Lesson 19


The Epistle to the Romans

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 6:9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! 6:10 For the death that he died, he died to sin once; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 Thus also consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 6:12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 6:13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.


 Today's Lesson 

In Yesterday's Lesson we spoke of the importance of believing that we have been crucified with Christ. Our sin died with Him. Today's Scripture reminds us that this is not the final goal for the Christian. It is not enough that sin is completely dealt with at the cross. If the story of Jesus of Nazareth had ended at Golgatha then we probably would never have heard His name. But His story did not end with His death because God raised Him from the dead.

 

The complete integration of the resurrected life of Christ in our lives is the ultimate goal of the Christian experience. When Christ lives in us we are truly children of God. When we are baptized into the death of Christ we are also raised with Him into a new life. We are "alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

 

Paul reminds us that the resurrected life of Christ is eternal life. The death that Christ died, he died to sin once for all time. Death has no claim on Him any longer. When we have died to sin and been placed into the body of Christ then death has no claim on us either. The penalty has been paid for all of our sins: past, present and future.

 

So Paul tells us, "don't let sin reign in your mortal bodies." We are to present ourselves to God and serve Him in righteousness. We are to not allow sin to control our lives any longer. We are to live out our faith by denying the dominion of sin in our lives.

 

And Paul concludes his thought here with a very strong statement. "For you are not under law, but under grace." Jesus of Nazareth was born a Jew under the Law of Moses. He lived His life in conformity to its rules and regulations. But when Jesus was crucified His obligation to the Law was completed. The penalty for sin under the Law was death and though Jesus did not die for His own sin, Paul tells us that Jesus died for our sins. So when Christ died to sin the Law was satisfied. Having been raised from the dead Christ, and all those who are placed within His body, is no longer under Law, but under grace.

 

So where does this leave the Christian? We are no longer under the dominion of sin and we have been set free from the obligations of the Law. We serve God through a direct, personal relationship with His Son. Because we have been placed into the body of Christ, we are to do what Christ would have us to do. We are His hands and feet to accomplish whatever He would have us to do in this world. As we draw closer to Him, we are more and more useful to Him because our understanding of His will develops over time.

 

What does God want from you? He wants Christ to live in your heart completely and effortlessly. He wants other people to see His Son when they look at your life. That's the way that God sees you right now. He wants other people to see you that way too.

 

What does that mean for us? If Christ lives in our hearts then the world will respond to us in the same way that it responded to Him. It is not an easy life. The world denied Christ and eventually crucified Him. Not every Christian will be required to make such sacrifices but it is within the job description.

 

Are you ready to live the life of Christ? Are you prepared to be His hands, His feet, His mouth? Are you willing to give up everything that you thought you wanted to be to be whatever His desires for you to be?

 

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