Today’s reading is Romans 6 as we continue our theme to start 2022 of God’s Word of Life.
If I were to ask you what you were passionate about, what would some of your top answers be?
Many might say family, fitness, reading, their favorite sports team(s), and hopefully their faith amongst other possible responses. For me I would likely say family, my faith, and likely Illini basketball, too.
Romans 6:12 discusses being a slave to our passions/sin.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions.
I have to admit that I have thought about how I can’t imagine being a slave to nicotine, alcohol, or drug addiction as some are. While I understand these addictions are such that some truly can’t help them due to genetics or disease or other underlying challenges, and yet at the same time I’m embarrassed to say I can still be prideful and quick to judge others with these issues. My brother Chad talked about the problem with being judgmental Monday. Not only am I becoming more aware and having empathy with those challenges, I’m also more aware that I can be a slave to other sins and addictions myself (Luke 6:41). I can be a slave to my phone, social media, trending news/politics, or prioritizing interest in sports over faith and family at times. We can use our phones to stay in touch and nurture healthy spiritual relationships with others, use social media to spread the Gospel, and sports as a platform to share the Gospel as well. However, we can also use these tools in a negative way where they become too much of our focus, as well as use them for the wrong reasons.
A small group friend of mine who has gone on mission trips to areas which don’t have the money and technology we have in the US once commented that you don’t see demonic possessions much in the US so many don’t think they happen anymore like in the Bible. However, he has experienced them and has observed they are more common in other countries where he’s been on mission trips which aren’t wealthy like the US. His hypothesis is that Satan does not need to use demonic possessions in the US because he has plenty of other ways to tempt and control us through the love of money, technology, drugs, and alcohol which is readily available at our fingertips in the US. It is an interesting observations and point he brings up.
While we are still sinful humans who will make mistakes, Paul discusses in Romans 6 that through our baptism, belief, and Christ’s Resurrection, we are no longer slaves to sin and dead in our sin.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
As we reflect on this chapter, I pray we take notice of our actions and habits and have self-awareness on whether we are acting in manner more closely to being a slave to our sins or acting more in a way which displays we are alive in Christ Jesus.
Paul ends chapter 6 with the ultimate mic drop on this topic. As we and others in our lives are under construction, I also pray we keep this in the forefront of our thinking and share this great news with others.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.