What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin —because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.—Romans 6:1-11
During World War I, one of the most famous “wanted posters” declared “I Want You!” It depicted a man with a top hat, with a star in the middle of the headband, white hair billowing from underneath the hat, pointing his finger at those who gazed at the poster. The caricature of “Uncle Sam” was an attempt to persuade and recruit young men to serve their country in the armed forces.
The idea for the poster was borrowed from an earlier version used in the United Kingdom. After all, if you as an American have ever had a discussion about World War I with a Brit, you know they will invariably remind us that they entered World War I, and for that matter World War II, long before we Johnny-come-lately Yanks did.
“I Want You!” It was one version of a wanted poster. You can see other versions of wanted posters in the Post Office, or on television shows inviting the public to be alert for and report wanted criminals. One hundred and fifty years ago those criminal posters, especially during the pioneer days of the Wild West, would often include a photo of the outlaw, and then the phrase, “Wanted—Dead or Alive.”
The title of our message today is a take off of “Wanted—Dead or Alive” posters. However, the message that God posts in Romans 6:1-11 is not that he wants you dead OR alive—He Wants YOU Dead AND Alive.