Paul shares a very exciting promise with us today. We are no longer slaves to sin! And this promise is to all who choose to accept Jesus’ free gift of grace by faith.
Paul’s audience has just been learning how they (and we) are no longer have to rely on the Law for their relationship with God. The Law was never and will never be able to save anyone. It is only through faith in Jesus that we are saved.
So what else comes with that salvation? We already looked at a couple side benefits a few days ago. When we looked at Romans 5:1-11 we saw how we have forgiveness from sin, grace, justification, and finally, reconciliation through faith. Today we see that we have freedom from sin as well. ALL of these culminate in a new life in Christ Jesus.
Because we placed our faith in Jesus, He asked us to do certain things. One of those things is to be baptized into His name. This isn’t a prerequisite for Him adopting us into His family or Him giving us His grace, but is an outward showing of an inward change.
Baptism is symbolic of dying to sin and being raised into new life with Him. I’m not going to go into a big debate on how it should be done or even when. I will leave that debate for the theologians. What I am going to say is that it is one of the few commands Jesus told His followers to do, before and after His resurrection. All those who came to Him as disciples were baptized along the way. The very first converts of the early church were baptized also. This practice has continued from the moment Jesus Himself was baptized by John and will continue until God calls all His children home.
So what does dying to sin and being raised with Him mean? It means we are FREE from the eternal punishment of as well as the day to day bondage it produces in our lives. Jesus paid for our freedom on the cross. But we have to walk that freedom out every day.
Because we had a dead spirit and were bound by sin, it was expected that we would engage in sin. But once freedom and new life were given to us sin lost its hold on us. It was no longer our master. We now had a choice to make. We WILL choose wrongly at times. But stepping back into sin for a moment and letting it rule us again are two entirely different issues.
God’s grace is available to us every time we sin, even when it is a willing sin. But that grace isn’t applied unless we repent of that sin and turn away from it. When we let ourselves be ruled by sin again, our ability to be His light is impacted.
Being ruled by sin is different from being a slave to sin. A slave has no say in the matter. He does what his master demands. But when we willingly submit ourselves to activities we KNOW go against what God has for our lives, regardless of the consequences, we are surrendering control to Satan. We have a choice. Because we have new life through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit living in us, we can say “No” and mean it.
When/If we find ourselves in sin we only need to call out to Him and He WILL help us. He will give us His strength to break free. He will also walk hand in hand with us as we walk back out of the mess we have made. Jesus died to help each of us in our yesterday’s, today’s and every tomorrow too. All we have to do is ask and walk in His footsteps. He WILL show us His way out.
Father God, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Jesus. I want to live my life pleasing unto You. I know I don’t always set the best example of what Your child should do. Thank You that when I do make a mess of things that I can bring them to You and You will take care of it. Help me walk more and more in Your ways every day. Thank You for removing sin’s grip on my life. Thank You for my new life with You most of all.