In the course of our life we have situations which come up that can either help our relationship with God or completely destroy it.
We have the ability to continue to grow in the faith of Christ or drift slowly away into past desires. This is why it is extremely important to stay close to the Lord, in His word, and in prayer.
Before a person commits themselves before God almighty they have to know why they are doing it. They have to have some knowledge about what it is that is keeping them from having fulfillment in their life. As people move along life's journey they try to find joy and long lasting fulfillment. Some turn to work, others to sex, others to drugs, but no matter what something seems to be missing from their life.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires, and do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. or sin will not be master over you, because you are not under law, but under grace.
In the first part of this passage we have a warning. This warning is of great concern for our well being. Out of love for our very soul.
When we come into a personal relationship with Christ we come as sinners needing to be forgiven, so when we submit to Christ and His will we have to work at not allowing sin to have control over us. You see temptations are always there, always around us, especially those of us who come to Christ as Savior early on. When temptation comes our way we are to run as far away from it as possible. It isn't just us that is affected but the whole body, and that includes the body of Christ.
If we say that Christ rules in our life yet we live in the flesh we are liars, and the truth is not in us. If we claim to be Christ followers and yet allow sin to be master over us we deceive ourselves.
Yes its true, as Christians we are under grace but let's look at what the next part of this passage says.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that to whomever you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whomever you obey, whether sin, leading to death, or obedience, leading to righteousness?
You see, the big lie today that is being preached from many of today's pulpits is that we are saved and therefore we shouldn't worry about how we live because really we can't live perfectly, so if we sin not to worry because God will forgive us and if we do it again, He'll continue to forgive us.
John 8:34 Jesus replied to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin
The problem is, we tend abuse God's grace. We treat the precious blood of Jesus cheaply. It's almost as if we allow ourselves to give into the temptation and sin, and by doing so we spit in the face of Jesus as He is being crucified.
We are to do whatever it takes to stay away from traps set by our enemy the devil.
Psalms 19:3 Also, keep back your servant from arrogant sins; let them not rule over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Psalms 119:133 Direct my steps in your word, and do not let any iniquity gain power over me.
But listen to what it says. We are not slaves to sin anymore. This was something that was part of our past life. Now we have become slaves, or willing servants to obedience to the Word of God. To Christ Jesus. If we do not already know sin will lead to death. This is why it is so important to make sure you have taken sin captive so it does not rule you.
We were salves. The key word here is were. That we are not slaves to sin anymore. It wasn't by anything we did it was only because of what Christ did on the cross. He defeated death and His blood has atoned for our sins.
When someone owed a slave that slave was not there own. They didn't own anything unless the master granted it to them. They did everything the master told them to do. The same thing happens with sin. When sin has a hold on someone there is nothing what-so-ever a person can do other then surrender that bondage to God through Christ.
2nd Corinth 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, because we* have concluded this: that one died for all; as a result all died. And he died for all, in order that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.
Do you really believe you can live and do as you please clinging to Jesus as one who will save you no matter what? We must wake up and not mistake God's silence with His tolerance.
As we slowly get to comfortable with our choices in life, and as we begin to accept things that are not acceptable to God we are slowly beginning to drift, little by little the faith which we once held to begins to change. This isn't something which happens overnight but gradually.
Drifted from safety
There was a man whom visited the beach for the very first time.
After a long time of enjoying the sand and water he wanted to relax, so he laid in an inner-tube in the water.
Little did he know he began to drift away from the peace and safety he first enjoyed. The small tides which were not noticeable moved him further and further from shore. When he opened his eyes he realized he had drifted to far.
He first tried to touch the bottom but he was able to, and then his eyes were opened and he started to panic. His only way to get back to safety was to call for help and when he did someone went out and brought him back into the fold.”
We often get to comfortable in our surroundings that we slowly begin to move into what was once deemed in our eyes as sinful behavior. This is why the Bible often refers to us as sheep. Sheep who leave the safety of the fold to find green grass elsewhere, but what we don't see is the traps that have been set.
God isn't keeping anything from us by calling things sinful, He is protecting us from what will destroy us. All those who die in sin will forever be separated from God.
We must focus on our relationship with God, and the blood of Christ which we hold so dear to us.
Just because we come to the cross doesn't mean the battle is over, it means the battle has just begun. Satan doesn't bother with those he already has but comes after those who belong to Christ. We saw this in the garden when the serpent tempted Eve, later we saw the same thing when Satan tempted Christ and yet Christ did not give in but quoted the words of God back to Satan. It is the Word God the Bible which has the power to put the devil in his place.
God may be holding back His righteous wrath on us to give us time to get things right with Him. However today many Christians have looked at how they live, and look at how others live seeing that nothing has happened to them so that must mean that God is more tolerant today then He use to be. They believe Jesus' sacrifice allows them to freely sin with no consequences. If as a Christian we willingly choose to sin, we will be storing up for ourselves consequences we may not like.
The end of this passage has strong encouragement.
But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.
To know we are born again, and have given up our old nature is such a blessing. We are able to have a greater, and more intimate relationship with Him because we are willingly surrendering to His will, and His ways.