Daily Reading: Romans 6:1-14
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”Romans 6:14b
Peter’s first letter begins with a truth he knew well. This disciple of Jesus did not learn the truth quickly, in fact it took some time for the truth to sink in and have effect in his life. When it did, there was an amazing transformation in his life. Its no wonder he starts his letter to “those scattered abroad” with the truth that now permeated his very existence – namely “grace”. 1 Peter 2 begins, “(v.1)Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout… (v.2b) May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.” (NASB) Paul also, in virtually every one of his letters, even his letter to the disobedient Corinthians, begins by bringing grace to the forefront of their discussion.
It may appear from Romans 6:12, that we are back under the law. A logical conclusion must be brought to light at this point, and a question answered. Since we are told to “not yield to sin”, but rather to God, we must ask the question: “What is sin?” In order to answer this question, we have to acknowledge that there is an objective law of God that exists both inside and outside the old Mosaic law which governed the Israelite people. There are those who believe there is no law today, this incorrect theological mindset leads the unstudied or understudied down a road of confusion and theological pragmatism. There are those who may say, “I can do whatever I want, I’m under grace – not law”. To those, I implore you, read your Bible! New Testament writers, who lived under both grace and law during their lifetime, emphasized holiness as an active component of grace.
What is the grace of God? The grace of God is by definition, God’s unmerited favor toward us. To what end? To the end that we would live an ungodly lifestyle? Are we to do whatever we wish knowing that blood of Jesus has paid for sin? Most certainly not! The grace of God is given in order that we would have the ability to live righteously. In this grace we can choose to allow our walk (our lifestyle) to reflect God’s character. Said another way, we now have the ability to worship God by living how He desires us to live. We must also answer the question, “If God desires for us to live a certain way, has He defined that way?” Of course He has. We ask again, “If God has given us a way that we are to live (law, not the Mosaic law), isn’t that apart from grace?” My answer to the last question is a definitive “No”!
Remember the definition of grace; it involves the word ‘merit’. Our merit before God is not based on us keeping the law. Our merit before God is based on the shed blood of Jesus who took our place. The law says, “Try and do the things that reflect holiness and God will bless you.” Grace says, “You are already blessed, therefore do those things that reflect God’s character out of freedom from the old man.
Ask yourself today, why do you obey God? Are you obeying Him to gain merit, or are you obeying Him because you have the freedom now to worship Him and desire to do it with your heart and mind?