Call it a “Wayback Wednesday” post. This entry from 2009 reflects so many of my thoughts this morning as I hovered over the first part of Romans 6. I remember vividly the incident between the “little guy” and the “little girl.” Hard to think of him being 17 today and of her as a 16 year old. A lot changes in 7 years. But not the truth of Romans 6 or the need to take seriously the charge of Romans 6. Might be going way back with this post but I so need it’s encouragement today.
We had a couple of “small friends” over last Friday . . . a little guy, 10, and a little girl, 9. He is a typical 10 year old boy . . . she an angelic 9 year old girl . . . Venus and Mars . . . you get the idea. Anyway, they’re playing the Wii together and, for the most part, he’s doing what us guys like to do most . . . dominate! But then they played a game which, no matter how hard he tried, he could not win. She absolutely owned him! As one who is personally very aware of the male ego, it was kind of fun to see his ego being tamed a bit. Every time she’d win she’d just smile sweetly . . . and he’d go crazy . . . and he’d demand that they play again. And she’d quietly agree. . . and then she’d sweetly kick his keester again! Fun to watch! She had dominion over him. He was powerless to “muscle” his way to victory. Kind of how sin used to have dominion over me . . . but no more, as Romans 6 reminds me this morning.
Paul asks the question, “Shall we continue in sin?” His answer? . . . “NO WAY!!!!”
And as I read the first 14 verses of Romans 6 I’m reminded of some truths . . . and I’m reminded of some responsibilities.
Truths . . . through our salvation we have been interwoven with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? . . . if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.
(Romans 6:3, 5 ESV)
That’s part of the spiritual transaction that occurred when I first believed. I wasn’t aware of it . . . but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. Born again . . . dead to the old man and the old way . . . resurrected in newness of life. The body of sin done away with that we should no longer be slaves of sin (6:6). That’s what happened . . . that’s the truth. Just as Christ shed death’s dominion over Him through His resurrection (6:9), so too, the believer shed’s sins dominion over him through his re-birth as a new creation in Christ. Alive with Christ . . . freed from sin . . .
It’s one thing to know that freedom positionally . . . but don’t we want to know it practically, too? That’s where the responsibility comes into play.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, . . . Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
(Romans 6:11-13 ESV)
The victory is mine, but the battle must be fought.
By faith, I believe the declaration of Scripture . . . and that I need not concede the battle to sin. And what I believe drives what I determine to do . . . or, as the case might be, what I determine not to do. I determine to engage in acts of righteousness . . . to present myself to God . . . desiring His will and His way . . . seeking holiness . . . thirsting after faithfulness . . . wanting to practice righteousness. I determine not to let sin reign, but to deal with it quickly when it trips me up. I determine not to flirt with unrighteousness . . . but to stay far away from those things which can so easily entangle me.
That I have been freed from sin (6:7) is not just some nice platitude, it’s a context in which I determine to order my life. It’s a principle within which I make decisions, a reality that I determine to pursue.
And, unlike my little buddy on the Wii who was powerless in and of himself to gain the victory, I have the sure hope of “winning” at this “death to sin” game by the grace of God.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:14 ESV)
That’s the bottom line–sin will not have dominion over me. Grace is the “secret sauce” to triumph. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20). God said it. I believe it.
Father, thank You not only for saving me from the penalty of sin, but for saving me also from the power of sin. I am so aware of sin’s assault . . . too often it has gained the upper hand. But it need not reign . . . it shall not reign . . . for if I confess my sin, You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).
Thank You for Your grace which breaks sin’s dominion . . . and for Your Spirit which empowers me to pursue righteousness. Enable Me to live in newness of life, I pray . . . dominated no more by sin . . . amen!
By His grace . . . for His glory.