Romans 6:4-7, 12-18
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. 15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
After I died and was buried with Christ by baptism, I was determined to live a new life. I became extremely disciplined; doing everything “right” to ensure that sin would lose its power over me. Because I relied on my stubborn will instead of God’s grace, I repeatedly failed in my endeavor. Instead, I continued to live as a slave to sin in several areas of my life.
I see many in the body of Christ caught in the same vicious cycle. They try and try and try to obey the law. They meet with their pastor. They attend counseling sessions. They sign up for a bible study. They go to therapy. They serve every Sunday. They join a small group. They work at every outreach. But freedom in Christ continues to elude them.
Why can’t they break the power of sin?
The simple, yet difficult answer is this: they must give themselves completely to God. Completely. They can try to fight it (sin), discipline it, justify it, but if they fail to relinquish every area of their lives to the Creator of the Universe, they will, as Paul states, be a slave to it.
When I first surrendered my stubborn pride and crippling fears to the Father, He began revealing the sins from my past that were affecting my present. As I came face to face with my Savior and repented for each specific disobedience against the Father, the Son unlocked the prison door and beckoned me to walk out— into freedom!
As a result, many areas of my heart and soul are now FREE to love the Lord my God with all my strength, and love others as myself. Yet, there are still more areas which are hidden to me that my Healer has yet to shine His light on. And so, I continue to communicate with my Lord regularly, asking, “what areas of my life am I not trusting and obeying You?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Is sin controlling the way you live? Do you desperately want to become a slave to righteousness? I urge you….cry out to God, give yourself completely to Him and repent for everything the Holy Spirit reveals to you. Then stand up, walk out of that prison cell, and follow Jesus into the abundant life He has planned for you!
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.