What does this mean to be ruled by sin? It means we were slaves, and sin was our master. It ruled our lives. The enemy was in control. Many of us like to think that we are in control. The fact remains, when we are ruled by sin, we are not in control. Make no mistake, the enemy is in control when sin is in our lives. But through baptism when that old self dies, we are set free from sin.
Image courtesy of: Mars Hill Church
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with (rendered powerless), that we should no longer be slaves to sin” – Romans 6:6
Through baptism, the old self dies, just like Jesus died on the cross. And just like Jesus was raised from the dead, so too are we raised to live a new life. Our “old body that was ruled by sin” is gone, dead, done away with. And if we die with Christ, we too will rise with Him into our new lives that are free from death, and free from the power of sin. We now have control over sin. God gave us the Holy Spirit which is the power of God that rose Jesus from the grave. That lives in us! How awesome to know that the power of God that brings life over death lives in us!
As we continue reading we receive a great Word that tells us that we should, “not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” (Romans 6:12) Further, in verse Romans 6:13, we read, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” This is where we tend to struggle because walking with Christ means denying the temptations of the flesh. Our body says one thing but our Spirit says another. But if we are to live a blessed life, we are to walk in the His ways.
A friend of mine was asking me the other day how I fight off the enemy and deny the desires of the flesh. He asked, “How do you fight off temptation?” Romans 6:13 is the scripture that best describes my answer. What I told him is that we are all tempted in the flesh, every single one of us. And if anyone tells you they are not tempted they are a liar.
When I am faced with temptation, I shut it down immediately. Ephesians 4:27 says, “and do not give the devil a foothold.” When I read that we should “not offer any part”, this means our actions and our thoughts. “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – (Proverbs 23:7).
Others struggle with Christianity because they don’t like to be told what to do. I don’t like it either. But that is when other people tell me what to do. Just like a child should obey his parents, so too should we obey our God our Father in heaven. It’s not a matter of if we like it or not, it is our job to obey His commands. Do we not like it, perhaps. Are we giving away our personal power and control? Yes and no.
We may think we have power but God our Father is all-powerful so really we are not giving away our power, we just stop fighting with the all-powerful one. We can stop fighting with our true power which is the Holy Spirit which is God in us. And since we now know that it is the enemy trying to take control of our lives, we can direct our frustration to the enemy who is the real cause of our struggle. It makes it easier to come against the enemy when we know the enemy and are able to recognize them.
So I told my friend that the minute those bad thoughts creep into my mind, I immediately cast them out and rebuke the enemy. I declare God’s power inside of me to battle the enemy and shut it down, to turn him away. See I take back control by surrendering to God’s power that lives inside of me.
And it is just more than a bad thought. It is also the cravings of the flesh. I have the power to shut down indulging in endless Krispy Kreme doughnuts, ice cream, all kinds of junk foods that my flesh craves so much. I can enjoy small portions, but I am in control and can eat those when I know that I will burn those calories off and that those calories won’t turn into fat. I am in control of maintaining a healthy body through Christ who lives in me.
If God’s Spirit lives inside of us, then we should honor the temple in which God resides and take care of ourselves. The bible tells us, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
So every thought, every action, we should honor God. There was a great song a few years ago sung by Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying.” I loved the perspective that this song gave us. How would you live knowing that these were your last few days on earth?
- Would you go skydiving, mountain climbing, bull riding?
- Would you love deeper, be sweeter to everyone, forgive others who you have held a grudge against?
- How would we live our last days on earth if we knew that these were our last and we were going to be going home to our Father in heaven?
- Are we convinced that is where we are going?
- When we get there and get to see Him face to face, what is that going to be like?
- Are we going to be overjoyed knowing that we are finally home?
- Are we going to be proud knowing that we honored Him while we lived on this earth? Or is guilt going to eat us up inside knowing that we really did not step up our games, that we were lazy, that we were indifferent?
- Did we sit idly aside while others mocked Him and ridiculed Him?
Not me. When I get there I want to be able to look Him in the eye, and know that I did my best to honor God while I walked the earth. And He will know. And I will be filled with God’s overflowing love and peace that will be raging like a river. I want to live a life worthy of the price that Jesus paid on the cross so that when I die the ground will shake and the sun will go dim and God will welcome me home through a ray of light.
God can do all things. Why not shoot for the stars? Why not “live like you were dying”? Why not make the most of our time here, and honor God with our actions, and our every thought? Why not expect that we can overcome addictions, temptations of the flesh, and the rule of sin and the enemy over our lives, and live free under the power and grace of God our Father? Why not expect that God’s power that lives in us can defeat the rule of sin and the enemy over our lives? Why not expect that we can and will defeat that which we struggle against? Why would we want to limit God?
I believe. How about you? I call you blessed. Make it a great day!
Dear heavenly Father, we come to you with open hearts an open minds this morning looking to have a wonderful day filled with joy and love and peace and fun. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and let all of your goodness flow through us today, and always. Unleash your power to overcome all bad habits, addictions, and every bad thought that might come against us. Let us defeat sin and the enemy, and recognize the enemy when he comes. Give us today our daily bread. Fill my children and my family and friends with your goodness. Give them the heart to seek you first. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Kings:10,11; 2 Chronicles 9; Romans 6
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6:4
- “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” – Romans 6:12,13
- “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
- “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” – Deuteronomy 28:7
- “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT)
- “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT)
- “not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” (Rom. 6:12)
- Rom. 6:13, we read, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
- “and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:27
- “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7
- “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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