The Cell is Open

Romans 6:1-14

1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

7for he who has died is freed from sin.

8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Good day folks. Today I’m looking at the last verse in this passage. It seems Paul is beginning to explain righteousness and grace and how it works, answering some general questions that may arise upon first exposure to this concept.

I like the last verse today because it’s in tune with something that I’ve tried to keep in mind lately. Sin is not master over me. That’s refreshing. It’s hard to capture and act out though. Ever do something you regret? Something you are ashamed of? Something others are ashamed of? Christ says, “that’s ok, I forgive you.” But, do you forgive yourself? Does that sin hang over you, although you have been forgiven.

As I contemplate the next step in the book I am working through, confession, I think about the things I need to confess to free myself of their bondage. I’m already forgiven of them, but I haven’t forgiven myself of them. Imagine that. I’m freed, the jail bars have been opened, yet I still sit in the cell.

Paul is also telling us that we get to walk in the newness of life. That’s the life waiting for us outside that jail cell of regret, sin, and shame. This is why Paul tells us not to let sin reign our mortal body, but asinstruments of righteousness to God. All we have to do is walk away from that cell. Is it scary? Sure it is. That’s why we hold onto our burdens of the past. We’ve learned to live with it and it’s comfortable. It’s what we know. Out “there” is a world of unknown. It’s ok though, because God has our backs.

So, what’s keeping you in the jail cell?

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