Be Strong, Be Well — Friday, March 26, 2021
God told His people, Israel saying, “’As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’" (Ezekiel 33:11).
Repentance is difficult at times, especially at the beginning of our Christian walk. Turning from past habits, engrained thinking and responses to everyday living, is reversing what we have always thought and done as “normal.”
When we came to understand there was such a thing as sin, and these sins were wrong, hurtful and condemning as we stood before the God of heaven, we believed the command to repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Or as Ananias told Saul, Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Now living the Christian life, we have become involved in a constant evaluation of our thoughts and actions, making sure to avoid sin. Paul wrote, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22–24).
Paul uses some strong language in the lengthy context of Romans 6. We’ll highlight some phrases starting in verse 1 and finishing in verse 14. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
After explaining what baptism is—being buried into Christ’s death and raised in His resurrection, Paul says we now “should walk in newness of life...knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
The apostle reasons through Christ’s resurrection saying He was raised from the dead and, “Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”
In turn, we must be like Christ and consider ourselves “to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
Christians are no longer dead, but alive. We live to fight the good fight of faith. Every day we strive to walk in the direction of God, Jesus Christ, and heaven. We keep facing in the right direction. When we sin, we turn and repent. It may be difficult, but we must remember, sin is death, but the cross of Christ is life. —Chris