Romans 6 MSG
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.
What Is True Freedom?
15-18 So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
19 I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
20-21 As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
22-23 But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
People often associate Christianity with rules. They don’t associate it with freedom. I think “religion” has a lot to do with this. So often people are used to pointing the finger at others in accusation of what they are doing wrong. So often people think because they are Christians now, saved and covered in God’s grace that they are somehow better than everyone else. God is better than everyone else, we’re not. Just because we took the Grace that He offered to us through Jesus doesn’t mean we’re Jesus now. We just turned away from what was hurtful for what was life-giving. Instead of pointing the finger at others, we need to point our finger up, to God. It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about Him. Religion is making it about us. What we do to feel better than other people. What we do to feel like we’ve “earned” favor with God. Relationship with God, accepting God’s gift of salvation is saying, hey–I’m free. I don’t have to worry about what the priest thinks, or what the congregation thinks. You are no longer striving. God chose to draw near to you, you hopefully have accepted that and turned from your own selfish life, and are following Him. You listen to Him. You follow Him. You concern yourself with Him. In my own “freedom” I had the ability to make good choices or bad choices and if we’re honest we’ve all made both. But through God we have the ability to actually make the best choice and have true freedom which is only through Jesus. I’m not defined by the mistakes I’ve made. I’m not living a life grasping everything I can on Earth because YOLO right? No. This world pales in comparison. I wasn’t made for this world. No one was. We were made to live forever in unity with God. The law tells adulteress women you should be publicly ridiculed and killed, but grace says—“I don’t condemn you, sin no more” go find real freedom with me (John 8).
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