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Saturday, 31 March, 2018

Romans 6 : 1-23

“For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” - Romans 6:10-11

Apostle Paul addresses the problem of sin in the first two and a half chapters of the Book of Romans and in the next two and a half chapters, he declares how we can be justified (set free) through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1-2).  Today, many Christians live as though there is no need to be diligent in overcoming sin, rationalizing that, “If I sin, I can simply confess, and God will forgive”, i.e., continue in sin that grace may abound! (Rom 5:20-21).  Jesus Christ came to give us the power (indwelling of His Holy Spirit) to conquer the power of sin.  We are all born as (spiritually) dead men and continue to live as dead men, (bad news) until we are made partakers of the life of Christ (good news).  Living in Christ and no longer under the power of sin, we now have no excuse whatsoever in continuing to live with besetting sins.

Here, Apostle Paul exhorts us on the dangers of continuing in sin. A close look at 2 reasons why we have no excuse:

We have died to sin. (Vs.2)

How did this happen?  When we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we have been baptized into His death and burial.  So how can a person who is dead actively sin? Rom 6:7 “for he who has died is freed from sin.” In baptism we die to sin. Having been buried thus, we are now raised up with Him and called to walk in the newness of life because we are now a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  We now have the mind of Christ. However, many are unable to walk in the newness of life because they do not understand their union with Christ.  Vs.5 literally means we are inseparably joined with Jesus. Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” We should allow ourselves to experience the death and burial of the old self and let our new self, live from a heavenly perspective, which is Christ walking, talking and acting through and in us.

We are now alive to God (Vs.11)

Ephesians 4:2-6 – But God, … even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ …., and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” So if we are in Christ Jesus then sin should not reign over us because Christ was freed from death and made alive to God. (Rom 6:10 AMPC) “For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him”]. How can we make this possible in our lives  – 2 Cor. 5:14-15 says “…that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

Let us see Cain’s example in Genesis 4:5 when he allowed sin to master him. God had warned him:“….And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” But he gave into sin and killed his brother. The same danger lurks today: if we do not master our fleshly desires, we will end up committing unrighteous acts.  Ananais and Sapphira is another example in Acts 5:1-11.

So why work hard to earn death when God is giving out eternal life for free through Jesus? Christ has set us free! “For whom the son sets free is free indeed” (John 8:36) So let us hold on to our freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the law of sin and death in our members, for whatever we obey we will become its slave. So let us continue to be slaves of righteousness.

Thought: “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:22-23)

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