(Read Romans 6:15-8)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.” Yesterday we took another look at how we, as believers, must die to self. As we continue to walk through the 6th chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, I want us to take a look at verses 15-18 from two different translations this morning.
The New Living Translation:
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
The Message Bible Paraphrase:
So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. You can wreck your life by choosing to sin. Paul said, “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey?” Every Born-Again believer has been made free from the power of sin by God’s amazing Grace and Jesus finished work. Grace is not freedom TO sin, but rather freedom FROM sin. However, if it is true that you become a slave to whatever you choose to obey (and it is), then it must be true that there are believers in the Body of Christ who willingly choose to sin and their acts of disobedience lead to negative circumstances. The Message Bible translation of this passage teaches us that some acts of so-called freedom actually destroy the freedom Christ died to give us. While sin may not unravel your righteousness, it will unravel your life!
2. Right-Believing leads to Right-Living. The Apostle Paul teaches us that we can actually choose to be slaves to sin, which leads to death, or we can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Our choices are founded upon the way we think and upon what we believe. If you get the Word down in your heart, and you allow the Word of God to transform your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel) and will (the way you make decisions), you will believe-right and your right-believing will lead to right-living.
3. Becoming a Slave to Righteous Living is a Process. When Paul teaches us that we used to be slaves to sin, it is because we were under sin’s power and because we were programmed to sin. So, in order to get out from the slavery of sin we must be delivered from the power of sin and we must also change our programming. Jesus died to deliver us from the power of sin. Sin now has no power over us. However, what Jesus did is only half of the equation. Jesus delivered us from the power of sin, but many believers have yet to submit themselves to the reprogramming required to live a life that is pleasing in God’s sight. You are a spirit (your spirit is the real you), you possess a soul (your mind, emotions and will), and you live in a body. When you were Born-Again your spirit was made new. However, nothing happened to your soul or your body. One day you will get a new glorified body. So, your spirit has already been changed and your body will someday be changed. The only thing that leaves is your soul. Every day of your life you should be working on changing your soul — comprised of your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel) and will (the way you make decisions) — to line up with the Word of God. Once you submit yourself to God’s reprogramming, which comes through His Word, you will not only be free from sin’s power, because Jesus did that, but you will also be free from sin’s influence, by submitting yourself to the process of soul transformation. Once you do that, you will find yourself being a slave to righteous living because you will be under the Power of Jesus’ Righteousness and you will also be programmed to live a righteous life in accordance with God’s Word!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me more and more about Your amazing, unyielding and undeserved Grace. By Your Grace You delivered me from the power of sin. I was born under sin’s power, but Jesus died to break that power. When I received Jesus as Lord I came under the power of Jesus’ finished work on the cross and now sin has no power of me. I have been delivered from sin’s power by Your amazing Grace. However, I spent many years under the influence of sin and my soul was programmed to sin. I am Born-Again, but I understand that my soul did not change the minute I accepted Jesus as Lord. I must submit myself to the process of soul transformation in order to change my mind (the way I think), my emotions (the way I feel) and my will (the way I make decisions). By faith I declare that I do. I get in Your Word daily, I willingly die to self, and I incrementally become more and more like You. As my soul is renewed and changed to think, feel and make decisions in a way that pleases You, I will be both delivered from sin’s power (by Jesus) and delivered from sin’s influence (through soul transformation). At that point I won’t be able to help myself, I will live a life that is pleasing to You daily, because I will be under Your power and I will also be programmed to think, believe and live right. At that point I will be a slave to righteous living. By faith I declare that I shall get there, and once I do, I will live that way for the rest of my life! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.