Readings for today: 2 Chronicles 1-3, Romans 6, Psalms 16, Proverbs 19:20-21
We are a haunted race. Haunted by Eden. Haunted by what we’ve lost. Haunted by the poverty of our spiritual condition. Stalked by death. Enslaved by sin. Our minds and hearts darkened and warped and twisted. We like to think we are more than this but we are not. And every day provides fresh evidence of the total depravity of the human condition. Scroll through Twitter. Turn on cable news. Listen to the hatred and bitterness and animosity. Slowly. Inexorably. Inevitably. Our baser, more primal selves are taking control. The further we run from God, the deeper we plunge into depression and despair. The more we resist accountability to our Creator, the faster our descent into hell and ruin.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” (Romans 6:12) We are in the midst of an age-old conflict. Who will reign? Will it be God? Will it be us? There is an attempt being made – and I have to admit it seems closer than ever – to throw off any vestiges of restraint. We want unfettered freedom. Complete autonomy. We want to be like God. We keep falling for the serpent’s lie and we keep dying as a result. We become enslaved to our passions. We find ourselves at the mercy of our worst instincts. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again. We are so confused. So hurt. So wounded. We are suffering and in pain. For those who doubt, simply consider the rapid increase in rates of depression, self-harm, addiction, and suicide. The wages of sin is indeed death…but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin…So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:1-7, 11)
Friends, Christ has set us free. Christ has broken the power of sin. Christ has defeated the power of death. Christ has delivered us from the power of the devil. No longer do we need be haunted by the memory of a better world. No longer do we need worry about the future. No longer do we need to live in shame and regret over what we have lost or what we have done. In Christ, we have communion with God. In Christ, we have all the riches of heaven. In Christ, our future hope is secure. In Christ, we become citizens of an eternal kingdom. In Christ, we have access to the Father. In Christ, we have all the power and authority we need to walk in newness of life.
Trust Him with your life. Submit to His will. Surrender to His love. Give Him all the control. As you do this, you will find sin no longer reigning over you. No longer exercising dominion over your life. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free so do not go back to a life of slavery!
Readings for tomorrow: 2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11, Romans 7:1-13, Psalms 17, Proverbs 19:22-23