The Walking Dead

Romans 5:17
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4
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.
Romans 6:6-7
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.
Romans 6:10
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
Romans 6:14
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

If you are anything like me you sometimes doubt, very seriously, that you are reigning in life.  How can I be if I still lose my temper, judge others, struggle with hidden sins and find myself doubting God?  The fact of the matter is that we will almost assuredly struggle with some form of sin for the rest of our lives.  We are continually in a process of sanctification, moving from glory to glory.  That term, glory to glory, always confused me.  Now I understand why it is called glory.  Every time we live according to the Spirit and are able to put down the works of our flesh it not only brings glory to God but quickens our spirits to move farther and deeper into the things of God.  The Lord loves to see his children win battles, especially when we are using the tools He died to give us.

Paul teaches us in Romans that when we became Christians we were “baptized into his death.”  That means that when Jesus was nailed to the cross our own “bodies of sin” were nailed to it as well.  Paul goes on to say “we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death” so that just like Jesus who rose from the grave we to can walk in “newness of life.”  Our old self was nailed to that tree!  We have been regenerated and that old man does not exist anymore!  Why then do we still struggle?  It is because of our sin nature.  Unfortunately, through Adam, we were born with original sin.  This sin nature has not only corrupted humanity but the whole of creation as well.  We, however, have been raised with Christ and are seated with him in heavenly places (Colossians 3).  We still sin but sin has no dominion, no rule in our lives if we follow the Spirit and not the flesh.  It is still a war but it is a war that has already been won!  Just because you fall down does not mean that God is not with you or has forsaken you.  Quite the contrary!  God, in his infinite wisdom, sent his Son to die on the cross so that you would be made righteous!  You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and if you are living towards God, i.e. Romans 6:10, you are no longer under the dominion of sin!

Reining in life means growing in life!  It means not giving up when you get knocked down.  It means accepting the free gift of grace that enables you to get back up and back in the fight.  There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus!  That means you!  Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that you are an unworthy sinner who cannot approach God.  This is a lie from the pit of hell!  Christ died on the cross in order to make you holy and acceptable to God.  There is nothing that you can say, nothing you can do, no great act of service that will make you righteous.  Christ already did that and if you accept and follow him then you are righteous in God’s sight. Sin has no dominion over you!

In conclusion, I must say that this wonderful fact does not mean that we can live in sin. Paul explicitly talks about this in Romans 7.  We must strive to live according to the Spirit, moving from glory to glory, victory to victory.  We must continue to grow in the things of God.  Don’t let seeming failures keep you from growing in God.  Keep swinging! Keep getting up when you fall!  You can do it, I know you can!   

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