Highlights In Today's Reading:
Before we "do right" we have to "be right" with the Lord (4:16-25). Faith brings joy (5:1-2). Jesus transforms us from enemies to family and friends, from death to life (5:10,17). With sin's power broken (6:1-14), we are free to obey God (6:15-23).The age-old battle (7:7-25).
The more we understand the meaning of the death of Christ and His resurrection, the more we will want to be free from the evil power of sin. 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. . . . knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him . . . that henceforth we should not serve sin. . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. . . . but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (6:4-6,12-13).
To recognize only the likeness of His death (6:5), of bearing the cross, and of self-denial gives us a one-sided view of following Christ. It is the glorious indwelling power of His physical resurrection that gives us strength to rise above the likeness of His death to walk in newness of life.
The new life in the believer is the presence of the resurrected Christ Himself. Therefore the believer needs to recognize that he is dead indeed unto sin (6:11), and that sin shall not have dominion over him (6:14) — he is set free to serve Christ. This does not mean we are not able to sin — but that we are enabled not to sin!
The believer is no longer enslaved by the sin nature inherited from Adam, but is born again (John 1:13; 3:3-7). If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17). But to enjoy this wonderful relationship with Christ one must yield his will to the will of the indwelling Spirit. His life in us makes the difference: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey (Rom. 6:16).
We must also trust in the Word of God and act on the fact that the Holy Spirit in us is greater than the power of Satan in the world (I John 4:4).
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:22-23).
Thought for Today:
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18).
4:8 will not impute sin =no longer regards as a sinner; 7:8 concupiscence =evil desires or lust; covetousness.
For Rom. 4:3: See Gen. 15:6. Rom. 4:7-8: See Ps. 32:1-2. Rom. 4:17: See Gen. 17:5. Rom. 4:18: See Gen. 15:5. Rom. 7:7: See Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
Pray for Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Vice-President Joseph Biden, Jr., Gov. Matt Blunt (MO), Sen. Robert Byrd (WV), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) • Country: Madagascar (15 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique • Major languages: French and Malagasy • Increasingly anti-Christian • 43% witchcraft, ancestor worship, and some astrology; 21% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God so you can share it with others (Ps. 119:27).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:26