Last week we were talking about what “we believe” and how those beliefs join forces to give us the power needed to overcome sin and defeat Satan.
I encourage all who have not read parts 1 and 2 to go back and read before continuing on.
If we truly believe in God, Jesus, new life, the crucifixion, and the resurrection, then we have everything we need to overcome sin and defeat Satan.
Romans 6 (NLT)
Sin’s Power Is Broken
6 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 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. ………
Paul is very clear here: while we live under the law of grace that does not give us an excuse to live in sin. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and were baptized, we too died and rose again. In our new creations, sin has no control over us. We have the power to “just say no!”
12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] 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.
What we can take from this is that while we have power over sin, we have to choose to exercise that power. A lot of us go around thinking we can’t control our thoughts or feelings. These scriptures say otherwise. Once again, being free from the law does not give us permission to live our lives the way we want. We died to ourselves, remember? Our lives now belong to God. We must follow His ways now. Jesus Christ’s died for my sin and your sin. But he did not stay dead he rose again. We too must rise. We must rise as new creatures, which means, no longer being lead by sin, but by Christ.
[Now, I know there are many debates about “what are his ways” now that the Mosaic Laws no longer control. I don’t want to get into that today, but I will say that there are a lot of instructions given in the New Testament on the way we should live. I challenge us all to make a list of those instructions and I am betting they encompass more morally than the Mosaic Laws themselves. Furthermore, there are numerous scriptures referring to obedience and works in the New Testament, so obviously we are not free to live anyway we want. It all goes back to a relationship with Jesus Christ. If we truly love Christ we will want to follow His ways because we want to be closer to him. This is usually a process with a lot of learning by trial and error, which is where grace comes in. As we grow in Christ, the more our love for Christ grows, and the more we want to do His will not because we have to but because we want to.]
I especially love the part about “you become a slave of whatever you choose to obey(notice the word choose).” Have you ever indulged yourself in a sin that completely takes over your life? I have and it was not pretty. It didn’t start off that way; one little sin lead to another, and then a bigger one and pretty soon I got myself in a big mess. Furthermore, as my sin started to take over my life, my relationship with God got pushed out. My relationship suffered because, one, God can’t be where sin is present, and two, when I was actively sinning, I didn’t want anything to do with God because he kept trying to convict me.
Yes, I realize it is a lot easier to say we are dead to sin or free from sin and a whole lot harder to live, but it all starts with belief. If we truly believe that we really do have control over sin or our temptations than we can begin to start making better choices. Tomorrow, I will conclude this series with talking about how we use this power to overcome sin, Satan, and temptations. This is the application part of this series, where we can take scriptural knowledge and see how we can actually apply it to our lives. I am excited!
Have a blessed day,