#DailyDevotion Don’t Let Sin Rule Over You
Romans 612Then sin should no longer rule in your dying bodies and make you do what they wish. 13Don’t let sin keep on using the parts of your body as tools for doing wrong. But as people who have come back from the dead and live, give yourselves to God, and let God use the parts of your body as tools for doing what is right. 14Sin will never rule over you, because you are not under the Law but under grace.
These verses follow the passage in Romans concerning baptism. In baptism, we have been united with Christ Jesus in his life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection. We have been united with him not only symbolically but in reality and truth just as Jesus Christ has been united with our sin and death through his baptism. Since this is true, Paul says, “because you are in Christ Jesus, think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God.”
Because we are doing that, thinking ourselves dead to sin and living for God, we should not let sin rule in our dying bodies, controlling us. You see Christian, because you have already died with Christ in baptism, sin, the fear of death and the power of the devil have no control over you. Yes, yes, sin still rules your flesh but you should not let it rule over you. You no longer have to listen to its passions, its urges or its loud voice telling you to comply. For you have been born from above and are no longer subject to it. You have been given the Holy Spirit who empowers you to just say no to sin.
I know, I know, it sure seems difficult at times, which is why we are called to watchful and mindful in prayer, devotion to God’s word and to participation in the sacraments. It is why we are called to confession and absolution and to gather with other Christians so we may expose the sin within us so it may lose its control over us. If we try to keep the sin within our flesh a secret it gains control over us. Exposing it to the light of Christ by confession of the same to other Christians makes it lose its power over us. Even if you can’t find a Christian to expose your passions that are trying to take control over your body, you still outwardly tell them to Christ and to remind those passions of the flesh, you belong to Jesus now.
Yes, since we are one with Jesus now in baptism, we are called to use the members of our bodies not for doing wrong but for doing good. We have come back from the dead with Jesus. The Law which used to threaten us with death can no longer threaten us because we died already in baptism. Sin, which uses the Law to excite our passions, we don’t have to listen to anymore. Instead we give ourselves to God, daily, regularly, sometimes minute by minute to use us, to use our body to do right, mainly serving our neighbor as Christ has served us.
You see, if we focus on the Law, which we are not under, sin in our flesh will use that against us. Focusing on doing the Law gets our eyes off of Jesus, just as the serpent got the woman and the man to take their eye off the tree of life and focused them on the command of God, they fell into sin. We are under grace. We have been given an new life, a new heart, new affections and desires by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. When we focus our hearts and minds on what Jesus has done for us all by his grace, then that grace, that gospel, compels us and changes us into people who bear the fruit of the Spirit. Do you want to not let sin rule over you? Then focus on what God has done for you in Christ Jesus when he baptized you. Remember he joined you with Christ life and works. Remember how he put to death the flesh you live in. Remember how he has raised you spiritually from the dead and how he will raise you bodily on the Last Day.
Heavenly Father, having been born of your Spirit in the waters of baptism, we give ourselves, our bodies to your service this day. Call to mind for us the gifts given in baptism when we are tempted so sin may not rule over us but rather your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.