The View from the Other Side of the Cross

Paul writes in Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

The verses that come before this one are part of Paul's explanation on how life changes after an encounter with Calvary. It's a God-thing; specifically a Holy Spirit thing.

Paul admits that old habits die hard, but the truth is that they are dying. The believer, now under new ownership, strives to finish them off as he yields daily to the prompting of the Spirit of God, now resident in his life.

The evidence of this new life will be there for all to see. A believer can't help but seek to please his new Master, and to fight to remove all those things that were characteristics of his old life under his old master.

Paul knows that believers, new and old, will often have doubts about their relationship with God. The constant struggle with the old habits, and the occasional failures that dog our steps, can be discouraging.

Which is the reason for this last statement. Some take Paul's words as permission to take lightly their failures. They say that, as Christians, we don't have to be subject to the law anymore. Scripture teaches otherwise. The problem is that we often understand the law as being only a moral standard which we are meant to live by. That's true, it is.

But the law's primary purpose is to show us how sinful we are (because we are incapable of keeping it) and drive us to our knees before the cross of Christ. What Paul is saying is that once we have come to the cross, the law which once condemned us, has no more power to do so. We are forgiven, blessed by his undeserved grace.

Because of that, we can be encouraged to continue to kill off those old habits, to resist the kicks of those dying remnants of our old lives. Secure in the salvation that Christ has given us, our perspective is one of hope and assurance—we will have ultimate victory. The war IS won, even as we battle to stamp out those pockets of resistance.

Comments

  1. Oh - LOVE that last line, girl! Stamping out the pockets of resistance is gonna stick with me. VERY good.

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