Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now you do those things that lead to holiness

Rom. 6:12-23 NLT 
   12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. 
   15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. 
   19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. 
   20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nearly every Christian believer has encountered Romans 6:23 about the 'wages of sin." But have we seen it as a concluding thought to a discourse about holy living? Yes, our sin nature and sin acts do earn wages and those wages are given in death, both physical and the eternal separation from our Creator God, or Spiritual death.  And we deserve those wages-- we earned them during the times when we were slaves to sin and disobeyed God by nature not by decision (V20). Memories of those times make us cringe with embarrassment but there is no need. We could not help ourselves then. But now those wages do not need to be collected, we are free from the sin nature that earned them.

Now, we have choices. We can choose to NOT allow sin to control us (V12). We can choose NOT to give our bodies over to sin practices (V 13). We now have freedom to choose to NOT sin, where as before we had no choice (V14-18). The truth is we chose to be enslaved to sin (V 19), we could have chosen otherwise. We always had freedom of choice. Now we can choose to give ourselves over to righteous living and, by the faith in our choice, receive God's grace and power to live in ways that please Him. When we live in this way our actions are such things that "lead to holiness and result in eternal life'-- eternity with God. Those wages we mentioned- they are no longer due to us because we have received the 'free gift of God.'  We have received this through the Lord and His sacrifice and our faith in Him.

Will you choose holiness today?

Your servant in Christ's love

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