Freed From Sin
“We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. . . .so we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.” – Romans 6:6-7, 11-12. (NRSV)
Sin – we are all sinners, enslaved to sin. We cannot gain our freedom from sin – we know this, because most of us (at least all of the people that I have met) have tried to stop sinning on our own. Our experience is that we don’t get very far in becoming more righteous – we just keep on being led by our master – sin. The Apostle Paul, being human experienced this slavery to sin in his own life, even called himself a wretched person because of the power of sin over his life. The reality that we are slaves to sin can lead to great despair in our lives – unless and until we realize that the death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord is not just about receiving the gift of eternal life in heaven. Jesus death and resurrection are also about this life we live now on earth. Through the death of Jesus our enslavement to sin is over. We are free from our master sin and empowered by Jesus to choose not to sin!
Not that we can ever be totally free from sin in this life, — for as Martin Luther said, “we are saints and sinners at the same time,” — but we have the choice to sin less through the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross! Jesus has bought our freedom and we no longer are enslaved to sin. We have a new master – Jesus our Lord – who grants us grace and empowers us through the Holy Spirit to choose God’s ways and not the ways of sin.
All this means that we should stop trying by our own power to sin less and seek God’s strength in our lives to sin less! It is not up
to our willpower but up to God’s power working in us newness of life.
Bring It Home:
1. Struggling with sin? Admit that you are powerless to live without sin, but that God is more powerful than anything you are struggling with.
2. Let the death of Jesus on the cross crucify the sin within you and lead you to new life in Christ.
Lord, I do struggle with sin. I try my hardest not to sin and yet I sin anyway. I am not stronger than the sin in me – but you are! Help me, Lord! Crucify the sin that enslaves me so that I can walk in the new life that you desire for me. Amen
John A. Holm
Transforming Church Institute