Day 7: Romans 6
How are you coping with lockdown? As I write this I can look out of my window and see blue sky, sunshine, green fields with sheep and lambs, a garden and flowers and shrubs coming into bloom. For me, lockdown doesn’t feel like being ‘locked down’. For some however, it may be much more difficult, looking out on a completely different scene to the one described above. It may feel more like imprisonment as opposed to freedom.
Romans 6 talks about a freedom for us as believers. A freedom from the power of sin, the penalty of sin and the presence of sin.
The opening verses of this chapter remind us of the importance of baptism – going down into the water and coming up again gives us a living picture of what has actually happened. It is an outward declaration of an inner transformation where the old life has gone, is dead and buried and the new life has been reborn (v.4). We were dead to God before, now we are alive to Him (v. 11). Free from the power of sin.
So if we are free from sin’s power, does this mean we have an insurance policy to go on as before? What an absurd idea! (“by no means” says Paul) Becoming a Christian means identifying ourselves with Christ – becoming one with Him in His death and resurrection. We have been given a new nature and are serving a new Master. Sin is no longer our master but obedience to God and His righteousness (v.16). But God does not take us out of the world or make us robots – we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin. The difference is that before we were saved we were slaves to our sinful nature, but now we can choose to live for Christ – in freedom from sin’s control.
Then, we are free from the penalty of sin. The last verse of this chapter clearly states the penalty (wages) of sin (v.23)…”For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. And the wonderful thing is that when we transfer into that eternal life in heaven, then we will be free from the presence of sin. Notice it says the gift of God is eternal life. It’s not something we can buy, nor is it something we can work for or earn. It is a gift and gifts are given to be received.
Have you received God’s gift of salvation? Have you been baptised to outwardly declare that transformation that has taken place within? And have you become a ‘slave to righteousness rather than a slave to sin’? (v. 16). The be-kind project is a great opportunity to do good over evil with Jesus Christ as your Master who gives us the power that we need.