Monday, December 23, 2013

Straight Up Gospel

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body
so that you obey its lusts,
and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin
as instruments of unrighteousness;
but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Romans 6:12-13

Take a good look at the picture above.  If you are in Christ, this is a portrait of you.  

Dead, then alive.

What I love about these verses is it reveals the motivation behind call to chase after Jesus.  At first glance, it looks like another religious baseball bat - stop doing this and quit doing that because one day you'll have to account for yourself before a holy God.  But is that what it's really saying?  

Let's make some observations:
  • these verses are written to believers (this is a given)
  • therefore, Christians CAN let sin reign in their bodies after salvation
  • Christians CAN obey sin by acting on its lusts
  • Christians also CAN offer their bodies in a way that makes them partners with sin - we can be the instrument sin uses to accomplish its evil
  • But we also HAVE THE ABILITY to offer to God the truth of our condition - we are alive from the dead
  • Just in case you missed this - we are ALIVE FROM THE DEAD
  • therefore, we CAN offer our bodies in a way that we are partners with God for righteousness
  • Bottom line - in Christ, we have some choices and we are not accountability-free
Can you see it?  We are called to battle against sin because we have been given new life.  Notice it doesn't associate the works with salvation in a way that implies the works make or keep us alive - we've already been made alive from the dead and in response to that truth, Paul urges us to battle sin as an offering to our life-giving Savior.

Let's put it this way:  Once dead, now living.  Now living, instruments of either righteousness or unrighteousness - either way, we will present ourselves to God.  

Our motivation is not the accountability - that's a works salvation mentality.  Our motivation is what He has done in us - dead to alive.  The accountability is still there, but the motivation is now out of love, not fear.  

Does this make sense? 

This week we have a wonderful opportunity to worship and offer ourselves as instruments of righteousness to our Lord and Savior. So what exactly does that look like in your life?  How can you partner with Him as an "instrument" for righteousness?  What sin are you clutching in your hand that you can release for His glory?  Is it anxiety or worry?  Is it lust or addiction?  Is it unforgiveness or bitterness?  

All of these sins produce unrighteousness in our lives.  As you sit with your family, sharing gifts and creating memories, decide to stop presenting your body as an instrument for unrighteousness and because you are alive in Christ, start acting like it!

Merry Christmas and may you all be captured by the grace and mercy extended to us two thousand years ago...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great reminder of application to go along with Ephesians 4:26-31 (reviewing them this week)!

    Hope you enjoyed a blessed Christmas and are looking forward to a New Year full of potential for drawing nearer and nearer to God!