Journal Ro 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again—death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he (Jesus) died, he died to sin (once for all), but the life he (Jesus) lives, he lives to God.
So (likewise) you also must consider yourselves dead to in and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions.
- Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but,
- Present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
For sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace.” Ro 6:9-14
Observation: What is the basis of my conduct? It is how I deal with sin in my life.
Analysis: Romans is the shorthand presentation of the theology of Justification and Sanctification.
Modern folks have written volumes about this subject, but none have done it better than Paul. There’s this one guy, John Owen (Puritan theologian in the 1600’s) who wrote the definitive book on Sin (Doctrine of Sin, Chapter 6)—huge book. The easiest to read so far (outside of Romans) is “The Enemy Within” by Kris Lundgaard—a book recently reviewed at Saturday AM Coffee at IHOP.
“For sin will have no dominion over you…” I remember this often and tell myself that, but lately it seems that sin does have dominion over me. It is disheartening and discouraging: where and how am I failing?
Then I remember who has overcome the world.
Confess, repent, and get after it again. Remember the Cross and where my dependence lies. Remember that I am not independent, but dependent on Him; I am being formed into the image of my Lord Jesus and there are still imperfections that need to be pinched out of the clay.
I am being confronted with a situation I thought would never have happened. Among other things (which are way more important but cannot be shared here), my character has been assaulted by a member of my own family. As I write this, I am thinking how petty I am because Jesus endured so much more and that on my behalf—so that I could be set free from the dominion of sin.
That endurance is my example of character to imitate. My freedom from the dominion of sin is not “freedom from sinning”, it is about “I am not bound by the dictates of sinning”—I don’t have to sin.
This freedom from the dominion of sin is not in the power of my might, but it is in the dogged perseverance of leaning hard on the Holy Spirit. My effort, leaning dependently on God, knowing that the Power to overcome sin is directly His, is the key.
Prayer: Lord God, all the struggle right now is what is bouncing between my ears, and repudiating those thoughts that I know You don’t like—but in parallel pity me for and have Mercy for me available always and forever at the Cross.
Help me cling to the Cross, for I am beat and lonely in this matter You know about. Deliver me, O God.