Daily Reading: Romans 6:1-14
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,”Romans 6:1
In December, I was admitted to the hospital to have my gallbladder removed. This procedure years ago would have required several days in the hospital to recovery, however surgeons today can accomplish the task quickly and release a person home that very day. I can quite vividly remember being taken into the operating room and moving on to the operating table. It was not long after, that I experience a warm sensation in my hand and subsequently falling asleep. The surgeon did his work with the intent that I would once again be healthy. Imagine if the anesthesiologist would have left me there after the surgeon was completed, continuing to fill my body with the chemicals that would keep me asleep – or worse give me to much. What would be the purpose of the operation? This example may seem a little dark, however it fits quite clearly with our passages in Romans 6.
What is the purpose of the death and resurrection of Christ? For what reason were we baptized (or placed into) this death and resurrection? Why do we identify with Christ at all? This is the very important question we must ask ourselves as Christians if we are to truly be disciples of Christ. Keep this in mind, one can intellectually acknowledge – and even wholeheartedly believe, in the death, burial and subsequent resurrection of Jesus and yet never develop a personal relationship with Him or learn what it is to become His disciple.
The apostle Paul begins verse 12, being led by the Spirit of God, with a very important word. The word “therefore” connects the truths that have been established, and we have establish in previous days. These truths are summarized simply and eloquently in verse 11, “Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The next verse then begins with an imperative – a command to act. The Spirit of God is working through the hands of Paul to get our attention. Read verses eleven and twelve again, only this time place emphasis on the word ‘therefore’, and read the next five words slowly, “do – not – let – sin – reign” (v.12). Notice that Paul is not saying to wait until you feel like it, or have a certain experience – perhaps a “Jesus moment”. This is a clear command to you and I based on what Christ has done and the freedom and life that we now have in Him.
This passage does not call us again to the law, nor does it call us to a new law; that is unless that “new law” is the law of Christ. This is not a call to obedience and an imperative to refrain from sin for the purpose of gaining salvation or standing with God. This is certainly not a call to die. Paul’s command (by the Holy Spirit), is to live! We are to live to Christ and become disciples of His. What would be the purpose of this glorious new life if we returned again to our sinful state, and obeyed the lust of the flesh. Our spiritual Doctor, our Healer, might as well have left us on the table sedated, but He didn’t! He made the way for you and I to walk with Him by faith in obedience – to live this glorious new life!