Romans 6 starts by asking the very personal question. Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Do we choose to live each day with some sin embedded into our lives and taking control and redirecting our path.
Verse 16 speaks about us becoming slaves to some sin in our lives. It talks of a sin which leads to death. I do not believe God is talking about physical death in this situation, although continual sin in our lives could result in that happening.
I believe he is talking about the death of relationships. Relationship with God, which is marred when we let unconfessed sin reign in our lives. Relationship with our family and friends when we let our attitudes and our tongue ruin our testimony because of our sin-guilt problem. Relationships with our unchurched friends as they view our lives and see that perhaps we are not practicing what we preach.
Romans 6:23 is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:16 in the Living Bible states, "Don't you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin with death or else obedience with acquittal. The one to whom you offer yourself,---he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave."
So today, resolve not to live in Romans 6.
But what about Romans 7? Do I want to reside there?
As we pass from Romans 6 to Romans 7, we find graphically illustrated, our struggle between good and evil in our lives.
The Living Bible says, " I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can't help myself, because I'm no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am, that makes me do these evil things.
I know that I am rotten through and through so far as my own sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can't make myself do right. I want to but I can't. When I want to do good. I don't, and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway."
How many times in our lives do we find ourselves with these same kind of feelings. Good grief, when Paul wrote these words he has been a believer for thirty years. What hope is there for me?
Paul talks in verse 20 as being a slave to sin. The Living Bible says that "sin still has me in it's evil grasp."
So Romans 7 is where I have resided for many years in my Christian life.
I can almost echo what Paul said in the Living Bible Paraphrase, "I love to do God's will so far as my new nature is concerned. But there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God's willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin."
Wow! Does that ever describe how I feel at times.
And then I read on as Paul loudly declares in verse 24. "What a wretched man I am!" (NIV)
And what hope is there for puny little me, who hardly compares to this spiritual giant of a man who wrote these words.
Thank God that Paul didn't stop with Romans 7.
He wrote the marvelous promises in Romans 8, and gives us hope against our struggle with sin.
He shouts from the housetop, that "There is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit--and this power is mine through Christ Jesus---has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death." Romans 8:1,2 (Living Bible Paraphrase)
Oh my friend, won't you go get your Bible right now, and turn to Romans 8 and read it for yourself. Get down on your knees before Him, and ask Him to help you believe the promises in that chapter.
Claim the promises of God about living in the spirit, and the leading of the Spirit of God. If you are a serious Bible student, many of these verses are well known to you. "All things work together for good." "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God". " If God is for us, who can be against us." "We are more than conquerors through Him." and one of my favorites, verse 39, "nothing can separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
So today my friend, resolve to live your life in the Eighth Chapter of Romans. The enemy will try to drag you back into Chapter Six and Seven, but perhaps if you memorize those key passages in Chapter eight, you will day by day, learn how to live there on a regular basis.
I long to do this, and my hope is for you to do that also.
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