Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pondering Romans 6

I Reckon…..

We who have accepted the free gift of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have “been set free from sin.” Why then do we still live as though we are powerless over sin? Sin no longer has the right to rule or have power over us. We are not alone in this battle over sin; we have the resurrection power of Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit indwelling us! How can we loose?

We loose the battle for many reasons two are coming to my mind as I type although there are more. First, we loose because we don’t recognize we are in a battle. The enemy sneaks in and plunders us while we are sleeping and we don’t even know we have been robbed of victories that were ours to have. Second, we don’t know how to do battle and use the wrong weapons for the wrong fight.

How do we do battle according to Romans 6? First, we reckon (has to be Southern Greek)! “…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but [reckon] alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v.11) Reckon is an accounting term that means “to take into account,” “calculate,” or “decide.” We must believe and know that because of our relationship with Jesus Christ sin no longer has a right to have power over us. We do not have to choose to sin. We must believe that we have the power (Holy Spirit) to not sin. Second, we present our members to the proper owner for the proper use. “…do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin.” ( V.13) When you see the word members think about those parts of us which we can sin with, our hearts (feelings, words…), hands (deeds, actions…), minds (thoughts, attitudes). “…but present yourselves to God…your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (v.14) We should daily present our hearts, minds, and hands to God. The Biblical principle of reaping what you sow is present here. Note verses 16 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether to sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” 19 “you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present you members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

And verse 21-22; “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of these things is death. But now having been set free from sin,…you have your fruit to holiness,…everlasting life.

I want to ponder a moment longer on this second battle strategy. One of the hardest victories to win is the one over our mind. It is Satan’s playground! It is our battleground! If we present (permit) our minds to think on the false, bad, in-just, impure, ugly, critical, secondary, and negative, what fruit will we bear? We will bear more of the same. If we voice it out loud we are inviting others to join our party and everyone likes a party. If we permit our minds to dwell in an attitude of hopelessness, faithlessness and despair what kind of fruit will we produce? We will bear oppression, depression and a paralyzed life. You will be a dead man walking…barely. On the other hand if we, no matter how we may feel or how circumstances may seem, set our minds to dwell on the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, primary and positive we will bear the fruit of holiness. We will be living the abundant life Jesus died for us to live. That’s the party I want to invite others to come to. Join me in celebrating life over death, power over powerlessness, victory over defeat and reaping fruit of holiness over the fruit of nothingness.

Oh Father, You alone are God, the Most High One. I present all my heart, my hands and my mind to You. Fill me so completely with Your power and presence that my heart beats in rhythm with Yours. Guard every part of me especially my mind that I may dwell on what is good and righteous. Keep all critical, negative, hopeless and faithless thoughts from me for I want to be as You are, holy.