Romans 6: Making Good Choices
Chapter 6 of Romans provides much fodder for contemplation, debate and discussion. It is a very strong declarative by Paul on how we should live our lives after God declares us innocent or righteous.
Once saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, how are we to live? Will we have conquered sin forever? And though we remain human and in possession of free will, can we resist temptation and control our sinful tendencies?
Paul is very clear in forcefully articulating what we should do. In Romans 6:2, he indicates that we have died to sin and should not live in sin any longer.
Even devout Christians of varying faith traditions might give very different responses to these and other related questions. Some would go so far as to say that once saved, our sinful nature is eradicated and we are freed from sin forever. They might even say sinning after spiritual conversion is strong evidence that you were never saved in the first place. At the other extreme, some believe that continuing to sin is natural to the human condition, and we only need to seek God’s forgiveness to retain our status of righteousness in God’s eyes.
I believe verses 13 and 14 give us further insights into Paul’s understanding. In those verses, he implies that our free will allows us to choose to offer our bodies as either an instrument of wickedness or righteousness. He goes on to say that because we know we are under grace, we should not allow sin to be our master. We have a new allegiance to Christ, and we can choose to free ourselves from sin. This is how we should commit to living our lives and strive daily to do so, even in the face of the ongoing force of temptation.
A Moment to Reflect:
Do you still feel the powerful tug of temptation? If so, you are normal. Do you at times think it is difficult to resist, and you just can’t help yourself? This is a remnant of your past, when you were a slave to sin.
Realize that through Christ’s suffering on the cross, your sinful nature has been rendered powerless. Through your gratitude and your faith, do you see now that you can make righteous choices, knowing that as you obey the Lord, He will strengthen and enable you?