1: "So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace?" - God's grace pours into the life of a sinner in increasing amounts. (Rom 5:20) This led Paul's distracters to wonder if we should purposely do evil in order for good to come. (Rom 3:8)
2: "No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin?" - Paul reminds us of the basis of our faith. When we wander in thought and deed, returning to the basics will reveal the truth.
4: "When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared His death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life." - Our identity is tied to Christ. Our sinful nature died with Christ on the cross and a promise for a new, sin-free life arose on Easter morning.
10: "Yes, when Christ died, He died to defeat the power of sin one time - enough for all time. He now has a new life, and His new life is with God." - Sacrifice, death, victory, resurrection, and eternal life.
11: "In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus." - Sin has lost its power. We are free to live as Christ would have us live.
Points to Contemplate:
Have you given up?
Have you accepted that there are some things in your life that will never change? Do you feel that sin has control over your life and nothing can be done to be rid of it? Because of your sin, are you more appreciative of God's forgiveness? Does His grace fall like rain into your life and with each misstep or sin does the amount of rain increase? Does this mean that your relationship with God is defined by your sin? Does sin have more control over your life than God? Are you a hopelessly resigned sinner?
Have you been reborn? Has your life been remade and recreated in Christ? When you are struggling with sin, Paul suggests that you remember your baptism. Do you accept that you have been made clean, once and for all time by the Cross? Do you believe you have been remade in Christ's image? That your destiny is a holy walk along God's pathway of righteousness? If this is your belief, then why not turn from the sin that dominates your life? "How can (you) continue living with sin" with the knowledge of God's love for you emblazoned on your heart?
In what ways can you begin to reject the reign of sin in your life today? Can you find more time in your busy schedule to pray, study, and meditate with God? Can you simply say "No more, evil one, I will not allow you to control my life?" Will you turn your focus towards the "what could be" and away from the "what always has been?" Will you allow the peace and hope of Christ to fill your heart? Will you shift your focus from the cross and towards the empty tomb? Will you look to the heavens and accept the glory that God has in store for you? Promises of the Gospel:
The bondage and slavery of sin and a life of hopelessness is no longer our destiny. We do not have to give in to sin. We are not defined by its grasp on our life. We are defined by the glory and victory of a risen Christ. We can live because He lives. And yet, how much time do we spend focused on the sin in our lives that put Jesus on the cross? How often do we dwell on the hopelessness of our human condition - the Adam Factor - and not on the possibilities of a new life that exists? Paul says to turn our focus towards the eternal love of God and purposely walk away from the sin that tries to dominate our lives. Sin is dead. It no longer exists. What does exist is new life and new hope. Yes, God's grace is amazing. It has poured into our lives and we are undeserving of His love. However, we need to move beyond our feelings of unworthiness, accept His forgiveness, and come "alive with God through Christ Jesus."
Amen! Walking in the newness of life may not mean that we will never have to deal with the temptations to sin again, but we do have a door of escape. Praise God! You have defined that "door" quite clearly, Brother.