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How do we live for Christ?
We live in a culture that likes to answer questions like that with answers like this: If you do these three things then you will live for Christ. We are a “doing” culture. If we can check a few things off a list then we feel pretty good about things. In this case the list might include: 1) Go to church every week, 2) Read the Bible every day, 3) Be nice to people, 4) Give money to the church or charity…
The problem with this philosophy is that it doesn’t match up with what the Bible says. According to Scripture, if we want to live for Christ we have to understand who we are before we ever think about what we should do. To say it in a way that sounds smart, theology dictates praxis. This passage points out two things that we need to understand about who we are and then, once we thoroughly understand this, it gives us two things that we can do. Again, theology dictates praxis!
We are dead to sin – When Christ rescued us and we through faith entered into relationship with Him we were “crucified with Christ” and sin died. . It was put to death and we were freed from the influence of sin (see v.7). And yet every day sin rears its ugly head, seemingly rising from the dead, and has its way with us. Why? Because we still have a sin nature (Paul will talk about this at length in chapter 8). Our sin nature breathes new life into sin and it is resurrected until we come to our right minds and kill it all over again. have you ever played one of those games where you have to bop a mole who raises its head out of a hole – but no matter how many times you kill it it keeps showing back up in another hole. That’s what sin is like. Everyday we need to remember that in Christ we are dead to sin. We don’t have to give it new life.
We are alive to God in Christ Jesus – Not only was sin put to death when Christ redeemed us but we were made alive. The hard part for us to understand is that spiritually speaking we were completely DEAD, but were made alive. Everyday is an opportunity for us to experience aliveness in a way that we were not able to before. And because we are alive we do not have to sin. We do not have to give into our sin nature because the Spirit of the LIVING God now dwells within us. We must never forget this. Because when we do our sin nature is crouching at the door of our hearts ready to spring into action.
Verse 13 says, “DO NOT offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but DO offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life.” So there are things that we can do. There are choices that we can make every day that will help us in our pursuit of living for Christ. But the “doing” comes after the “being.”
So today, reflect on who you are in Christ. You were dead, but now because of Him you are finally alive. You are dead to sin – don’t allow it to come back to life. Then think of practical things that you can do and not do that will help you thrive in this incredible relationship that God has invited us to enjoy.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 6:15-23
Memory Verses: Romans 8: 1-12 (again)