Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 6:12-18 (NKJV)
6:12 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.
After establishing the foundation of our relationship with God—contrasting the futility of man with the sufficiency of Christ—Paul now describes our new relationship with God: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Sin, which was once the dominant feature of man’s nature, is no longer his ruling master. Christ now dwells within us; we are spiritual members of His body, the Church. The mirror of the law, which condemned us in our sin, now serves as a cheerful guide to show us how we are to live as God’s children.
Normally we think of the law as a grim necessity, rules that must be kept to avoid punishment. And indeed, this kind of law does exist—the laws of society that apply to all people—that chaos and anarchy be avoided. But this is not the Christian’s motivation. Paul says we are “not under law, but under grace.” Our motivation comes from the Spirit who dwells within us, and our desire is to please God, not just to avoid his wrath.
We pray: Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise. (TLH 400:1)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.