Under New Management
Mighty God, penetrate the corners of my heart and give me a right faith, a certain hope, and a perfect love.
Read Romans 6:1-14
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…” (Rom. 12:2).
When you cross over a border from one country to another, you immediately move from being under one set of rules to another. The police from one country cannot follow you, and accuse you of contravening their laws while you’re in the other country. You are subject now to a different authority.
Paul is now unfolding the consequences for Christian living of the summary he has given in ch. 5. Having set out the two states of humanity—being in Adam or being in the Messiah—he now explores what this means in practice. In the background is the story of God leading his people from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land, a story that clearly shaped expectations of what the Messiah would do when he came (See Luke 1:68-79). Because we have moved from being one kind of humanity to another, we have left the life of sin behind and now are starting to live this resurrection life. We have, if you like, left the land of Sin and are now living in the land of Messiah—the term “go on” in v. 1 is closely related to the word used for “living” or “abiding” elsewhere in the New Testament.
This means that the key to holy living is not so much to try harder, or grit our teeth, or screw up our courage; it is to understand what God has done for us. Jesus has died for us, we have moved from death to life, from slavery to freedom, so this is how we now live. We need to do some reckoning, to (literally) add up what has happened—the word translated “count” in v. 11 comes from the world of accountancy. The price has been paid, and we are free to live for God.
Are there aspects of your living and behavior that don’t add up with the new life God has given you in Jesus? If so, pray for guidance to correct them.
Lord, I want to embrace the victory that is mine in Christ Jesus, my Lord. I release those things not pleasing to You, and seek anew to walk in Your ways.
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