Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 6:12-18 (NKJV)
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Perhaps our daily lectionary intended us to begin with verse three instead of verse twelve, and there is a typo in the hymnal. Regardless, you will certainly want to go back and begin reading there, because skipping over the power of Holy Baptism in verses three through eleven certainly makes verses twelve through eighteen even more daunting!
How will you refrain from obeying the lust of sin and letting it reign in your mortal body? Only if you know that being “not under law, but under grace” means that you have already died to sin in Christ, that in Holy Baptism you have been united to Jesus in death and resurrection.
Walking in newness of life is not a matter of command, but of gift. This walk is not something where you beat yourself over your failures and resolve to do better in your own strength. Instead, it is where you again and again reckon yourself as God does: dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. So considering yourself, you condemn the works of death that your flesh has led you into and look to God again for forgiveness. Daily life for you is such dying and rising, such drowning the Old Adam through mourning over your sins and trusting in Christ alone for forgiveness, through which the New Man daily arises to live before God in purity, rendering the parts of your body as tools for God to use to work His righteous deeds—by grace alone, through faith alone!
Heavenly Father, grant that we do not present ourselves to sin as its obedient slaves, but as those who have been delivered from it through baptismal faith, grant us to arise daily to new life until we arise to live with You in Heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.