Quest for Hope
Increasing Grace 2-27-16
Romans 6:1-2, 5-7, 11-14
Yesterday, we were filled with hope as we thought about what it means to be a friend of God; a gift of Grace in spite of our sin. We also realized being a “friend” means we will be called upon to lay our lives down for the cause of loving God and others. God is sacrificial love; agape. Today, we are on a quest of hope as we pursue God’s increasing grace.
Romans 6:1-2, 5-7, 11-14
1 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?
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.
11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. 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.
In our humanity, we should hate the thought of one person owning another person; physical slavery is wrong. Many times in Scripture we see where God liberates people from physical slavery. I praise God for a country that protects freedom and the ability to recognize slavery is wrong. But, I hear very little concern or hatred publicly expressed about the spiritual slavery of every human being to sin. Just so you realize it, sin desires to be the Master of humanity. Sin is anything that rejects God’s Word and authority of love (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength and your neighbor as yourself—Luke 10:27). Sin never treats a person right; it will always leave a person humiliated and beaten down. You need to be angry about the slavery of human beings to the deceptive work of sin. I am. Each week I hold the hearts of people who have given sin control and are now mastered by it; they need hope and a resurrection of spiritual life with the power of grace for change.
And, there is Good News! Jesus overcame sin and death and brings the power of grace to our aid, so we do not have to be slaves to sin. Jesus offers a new choice, we can live in the power of grace to overcome sin and make sure it is never our master. When we are loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, there is no room for any other authority than the Master—Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can take authority in the name of Jesus over any sin that tries to rob us of our freedom to live wholly for God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that I can live from now until forever as a free child of grace. I do not have to bow to sin as my master. I can know the power to overcome it. Teach me your ways of love as I choose to make you my Master. In Jesus’ name. Amen.