For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
~Romans 6:6, NIV
Sin not only pays in death, it holds us in bondage and only Christ can set us free.
Romans six is one of those chapters that has always mystified me. I got a copy of Watchmen Nee’s the NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE right out of seminary and the more I read it, the more confused I got. Romans chapters 1-5 are so simple and then from 6-11 it is one mystery after another. I know people who hate modern translations and they hate paraphrases even more but God not only uses them to convict me of my sin, He uses them to help me understand. It was probably ten years or more ago that I first read the Message, Dr. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase. I would be the first to admit that I do not agree with everything Peterson has said and I am aware that he got confused and used in the same sex marriage debate but in my last reading of Romans 6, I saw things clearly or more clearly due to his insights.
We talk a lot about slavery but we know very little about it. These folks who bring up the issue in regards to American history and social justice don’t know the first thing about slavery. Many of them are slaves to sin and to the economic entitlement system [socialism] and do not realize that they are still in bondage. A slave had no rights, no authority to make decisions. They lived at the mercy and behest of their masters. A free man had choices but slaves did not. Through Adam, we are all born into the world of slavery and sin is our master. Only Christ can liberate us and He did that by the power of His death and resurrection. His death broke sins grasp on us and now we are free to serve Him. We don’t have to serve Him but we are free to serve Him. He allows us to make a choice. The more we move toward Him and His grace, the greater our freedom. It is the opposite with sin: the more we move toward sin and rebellion, the greater our bondage.
Sometimes when the word enemy appears in scripture, we think of mortals but our greater enemies are Satan, sin, the flesh and death. Jesus came to earth and took on our enemies and He soundly defeated them all. He put death in the rear view mirror. Yes, He died once but He will die no more. Jesus would have to look back to see death; there is no death in front of Him, only life. The same is true with bondage to sin, for six hours on the cross, Jesus was a captive of sin but His death broke sin’s powerful hold on our lives. Sin will never again hold sway over HIM. He put sin and death in the rear view. His experience by grace is ours: we died with HIM, we were buried with HIM and we have been raised with HIM. You can serve sin if you want to but a child of God has the freedom to say no to sin.
A word of praise for another great LORD’s day. There is no question: I do not praise Him enough and a lot of my praise is corrupted with self so just let me say, “God is good and Jesus belongs in the center of our lives.” He is a wonderful Savior. It will be hard to beat yesterday’s weather–it was a perfect day so to speak.
This is day 46 of the Covid-19 over reaction. I’m sorry folks but I am paranoid when it comes to the left. I do not trust them as far as I can throw an elephant. I’ve been afraid all along that this was a ploy to hurt President Trump. Personally, I have not been hurt other than not being able to visit the sick but restaurant owners, beauty and barber shops, etc. are hurting. It is time to get back to normal and to get out of the panic mode. June and I have not been members of Costco for long and they have already ticked me off. The last time we were there, it looked like a Halloween carnival and now they are demanding that everyone wear a mask. I do love drive-in church and told some of our people yesterday, we will have drive-in church once or twice a year after this thing blows over but it will be in Spring or Fall. It is about to get too hot for drive in Church.
I hope you have a great week and I also hope you are not as far behind as I am. I envy people who stay caught up and wonder how they do it.