Read: Romans 6:1-14
What did you give up for Lent? Lent is often associated with the practice of giving up something that is considered unhealthy. It could be a bad habit, a time-wasting activity, or even a persistent sin. This practice depends on human effort and falls in the realm of self-improvement. It is certainly not wrong or worthless practice, and for many, it results in needed positive changes. However, it is not the approach to killing sin that Paul is preaching here in Romans 6.
In fact, Paul turns the “kill sin” argument upside down here. It isn’t sin that dies, but us! We just examined yesterday how all humanity was infected with the virus of sin through Adam, so much so that sin became our nature. It isn’t enough to suppress individual patterns or practices of sin. We need to die to our sinful nature.
In all honesty, that sounds a bit abstract. How do we die to sin, as Paul suggests? Here’s the good news. Christ has done this for us. Christ died and was raised for us! Through belief and baptism into his death and resurrection, we die to sin. If you’ve taken these steps of belief and baptism, praise God because you have died to sin! The power of sin and the ultimate consequence of sin, death, no longer hold you as you’ve been freed through Christ’s resurrection. Now your charge is to live to God.
“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
- What do you think the difference is between a sinful nature and individual acts of sin? How has Christ’s death and resurrection dealt with both of those?
- Who do you know who has yet to take those crucial steps of belief and baptism? Have you? Pray for those you are thinking of or take those steps today.
Christ, when we were powerless under the reign of sin, you accomplished the death and resurrection we needed to be set free. We thank you that we now live under your grace and will live eternally in your freedom. We pray for those who have yet to experience belief and baptism. Soften our hearts to know you better and give us boldness in sharing your good news. Amen.