Several years ago we were studying the book of Romans and as we well know it’s not exactly one of the easiest books of the Bible to study. I know for myself that so often I shy away from the seemingly difficult parts of Scripture rather than delve into them. But on this particular day as I was preparing the material to lead the Bible study I didn’t have a choice…this was the chapter we were to study and I must somewhat grasp the meaning of the verses myself. And so after many, many hours of studying and many commentaries being consulted I discovered and understood (to some small degree) one of the richest nuggets of gold contained in the entire Word of God.
This golden nugget is in Romans 6. As I began to slowly comprehend what Paul is saying it made me feel as if I was standing on holy ground. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so beautifully explains how in conversion the sins of the sinner are crucified and buried with Christ in His death and as Christ was raised from the dead so the new creature is raised in newness of life. Verse 6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed and henceforth we should not serve sin.” Knowing and understanding that the old man is crucified (killed & buried – never to be raised again) the regenerated person is a new creature and sin should also be destroyed and rooted out. We are called to walk in ‘newness of life.’ This means a life 180 degrees different than prior to conversion. To let these words just take root – to stop and sit and meditate upon them and let the dawn of this truth light our minds is something that is worth more than all that could be attained in this present world. The old man is crucified and buried…
Why then do we so often feel that we are a slave to sin and are not able to fight against it but that one day it will overcome us? Why do we think that the old man can be resurrected again? Why do we so often still take pleasure in sin? Why are we so often overwhelmed? Why do we still find so much enjoyment in worldly things? Romans 6 instructs us to, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteous unto God,” verses 12, 13.
And so the daily struggle then is if we are to walk in ‘newness of life’ what does that look like? Obviously there should be a noticeable difference in the life and walk of a believer. The world should be able to see that we do not belong to them and yet sometimes I ask myself when the ‘world’ looks at me and the way I walk and train our children does it see the difference?? Am I living as if sin still has dominion over me – as if I’m still a slave to sin? Am I consciously rooting out sin each day? Am I walking each day with joy on my face?
And then as many of these questions are swirling in my mind I remind myself how profitable it is to come again and again back to Romans 6 for rebuke, for instruction and for comfort.