Verse: Romans 6:1-4
6 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.
I love these verses. To me, it’s both a hard humility check and a sweet reminder.
The Gospel is clear in presenting God’s abundant grace. Paul is addressing a question in light of this, do we keep sinning because grace also increases? Paul is very clear in his answer when he says “by no means”. This is because when we come to know the Lord, He doesn’t leave us where He found us, in our brokenness and far from Him. If we claim the name of Christ, we have died to sin, and have been reunited with Him in death and resurrection.
As we grow in relationship with the Lord, we come to know his goodness and grace. Through this grace, we are transformed. The more we come to know the Lord, the more we begin to understand and see our own sin. All of our old sinful habits and secrets are crucified with Christ so that it may no longer have rule in our lives. He has set us free from our slavery to sin so that we may be free to live a new life in Him instead.
Baptism is an act that symbolizes this death to oneself, being reborn to life in Him. Just as Christ died and was buried, we too are buried with Him through baptism, as we are submerged in the water. Throughout the Bible, it is used to represent our identification with Christ. Paul uses baptism as a way to help us visualize what act is taking place when we choose Jesus. As our broken, sinful, selfish bodies dip below the surface, all of that dies. When we re-emerge, we are a new creature in Christ.
From this moment, the moment in which we choose to follow Jesus, we go through radical changes in our heart that our actions follow. As we learn more about Him and His calling for our lives, to walk in light and to point others to Him, He will work in us to strip away, layer by layer, our sinful nature.
The beauty and sweet reminder of this for me is that He didn’t leave me where He found me. He has walked alongside me and freed me from my bondage to sin. He has fought my battles and has already won.
The hard check on my humility before the Lord in these verses is that dying to ourselves isn’t a one time event. We don’t choose God then automatically become perfect people. Rather, it’s a lifelong process that we must engage in. We need to keep our eyes set on Him with an attitude of humility and surrender. As we grow in relationship with Him, He wants to continue to make us more and more like Him. We must come before God, humble enough to see our own sin as we welcome the Holy Spirit to work through us and change us.
It’s humbling because as much as I wish I could say I do, I don’t choose this everyday, the lifelong process of growing and learning takes active participation. God walks alongside us every single step of the way while the Holy Spirt works in us… but we have to show up and listen. I don’t always do that, even though I know my day is infinitely better when I take even a minute to be still with Him. Give yourself some grace, friend, then get back into it. He’s waiting for us to come and spend time with Him so that He may continue to lovingly mold us into His image.
Lord, thank you for this sweet reminder of your love and power in my life. Help me to be still and hear you. Allow me to see all of the transformation you have already done in me. Help me to find joy in the new life and hope that I have in you. Show me the ways that I can continue to keep my eyes fixed on you. Show me my sin so that I may lean into your transformative power to become more like you. Lord, we love you and thank you for never giving up on us and never leaving us alone, even one step of the way.
Author: Becca Artymenko