02 May

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:1-3)

That’s quite the big statement there. – It tells us we’ve been baptized into Christ’s death, and so have died to sin. That one statement says, in essence, that we’re free from sin…. or, that all Christians are free from sin. Which, when you really think about it, means no one is a Christian. After all, no one (no one, including myself) can deny that even after they, quote and quote, “came to Christ”, they instantly stopped doing anything wrong and lived a perfect life. In fact, not even Paul himself could claim such a thing, and I for one would dare to say that Paul was indeed a Christian. So what, if not that, does Paul mean here? Well he clarifies what he was saying a little later (in fact, in the very next verse):

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6)

“so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Think about slavery, what are its main attributes? Obviously it forces someone to do something, sometimes against their will, sometimes not. In our case, we were willing slaves to sin. Also, it involves complete and utter control; what a slave eats, what he drinks, the place where he lives, even the time he has to wake up is all controlled by his or her master. Now what happens if that slave, after, let’s say a decade, of enslavement, runs away. His or her time as a slave is by this time so ingrained into them, their likely to continue getting up at the same time as they used to, possibly they’ll want to eat and drink the same things they used to, the only real thing that changes is that they no longer have to. But now let’s introduce a third scenario:

What if the slave is rescued? What if someone comes in, and sacrifices His own life to bring the slave to some sort of re-hab center? Well than everything the former slave does, is still regulated and controlled, he may still get up at the same time, etc., but the difference is s/he is no longer being forced to work. They may still, to a far, far lesser extent then before, live as though they were still a slave (as I said before, he may eat the same, etc..), but he’s no longer controlled by a master quite in the way he was before. We are like this. We’ve been set free from enslavement to sin, but we may still have times when we fall back into old patterns of life, and fall to temptation. Christ is always there to help us out of these sin deprivation withdrawals, but we’ll continue to have them up and until our physical body dies.

That said, we are to now start replacing our old, bad habits with new, good ones. We aren’t simply to accept that at times we’ll fall still fall to sin, instead we’re to ask Christ to give us strength to overcome, and to start doing something else, that’s actually productive, instead. i.e. Instead of gambling, maybe we should read a book on money management. Instead of getting drunk, maybe we could attend a prayer meeting. For every temptation we have, Christ is more than able to help us overcome. As I said before, our old habits will still try to worm their way in, and we may at times still draw away from Christ, and fall to them. But while we’re strong, and close to Christ, we should try to draw even closer, and get still stronger in the Lord.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland


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