sin on
the cross, He dealt with EVERY aspect of sin
completely. Every Christian needs to know that
they are DEAD!
(Ill. There are two important things to note here.
1. The point of crucifixion is never to produce
extreme suffering. Crucifixion only exists to
2. The person crucified cannot crucify himself!
Crucifixion must always be inflicted by
another. I cannot crucify myself, but if I am
saved, I am crucified with Christ.)
(Ill. Now the issue that must be dealt with is this:
If the old man of sin, the old nature, is dead, why
does it feel so alive? Because so many believers
do not do what verse 11 says. We do not reckon
our ourselves dead indeed to sin! When Christ
died, the flesh died. It can only continue to live as
I give it permission to live. If I will reckon it dead,
then it is dead! I know that is easier said than
done, but it can be done, and that is the point!
Notice also these verses, Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9;
Gal. 5:24. The whole idea is that believers need
to live out what God has already told them was
B. V. 6b-7 The Results Of Our Death - (Ill. If we are
indeed dead, then what are the results of this in
our lives? There are three mentioned here.)
1. That the body sin might be destroyed - this
means that the old sinful nature has been
rendered "ineffective". That is what the word
"destroyed" means. The idea is that through
the new birth, the old man has died and is
now unemployed. He has no control over us.
(Ill. Some may argue that it sure doesn't feel
that way! I will agree, but that changes
nothing! How many times have you had a bad
night's sleep and when you awoke in the
morning you said, "It sure doesn't feel like 6
o'clock!" Well, whether or not it feels like it,
the position of the sun, planetary rotation and
other fixed truths make it so nonetheless. So
it is in the spiritual realm! Even if you do not
feel like the old nature is dead, God says it is,
and so it is!)
2. That we should not serve sin - The result of
this death of the old nature is that we are free
from its wicked influence in our lives. The old
nature lived for one thing: To serve sin - Eph.
2:1-3. Thank God in Jesus, we have been
given freedom from the evil influence of our
nature. Basically stated, we do not have to
live like him any longer! We are no longer
under the slavery to sin! Will the Christian
sin? Yes! (1 John 1:8-10) Does he have to?
No! (1 Cor. 10:13).
3. That we should experience true spiritual
freedom - Again, Paul used the analogy of
death to illustrate the truth that we are dead to
sin. A dead man wants nothing! He is not
tempted by drink, by sex, by money, by drugs
or by anything else that might normally tempt
the flesh. When a man dies, he is free from
the temptation to sin. For the Christian, when
we can reach the place where we are able to
"reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin", then
we can experience that same freedom from
temptation. Typically, our problem is not that
God hasn't given us all we need to avoid evil,
our problem is that we like it too good to stop
I. The Truth Of Our Past
II. V. 8-10 THE TRUTH OF OUR POSITION
A. V. 8 Our Placement In Christ - We need to understand that we who died with Jesus at
Calvary, also arose with Him from the tomb.
When He died, we died! When He arose, we
arose! We are in Him! What affected Him has
(Ill. It stands to reason that if the believer is
identified with Jesus in His death, we are also
identified with Him in His resurrection. When He
died, we died. When He arose, we arose! And,
just as He was altered after the resurrection, so
too, believers are changed by being allowed to
partake of His life right now! The idea here is not
of life in Heaven, but of everyday life right now,
John 10:10. Just as Jesus came forth ut of
death to live a new live, so too the believer is
raised from the deadness of sin to walk a new life
by the power of His resurrection. This is the
essence of 2 Cor. 5:17!)
B. V. 9-10 Our Pattern In Christ - Just as Jesus
enjoys permanent victory over the grave, Heb.
7:25, the believer enjoys permanent victory over
sin! We have been given the privilege of living a
victorious life by the power of His resurrection.
(Ill. I am aware that our daily experience is often
different than what I am telling you tonight. You
may be a person who has tried repeatedly to life
for God and has failed miserably again and again.
If that is true, let me just encourage you to
continue! It may not seem like the old man is
dead, but God said he was! Since he is, we need
only learn to "reckon" him so. When we can
learn to see our flesh as being dead, then we are
on the road to permanent victory!)
(Ill. I remember as a child being told of the
"Wampus Cat". These were supposedly some
sort of vicious wild cat that, for some reason,
loved to live behind the old oak trees in my
grandparents side yard. I was told that being
outside at night was especially dangerous. Why,
many boys had been carried away screaming into
the forests never to be seen again. Now, on an
intellectual level, I knew there was no such thing.
I mean, we tried to find a picture of that snarling,
saliva dripping beast in the encyclopedia, but
there was no picture. I knew there was no such
thing as a "wampus cat", a noise in the dark in the
general direction of those old oaks would send
me, and all the other children into the house.
Then, there came the night when this fear had
to be dealt with. I remember playing hide and
seek out there and having nowhere else to hide,
I decided to hide behind one of those oaks. On
one level, my stomach was knotted with fear as I
made my way to the backside of that huge tree.
My heart was screaming in fear, while my mind
reminded my heart that "wampus cats" are not
real. Well, I stepped around that tree, my heart in
my mouth, and guess what I found: Nothing!
That's right, what I knew to be true was true! I
have been able, from that moment to this, to
reckon "wampus cats" to be fiction. Even now,
when I am outside at night and here the rustle of
something huge in the woods, my childhood fears
try to resurrect themselves and persuade me that
"wampus cats" might just be real. But, I know
better! Therefore, I can reckon them to be non-existent!)
(Ill. Do you see the parallel? We must come to
the place where we are willing to accept the word
of God as our reality, regardless of what we think
or feel. God says that we "Know" (v. 6) that the
old man is crucified with Christ! We also "Know"
(v. 9) that we are living a new life in Him.
Therefore, we must strive to walk in this reality.
It is the only path that leads to victory!)
I. The Truth Of Our Past
II. The Truth Of Our Position
III. V. 11-14 THE TRUTH OF OUR POTENTIAL
A. V. 11 He Speaks Of A Reckoning - If it is true
that I died with Jesus, then I must "account"
myself to be dead to sin. I will remind you that
this is an accounting term. It means to add up all
the facts and come to a proper summation. The
only way the facts add up is that you and I, that is
we who are saved, are dead to sin! If I also arose
with Jesus, then, by the same reasoning, I am
alive to God! The old man is dead! The new
man is alive! While I am to be dead to the works
of sin, the flesh and the devil, I am to be alive to
the things of God: His Word, His Work, His
Worship, His Will, His Ways, Etc. The whole
idea is that we who are in Jesus are to follow after
the things that speak of our position in Jesus!
Christ, not the old nature, is to be the motivation
for all we do in life!
B. V. 12-13 He Speaks Of A Relinquishing - These
verses tell us that we are to be actively involved
in determining what these bodies will and will not
do. Instead of allowing the flesh to have its way
all the time, we are to yield control of our lives to
the Lord Jesus. We are to allow Him to reign in
these bodies so that we might be instruments of
glory in His hands. This is the idea behind
Romans 12:1-2. We are to present these bodies
to the Lord as His instruments for His use. While
this old fleshly nature is dead, and must be
treated so, these bodies can be used for the glory
of the Lord, Gal. 2:20. However, to accomplish
this, we must yield total control to the Lord Jesus
C. V. 14 He Speaks Of A Releasing - By virtue of
the fact that we are dead and risen with Jesus,
we have been forever released from the dominion
of sin. We are not its slaves any longer! The
flesh, the world and the devil have no control over
the child of God. We are free in Christ. Free to
live for Christ! We are free! Free from the Law
and its penalties! Free by the power of God's
powerful grace! Free to live for God, free to say
no to sin!
Conc: Why does it seem that so many Christians
struggle with sin? I think the answer lies in the fact that
they have failed to see themselves as they really are.
They have never grasped the truth that they are dead to
sin, but alive to God. They have never faced the fact
that when sin and temptations come along, they do not
just have to give in and go along. They are free to say
no and to live for Jesus!
If we learn nothing else from the book Romans, let us
learn the fact that we are dead to sin, because we were
crucified with Jesus! Let us learn that what happened
to Him has happened to us. When He died to sin, we
died to sin! When arose in victory, we arose in victory.
We are no longer slaves, but we are free!
Friend, the devil knows that if you are saved you do
not belong to him. However, if you choose to continue
to live for him and to do his will, he won't turn you away.
He can't have you, but he will sure keep you in spiritual
bondage unless you come to grasp the truth that in
Jesus you are free at last!