Friday 12 March, 2021

Romans 6:1-14

6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Paul is answering some wrong ideas about sin. In chapter 5 Paul told us how sin entered the world because of what one man (Adam) did, so can it be undone by what I do, if I obey the law? Absolutely not. The law only shows how big my sin problem is. Sin can only be undone by what Christ did. Then does it matter what I do? If God’s grace deals with my sin, am I free to do whatever I want? Again, absolutely not.

Paul began Romans by telling us that sin starts with rejecting God. All the things we do and become that degrade us and make us less than God made us flow as consequences. The solution to my sin begins with restored relationship – being “united with Christ” – and the consequences of being reconciled with God are even more profound.

Because I am now united with Christ, somehow I was united with him in his death and that breaks all power and authority that sin might have over me. And I’m also raised with him to life together with him now, with his Spirit. And I have a firm hope of complete resurrection like his when Jesus brings all things to completion. And now I have real freedom – not to do whatever I want (that’s the sin trap) – but to be what he made me to be, walking with him and doing my small part of the things he’s doing. There’s no room for continuing to walk in sin (in rejection of God) when I’m walking with him.

That’s not to say I won’t get things wrong – I’m a work in progress (Paul will get to that in chapter 7). But I’m free to love and worship him with my heart and with what I do – with the whole of me.

Written by David Cornell

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