Romans – “Therefore”
There is a saying, “you can’t go back home”. I laughed it off as just a saying but it is true. When you move from a place where you grew up we must realize that we change and the place changes. Nothing remains the same. You can’t go back home and expect things to be just as you left it. People change and grow just as you have. We also have a tendency to “freeze frame” younger family members and are surprised that they have grown and matured so much we almost don’t recognize them.
Paul takes us farther in the saying “you can’t go back home” as he talks about our former way of life with sin directing our every move. We speak sin language. We move at the whim of evil’s direction. We dress in the way of sin. Everything about us is directed by evil’s desire to destroy us. We live precariously on the edge of death.
THEN we enter into real life with Jesus, guided by His Holy Spirit, baptized in His Name! We move from death to life…a new country of authenticity. We speak a new language of love, mercy and grace. We are loved, accepted and redeemed in a way that is like no other way…unconditionally. ALL our sins are not only forgiven but forgotten by the one who paid the debt for all sin for all people.
We have been set free to move to the rhythm of God’s grace, the One and Only who created us and knows us by name. He challenges us to grow and invites us to be His Friend forever. He also invites us to join Him in His work to help others find and follow Him. Yes, we’ve moved to a higher place with higher, nobler thoughts that are directed by God, our Creator. We are loved. We are not forgotten. We are significant. We count in His Kingdom. We are of so much value, Jesus, His Son was sent to die for us!
WHY in the world would we want to visit the old country of sin, much less go back and live there in misery?
Romans 6, The Message
When Death Becomes Life
1-3 So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.
Remember, we are redeemed! Don’t go back!
Dear Heavenly Father,
When we think of You and what you have done to save us from sin and selfishness we fall to our knees in grateful praise. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. There’s no turning back. I don’t want to go back to where I used to live in sin. There is only darkness there. Lift me higher and higher with You. Thank you for saving us.
In Jesus Name, Amen