Read: Romans 6:1-7
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (NIV Romans 6:1-7)
Study: In Romans 5:20, Paul wrote that “where sin increased, grace multiplied even more.” It seems that some of his opponents tried to discredit his trust in God’s grace by saying, “Let’s keep sinning, so that there can be even more grace.” Absolutely not, Paul replied. We can’t truly accept God’s grace without dying to that old way of living, and our baptism is the way we show that we’re serious about that. Christ’s followers through the centuries have wrestled with the paradox that, even as we “walk in newness of life,” we still fall short of God’s ideal again and again. (Paul himself stated the other side of this paradox in Romans 7:14-25.) In what ways have you seen Christ’s gift of new life break the ruling power of sin in your life? What are the ongoing areas of struggle in your life?
Prayer: Lord, free me more and more from the habits and ways of thinking that keep me enslaved. Guide me so that I may “walk in newness of life” with you. Amen.