Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 17 April 19:
Romans 6:19 — “Having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness.”
Before you were a Christian you were a slave to sin. You were trapped in sin and unable to do otherwise but sin (Rom. 7:15–24). When God saved you, He freed you from sin. However, you still remain a slave, but now bound to righteousness. With salvation through grace alone comes an obligation to do what honors God. Contrary to what some preach, grace does not mean that you are free to do whatever you want. You have become a “bondservant” of Christ, and your life is no longer your own (Rom. 1:1). When you accepted forgiveness and grace from God through Christ, you forfeited the right (which you never really had) to live a self-guided life based upon your own “natural” desires and understanding. You forfeited your right to demand justice for offenses committed against you. As a slave to righteousness, you can no longer act selfishly. You are obligated to live a holy life, honoring your Master. Righteous living is not optional for a Christian.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And 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.” (Galatians 2:20) Sin has no control over a corpse. Temptation can present itself enticingly and persistently, yet a corpse will not succumb! Before you were a Christian you were keenly susceptible to sin. Sin held you in its grip. When you became a Christian, your old self died. Sin now has no more control over you than temptation has over a cadaver. In practice, however, we still sin, but this is merely us not living out the reality of our freedom in the Gospel.
– “Think of it like this: When one of my daughters was young, I bought her a Danish for the first time. With much excitement and anticipation, I paid for it and set it in front of her. But no matter how much I tried to convince her, she wouldn’t touch it. The Danish belonged to here in reality; it was hers! But it did not belong to her in experience until she took the first taste (and never turned back). God has invited us to participate in life with Him; it belongs to us through our faith in Christ. But only as our faith increases and we take up the promises in reality will it belong to us in experience.” (Pastor Colby Garmen, Pillar Church)
God’s grace is a further motivation for us to resist sin. It was God’s grace that enabled Jesus to endure mocking, beating, and crucifixion at the hands of those whom He had come to save. It was grace that led God to forgive our sin despite our rebellion against Him. It is this same grace that God expresses toward us each time we sin against Him. Knowing this grace, we cannot continue to practice sin (Rom. 6:1–2). We cannot presume upon God’s forgiveness by committing further offenses.
You are no longer the helpless victim of your sin. The victory has already been won. God does not have to win a victory over your sin; He already has! You only need to apply His victory to each area of your life. If there is a sinful habit, an ungodly attitude, or an unrighteous relationship that you need to put to death, claim the victory of Christ’s resurrection today. Then you will be free to experience the abundant life that God intends for you.
– John 15:9-11 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 17 Apr 19: Today, live out the victory over sin you already have in Christ that your joy may be full and that you would glorify God.