Walking in continual sin (death) after salvation is unnatural.
“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
In chapters six and seven of Romans Paul struggles with how the new man reacts to the continual pull of sin in this world. We, like Paul, know this truly is a struggle!
Our culture tends to downplay sin and its effects. Here are a few of our words:
- I’m just human.
- Oh, God made me this way.
- No one is perfect!
- A little sin keeps life interesting.
God, though, has redeemed us from the kingdom of darkness and delivered us into His marvelous light. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us, and, as Paul said, we are “raised to walk in newness of life”.
The new birth changes me.
- It changes my Master.
- It changes Who and what I follow.
- It changes what I give myself to.
- It changes my response to temptation.
- It changes my response to trial.
I have a new allegiance, a new purpose, a new direction, a new life.
This does not mean that I will never sin again – oh, how I wish that were true!
It does mean, however, that I am no longer comfortable in sin; sin is no longer my natural environment. It does mean that my desire is to follow the example and teaching of Christ, to honor Him, to make Him proud.
Paul gives some guidance in Romans six to help me understand walking in newness of life. This is my new state, and because of my newness of life
- I shall not serve sin (verse 6).
- Sin is no longer in control of my life (verse 9).
- I do not seek to obey sin’s desires (verse 12).
- I do not yield my body and senses and mind to work unrighteousness (verse 13).
- I yield to God (verse 13).
- I serve righteousness (verse 13).
- I yield to holiness (verse 19).
Romans 13:6 is an interesting verse.
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
To me “make not provision for the flesh” says “Don’t set the table for sin”. When I set a place at my table, I am expecting someone to sit there. I do not want to set a place for sin in my heart. Here is an example:
I know that chocolate is one of my downfalls. I can be terribly intemperate in its presence! Therefore, buying chocolate every time I go to the store is not a good idea for me. It is ‘setting the table for sin’, because sooner or later I will gorge on that chocolate (especially if it has nuts in it). The same could be true of going to places that I know challenge my walk with Christ and watching or reading stories that turn my focus from God.
I am redeemed, and Christ has called me to walk (live) in the newness of life that He has provided. I do not want to be sporting my old clothes of self-righteousness anymore.
I am not perfect, nor will I be until I am home with my Father, but because of God’s grace I am walking a new road in a new life. I want this life to honor Him. I want His work in me to be evident to those I meet, so that they will want to know Him.
God, through the sacrifice of His Son, has redeemed me from the eternal penalty of sin. I am washed clean in His sight. I do not want to play around in the mud of this world; I want to walk with Him.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Whom will you serve today?