Old Testament Reading: Exodus 15 & 16
Psalms Reading: Psalm 36
* New Testament Reading: Romans 6
Romans 5 talks about God’s amazing grace, and how we can be made right with God despite our ugly sinful past, because Jesus’ death paid for our sins. Romans 6 starts by asking a ridiculous question, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Paul then answered the question in verse 2, “By no means!”.
Paul went on to say that when people really accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they die to sin, just like Jesus physically died. And since Jesus was raised up to a new (eternal) life, our life should be radically different – a new life to be lived for God. Romans 6: 11-12 says, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” This means we must actively resist sin in our lives, and instead deliberately choose to live a life pleasing to God. This isn’t just a good idea, it’s required for true Christians.
Paul offered an analogy that everyone in his day would have been very familiar with: slaves. Slaves must obey their masters. A person living a life of sin is in rebellion against God and is a slave to sin, and therefore can’t follow God. By accepting Christ and dying to sin, a person can then be a slave to God. Paul then made the argument that, since you’ve been freed from slavery to sin, you can’t serve sin anymore – sin is not your master any more. God is now your master, so you must obey Him.
Romans 6:21-22 goes on to say, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
This is a pretty stark contrast. Your life used to be filled with sin. You did lots of things you are now ashamed of. And oh yeah, the result of that lifestyle is death. God has liberated us from sin to become a slave of God – which causes us to live a holy life, with the result culminating in eternal life in the coming Kingdom of God.
Paul closed the chapter with a verse that is likely familiar, Romans 6:23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When we work, we earn wages. We deserve what we get paid because of the work we did. Similarly, we will get “paid” for the life we live. If we persist in our sin, the wage we can expect is death. Thanks anyway, but I’d rather accept God’s gift. But we can’t get God’s gift just because we want it, we must turn from our life of sin, and become God’s slave. Only then can we receive His gift of eternal life.
So, the choices are sin and death, or a life of service to God and eternal life. Some consider this a tough choice. Which will you choose?
- What are you a slave of? Are there any changes in your life that ought to be made?
- Are you prepared to receive the wages of your sins? Or have you accepted the gift of God? If so, how and what difference does that make in your life?
- What does God reveal about Himself and His heart in today’s Bible reading? What kind of Master is He?