“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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 newness of life.”
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, declaring all slaves shall be set free and nearly 3 years later slavery was officially abolished through the 13th amendment. Instantly, over 100,000 slaves were deemed free. But sadly for most, freedom never became a reality. Freed slaves didn’t know how to adapt to their newfound freedom, so many returned to the places they knew best even if it brought them back to their painful past.
It’s sometimes difficult, as Christians, to accept the concept of grace. It can even be hard to adapt to a life of grace after being set free from the bondages of sin; and there’s a danger of returning to a life of sin and death when we lose sight of God’s grace. There’s also a danger of abusing God’s grace by willfully continuing in a life of sin. Either way, these dangers only lead us back to the enslavement of sin and death. Paul firmly reminds us of our identity in Christ and our baptism with him and rebukes the thought that it’s even possible to continue in sin after being saved by God’s grace. Christ died for our sins and through him we have put to death the sinfulness of our old selves. So, why would we want to go dig up the grave of our sinful past and enslave ourselves once again? That’s crazy talk. We have a new life of freedom in Jesus, by his grace. Be encouraged – You’re free!
Use the HEAR method as you spend time with today’s scripture.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?