Under Grace

Saturday, April 05, 2014, 4:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Give Me Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 6 (NIV).

A New Life

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

To baptize literally means to dip under, immerse, to sink and/or to submerge. Another meaning is “to make clean with water” (Source: http://biblehub.com/greek/907.htm). To immerse means to engross, engage, occupy and/or to throw yourself into or to absorb yourself in something. To “dip under,” in this context, means: “to immerse yourself into a condition of subjection” (enslavement; under the control of another). [Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary] In other words, to be “baptized” into Christ involves so much more than just to follow his example of water baptism as a symbol of our faith in Christ, but rather it also carries with it the idea of willingly bringing ourselves underneath his authority, dying to and immersing ourselves in death to sin, so that we may live a new life in Christ Jesus.

So, coming to faith in Jesus Christ means so much more than just the promise of eternity with God in heaven. It means so much more than just the receiving of spiritual blessings from above – joy, peace, etc. It also means so much more than just the promise of Christ’s enduring love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and kindness towards us; and his continued presence, counsel, strength and power abiding within us. True faith in Jesus Christ means death to sin, willingly submitting ourselves to God’s work of grace in our lives in crucifying the sinful nature so that we can live for God in his righteousness and holiness. This is not optional! This is what our salvation is all about. We are not saved just so we can go to heaven one day. We are saved so we can be set free from slavery (bondage) to sin while we still walk the face of this earth. Jesus died so that our bodies (lives) which were once given over to sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.

Alive to God

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Something jumped out at me in these verses that had not stood out to me before. In verse ten it says, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” What stood out to me is how verse ten fits with the next verse which says, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus Christ not only made the way possible for us to be saved, but he set the example for us to show us what his salvation entails for us. In other words, he died to sin, so we are also to die to sin. Now he was sinless, yet when he died he took upon himself the sins of the entire world so that he could put our sins to death. Yet, it doesn’t end there. We are saved, not only by his grace, but by faith, which he gives us, but which we must willingly appropriate to our lives. This faith is not just an experience, a religion, an emotion, thought or a feeling. True faith willingly dies with Christ to sin, and it willingly lives to God; alive to God in Christ Jesus (cf. Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; Gal. 2:20; 1 Jn. 1-5).

Slaves to Righteousness

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. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A slave is “someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay; a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). A slave, in this Biblical context, is also “properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own; …used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers” (Source: http://biblehub.com/greek/1401.htm).

So, what does this mean for us? Well, for one it means that when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, not only do we willingly die with Christ to our old lives of sin, and not only do we willingly choose to live for God in his power and strength and his Spirit within us, but we also willingly submit ourselves to his Lordship (mastery) over our lives, with us as his slaves. What this means for us is that coming to faith in Jesus Christ involves us now coming under the ownership of Christ with us now no longer having ownership rights of our own, but we willingly live under his authority as his devoted followers. Wow! I pray that I would daily live my life as though Christ is truly my master, that I belong now to him, and that I no longer have ownership rights of my own over my own life. I pray that I will daily submit myself to his will and purposes for my life, and that I would live to please him.

Give Me Jesus

Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

I love the song "Give me Jesus"....but slaves (also servants)...MMMM? We are no longer servants but heirs...His children....

I serve Daddy (Abba), He is my Father, but I am not one of the hired or indentured help....so for the time it appears we and the servants are similar and both are expected to obey but in the end we inherit ALL that Jesus will inherit....we become fully authorized princes and princesses...His nature is in us and our new nature is His...this is Christ in us the hope (eager expectation) of glory.

Not trying to contradict your great point but adding context....
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In the end, we co-inherit with Jesus. But now we are as slaves, just as Jesus was as a slave when He was on earth, doing not His will but His Father's.

..."Not trying to contradict your great point but adding context...."... :)