READING: Psalms 63-65, Romans 6
“We may no longer be enslaved to sin.”
I don’t know many people who affirm this conclusion, but I do know some folks who seem to live this way: “Christians who are saved by God’s grace, and who are kept by God’s saving power, can live however they wish and still be saved.” When you believe that way, it would seem, sin doesn’t matter much – and the church looks distinctly like the world.
That’s not the way it works, however, according to the apostle Paul. Instead, something genuinely miraculous happened to us when God saved us. Our old self – our self controlled by sin – was somehow “crucified with Him [Christ] in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom. 6:6). That is not to say that we no longer sin at all; it is to say, however, that sin no longer dominates us. The sin that formerly so easily controlled us no longer holds power over us, and we can now in the power of God’s Spirit say “no” to temptation. An internal change in our heart changes the way we live externally. We now live in Christ, who grants us victory.
Hence, we are to live our lives based on that truth. Temptation will still come, but we are not to offer any part of ourselves as “weapons for unrighteousness” (Rom. 6:13). Instead, we write down this fact, count it as truth, and live accordingly: “I am dead to sin in Christ. Sin will not rule over me.” Simply knowing and standing on that truth give us spiritual stamina to say “no” to the devil’s offers – and thus live like a Christian should live. “Living however we want to live” is not only not an option; it misses the point that God changes our heart and turns our “wants” toward Him. We follow Him in obedience because that’s what we believers should want to do.
- Stand on the truth of God’s Word. You are dead to sin and alive in Him.
- Thank God for His Spirit who convicts us and guides us.
PRAYER: “Lord, remind me moment-by-moment that I have victory in Jesus.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 66-67, Romans 7