Ask God to orient or reorient you to himself. Confess any known sin. Thank him for his forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and his sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s word. Pray for others in your life that they too would know and love God today.
“1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
The main point Paul made in chapter six was to show how grace triumphed over the power of sin. The NIV titled this section of his letter: Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ. It’s at this point in his letter, that some of Paul’s Jewish readers might have wondered: “Is Paul saying that we can go out and do whatever we want?” If these questions sound familiar, it’s because Paul already addressed this same line of thought in chapter 3, when some thought Paul implied that men should sin so that God’s greatness might be seen all the more. It’s the same thing here. We called this the “license to sin” mentality. Well, these same folks might have misunderstood what Paul said in Romans 5:20, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
Paul’s response was to utterly reject any such thought; he plainly and forcibly stated: “By no means!” I can imagine Paul saying, “Haven’t you been listening to what I’ve been saying? Let me tell you as plainly as I can: ‘We are those who have died to sin; so how can we live in it any more?’”
Through Jesus we have new life. We’ve died to sin; we’ve passed through the old age and into the new age (Romans 5:12-21). It is only by the grace of God that we are able to unite with Christ in His death and experience the new life.
Listen, you and I have lived the old way of life. We’ve experienced the death that comes from it; the disappointment, shame, helplessness and brokenness. So why on earth would we want to continue to live in that broken way of life, let alone, go even deeper into it? That’s just crazy.
The truth is: we have a new life! The old is gone; we’ve been transformed. It’s an objective reality. It’s just as real as a newborn baby coming into the world…you and I have new life. The New Testament teaches that we died to sin with Christ. So if we’ve died, the old way of life has no mastery over us. Its claims on us is done; it can’t claim something that is dead. Here’s what the New Testament says:
1 Peter 2:24, “He [Jesus] carried in His own body on the cross the sins we committed. He did this so that we might live in righteousness, having nothing to do with sin. By His wounds you were healed.”
Galatians 2:19, “I died to the Law through the Law, so that I could live for God.”
Colossians 2:20, 3:3, “If you died with Christ to the way the world thinks and acts, why do you submit to rules and regulations as though you were living in the world?…You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Romans 6:11, “In the same way, you also should consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 7:4, 6, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also died with respect to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you could be united with someone else. You are united with the one who was raised from the dead so that we can bear fruit for God…But now we have been released from the Law. We have died with respect to the thing that controlled us, so that we can be slaves in the new life under the Spirit, not in the old life under the written Law.”
This is the objective reality of our lives as believers. Now think about this: You died to sin; how can you live in it anymore? Think about the freedom that came to you by the grace of God; the freedom you and I now stand in. It truly is glorious!
*From what you have just read and considered what is a real implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer for today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through his Spirit as you go through your day. Ask him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell him “Yes” to his will today and ask him for his power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask him to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY TODAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.