“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 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— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).
Continued from My Roman Holiday: Romans 5.
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23). Romans 6 is a message of our liberation in Christ Jesus! I guess that it’s human nature to perceive sin as freedom, but ask anyone who has ever tried to turn away from some compulsion, or habit, developed over time, and quickly they find that sin is a terrible task master. By becoming slaves to the Spirit, we are actually set free. As the apostle Paul asks, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:20-21).
I have answered to many masters over the years. Tobacco, idleness, sexual promiscuity, pornography, self-gratification, and food are but some of the strongholds that have fallen. Although the temptation to look back at Sodom remains, I find myself no longer mastered by the sin that reigns in my flesh (Romans 6:14). God’s kindness and patience has led me to repentance and freedom (Romans 2:4). Sin masquerades as liberty, but it is bondage in disguise. And though I may no longer be mastered by my flesh, all my struggles remain waiting to be given an opportunity to spring to life. “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance” (Romans 6:16-17). The flesh remains in opposition to the Spirit, and Paul is letting his audience know that they should remain vigilant in their resistance to the enticements of sin. Our freedom as believers is not to persist in bondage to sin, but rather, embrace our freedom to persist in holiness. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 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—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).
I came across a video on social media this morning, and I find myself conflicted in my response. It’s not that I disagree with anything Christine Weick said, nor do I doubt her sincerity, but opposition, which takes this form, portrays the object of opposition as the oppressed, and it portrays Christ as the oppressor. An increasingly unbelieving world is watching us closely, and I’m concerned that we’re playing into the enemy’s hands. In fact, I know we are. Christianity didn’t overcome the Roman Empire by the sword, as the world would; it did so by evangelism and martyrdom and prayer. To view the video, click/press the link here to visit Christine Weick interrupts Texas Muslim Capitol Day speaker. As the Children of God, let’s not allow ourselves to be mastered by fear so that we obey its evil desires (Romans 6:12), intentionally or not. Islam is simply doing what Christianity used to do; therefore, let’s get out there proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Romans 6 is full of any number of other revelations and wonderful truths worth exploring, but I have written what I believe the Holy Spirit has guided me to write.
Romans 6 speaks into our lives today; all five senses conspire against us to do the will of the flesh and not the will of the Spirit. Sin isn’t always as obvious as greed and lust, though it’s even difficult to get a consensus on those, but as much as we may struggle with them, I think we struggle with fear even more. As I embark on my Roman holiday, I look forward to the journey ahead. I found a story of freedom in Romans 6. Until next time, and Romans 7!
To read Romans 6, click/press the link here to visit BibleGateway.
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