Let’s go back to the beginning: Did you surrender to Christ? Were you baptized in obedience? Do you walk with Him daily?
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight [direct your paths].
Those who answer “yes” to the above questions are the ones who Paul includes with himself in Romans 6:2, “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Sin bothers us. In fact, we will not rest until we have first repented of it and then worked hard to conquer it. We will make any change in our lives, give up any pet desire, and struggle against any besetting sin (one that has a deep root and is locked into place) until we have victory in Christ. We allow that struggle to drive us to the cross and then to the throne of Christ. We use that struggle to teach us to die to self and live for Christ. In this way, we become stronger because of our weakness as Christ takes up “presidence” in our hearts (a mash-up of residence and president). Our key verses for living are:
4 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. Romans 6:4
11 In the same way, we count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore we do not let sin reign in our mortal bodies so that we obey its evil desires. Romans 6:11-12 adapted
13 …we have been brought from death to life; and we offer every part of ourselves to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be our master, because we are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:13-14 adapted
Our slavery is of our own choosing. “Slavery?” you say. Christ said, “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34). But, those who are in Christ live in this verse, “But thanks be to God that, though we used to be slaves to sin, we have come to obey from our hearts the pattern of teaching that has now claimed our allegiance. We have been set free from sin and have [voluntarily] become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18 adapted. We freely and wholeheartedly follow Christ! And, our righteousness leads to holiness (Romans 6:19).
We would do well to remind ourselves of these verses often as we walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).
Abba, it is my sincere hope that every reader of this post will pray these verses back to You in thanksgiving and praise. You have done a wondrous thing for us through the work of our Savior and Lord on the cross of Calvary. May we never take Your sacrifice for granted. Amen.