A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “Our Identity”
Take a few minutes to read Romans 6:1-14.
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 Forone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselvesdead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 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. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
John Newton was a former slave trader turned pastor who never recovered from the amazing grace that he received. He penned the renowned words of “Amazing Grace.” While he did not renounce slavery until later in life, he became influential in the life of William Wilberforce, who led the abolition movement in England. His life is a testament to the nature of grace. Nothing about his life made him a worthy candidate for salvation, yet a former slave trader, a slave to sin himself, was set free by the grace of God.
This week we are going to look at that crazy little thing called grace. Generally, grace is a word used in the Scriptures to describe favor being given to those who are undeserving. Specifically, it refers to the story of God giving of Himself to a rebellious world in order to adopt undeserving people into His family through faith. By faith they are able to become heirs of the Kingdom and share in the inheritance of His Son. Grace is scandalous, because it is the absolutely undeserved and unearned kindness of God shown to His people.
We are freed by God’s grace to live a life that is pleasing to God. Before grace we were slaves to our sinful desires that brought death. We were helpless to overcome the demands that sin placed upon our lives. It was our master. Through grace we now have been made alive to God and set free to be servants of a gracious Master. God’s grace loosed the chains that held us in rebellion against Him. Now we can joyfully join the offensive against sin. Grace does not encourage sin—it serves as the motivation for righteousness.
Pause and Reflect
• Why is grace such a hard concept for us to understand?
• How does the freedom of grace act as a weapon against sin?