8 Now if we have died with Christ, (in baptism), we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
The apostle Paul has so much to say in the sixth chapter of Romans! It is a chapter that we all should take from beginning to end and “tear into it,” desiring to learn of all it has to teach us.
As an example, let’s take a small section which compares and contrasts the life we live after being baptized into Jesus’ body, and the life we are to live following that obedience.
Many of us have heard about “putting off the old self” of sin when we are submerged into the waters of baptism. Then, as we are lifted up, simulating our resurrection with Him, we are “a new person,” washed free of the sins we have committed.
It is at that moment we are a fresh, new person in Christ. We are pure in the sight of God and rest in His grace. We have gained our faith in Jesus as the Son of God, repented of our past sins, confessed The Savior’s name before men so that He will confess our name before God, (Matthew 10:32), and reenacted Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in the act of baptism. By this, we have obeyed the gospel of Christ and now live for Him!
But this is only the beginning of our new lives. Now we commence the process of changing our way of life in order to be pleasing to our heavenly Father.
Paul addresses this beginning in (V.11), by telling us to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ Jesus. In (V.12), we are told not to let sin retake our mortal bodies, as the evil one will try even more so to tempt us, since we stepped away from earthly lifestyles which lead to death.
In (V.13) we are told not to offer the parts of our body up to evil practices as instruments of wickedness. Many of us might consider that to mean the things of sexual sin, but if we think about it, this can have a much deeper definition than that.
Our bodies have eyes which can lust, either after another person, or in coveting another’s possessions such as a car, job, house, etc. We also have tongues which we know can get us into a lot of trouble when misused. We may gossip, lie, speak poorly of another person, hurt people’s feelings and so on.
We can use our ears to listen to things we shouldn’t hear, we have feet which can take us to places we shouldn’t go. If we truly think of the implications of this verse, and all it encompasses, they are really are a number of ways we can use our bodies in a sinful manner.
What’s more, moving on to (V.14), it is once again confirmed in our minds that sin will no longer be our master, as we died to it in the process of baptism, just as Christ died to it in His death on the cross. And even though we now live as Christians under grace, we are not to continue in our “old ways,” not by any means! This is what we are told in (V.15).
Learning and growing in our faith is a long process which only begins with turning our lives over to Jesus Christ. We are quite literally transformed in mind, heart, and soul! As with the caterpillar which turns into the beautiful butterfly, there is a process we will go through, and it can and will probably take a human lifetime of effort to try to achieve…
But as we practice emulating the thoughts and actions of Christ in our lives, as we are moved in heart to put Him before ourselves, we should start seeing that changes in our behavior will come more naturally.
Therefore, let us be about our Father’s business of treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves. And this as we grow closer to loving our Lord with all of our heart, mind, and soul! Let us be consumed in the love of the Savior…Amen!
refs: ~Google~ biblegateway.com~ The NIV Study Bible, copyright, 1995~