Tuesday – February 20, 2018
Scripture: Romans 6:1 – 14
“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
“In the same way” – Just four words but they hold the key to understanding this passage. Now, I want you to read the scripture for today, or re-read it if you already read it, and take note of how what is taught here is actually applied for each of us. (Read Romans 6:1 – 14)
We are relating each scripture portion to our overall theme that, JESUS CAME FOR A REASON, so we need to discover some of that reason here. Romans 6, focuses on the sin problem of mankind and makes it very clear that it really is a problem. Romans 7, focuses on the relationship between the Law and sin with an emphasis on what Christ did to free us from the Law and bring us into the age of grace. Romans 8, focuses on what it means to live in the Spirit so that we live in the will of God. The emphasis of The Wesleyan Church this quadrennium is “Made New.” That is, we as believers are “Made New” through our relationship with Jesus Christ and thus have a message to share. We call that simply “telling our story” rather than using words like witnessing, sharing, evangelizing, etc.
While Paul is focusing on sin here, the overall thrust is to show that there is a way to escape sin since through Christ by His death on our behalf, has also on our behalf destroyed the power of sin. Paul speaks of baptism as showing what Christ has done for us in a symbolic way. While we are not “saved” through baptism, it is considered an essential part of our acceptance of what Christ did for us on the Cross of Calvary. When we accept what Christ did we also show that acceptance through the sacrament of Baptism as a visual reminder of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ – which He did on our behalf – thus we were involved in those actions as well. We were buried with Christ. We were made alive in Him. He did all this on our behalf so it is all covered when we accept Him as the Son of God and our Savior. Sin no longer has power over us. I mentioned four words at the beginning of this devotional that cement this in my mind and heart and I trust they do the same for you – “In the same way…” – so it is by believing that we accept the death of Christ as our own with regard to sin and its power just as we do to receive new life in Christ. Go back and re-read verses 1 through 10. That is what Christ’s death on the Cross accomplished and that is why we now have power over sin because it no longer has power over us. The secret, if you will, is being in Christ. Our lives are to show others (believers and non-believers alike) that we belong to Christ because we do not give sin any power over us. Understanding Romans 8 then is essential for this to be true. You belong to Christ so turn up your nose at sin because it has no power over you. Jesus came that we might be dead to sin but alive in Him and that has an impact on the story we share with others who may be outside of the community of faith in Christ Jesus. Live then, like a son/daughter of God.