Day 25: Romans 6:12-23
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 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. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:12-23 (NIV)
As we journey toward Easter, we journey toward more than just the cross.
My faith journey in Appalachian America provided me with a church practice of sharing stories of God’s faithfulness and presence. My early years of Easter tradition were focused on the victory from the cross. During this Lenten season, we must remember that Easter is more than the sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus. Easter is a reminder that with Jesus there is victory. Victory over death. Victory as a future hope in which we will be with him forever.
The victory of Easter isn’t just for tomorrow. It is for us today. With Jesus we can also experience victory over sin now.
With Jesus we are not powerless. We are not doomed to live a life of defeat and frustration. We have not been cursed to live in rebellion. But we are being made new in the resurrection of Jesus. We are given a new life as we live in obedience with him. He changes hearts. He transforms lives. He renews our minds to live according to his ways. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
Let us participate in the resurrection of Jesus as we walk obediently with him.
Phil Starr, Pastor of Student Ministry