#DailyDevotion Have You Experienced Death Yet?
Rom 6:1-3 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Paul asks this rhetorical question several times in his letters. He is responding to those who have not yet been enlightened by the Holy Spirit who think the Gospel is a license to sin. If you never had someone say to you when you share the gospel with them, “You mean I can do whatever I want to do?” then you’ve probably never actually shared the good news of Jesus Christ with them.
But when we share that God has forgiven and even justified ungodly men freely by his grace, that there is nothing we have to do to be saved, that we are declared righteous simply for believing Jesus died for our sins, the old flesh rears its ugly head and thinks it can sin all it wants so that grace may abound. So Paul’s answer is no, of course not, we do not continue to sin just because we are forgiven, just so grace may abound all the more.
For having been baptized when we received the good news of salvation and believed it we died that day. On that day we died to sin. If you are dead you cannot go on sinning. What do dead men do? Nothing. When we were baptized we were baptized into Christ Jesus and we were baptized into his death. Death is the wages of sin. When we were baptized the wages of our sin were received because we were joined to Christ’s death upon the cross. His death became our own death. The penalty we deserve for our sins were receive by us in by being baptized into Jesus. So we have been freed from our slavery to sin through baptism and death.
When we came up out of baptism, we are no longer the same person anymore. It’s like we gone through the witness protection program. We have been given a new life, the life of Jesus. Eternal life has been poured out into our hearts. The Holy Spirit has come and taken up residence and given us his power to be different people.
So we who have died are not called to go on living in sin. We are called to go about living out the life of Christ Jesus in our bodies. We are no longer the property of the devil but of God the Father. We are not the devil’s children but God’s children. So it is no longer our desire to see what we can get away with in the world. It is our desire to avoid sin and act in love. The impulse of our renewed hearts is not to disobey God but to love the people around us. We seek the betterment of all we meet and not seek how we can put ourselves above them.
If this does not sound like you, then confess your sins and believe what God has told you about your baptism. You have died and you are not your own anymore (like you ever actually were, you belonged to Satan). Now you belong to Jesus. No longer a slave to the fear of death, a slave of sin and Satan, you are a slave of righteousness. Now that you have been saved, what do you want to do? You want to please your Savior Jesus Christ whose death has freed you! You please him by trusting him and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Almighty God and Father, you put us to death in our baptism into Jesus and cancelled the debt of our sin. Give us faith and the Holy Spirit that we may now live lives of faith so we may please you in all we think, say and do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.