Angie Benjamin

Government's authority and the Christian's response {Romans 13}

2:30 AM

By Angie Benjamin

The Christian and government.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

The connection between Romans 12 and Romans 13 is clear. If the Christian is not to seek personal vengeance, it does not take away the government's authority to punish wrongdoers.

Every soul certainly includes Christians. Paul simply says that we should be subject to the governing authorities.

For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God: We subject ourselves to governing authorities because they are appointed by God and serve a purpose in His plan. God appoints a nation's leaders, but not always to bless the people. Sometimes it is to judge the people or to ripen the nation for judgment.

Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God: Since governments have authority from God, we are bound to obey them - unless, of course, they order us to do something in contradiction to God's law. Then, we are commanded to obey God before man (as in Acts 4:19).

Those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. God uses governing authorities as a check upon man's sinful desires and tendencies. Government can be an effective tool in resisting the effects of man's sins.


Do what is good, and you will have praise: Paul's idea is that Christians should be the best citizens of all. Even though they are loyal to God before they are loyal to the state Christians are good citizens because they are honest, give no trouble to the state, pay their taxes, and - most importantly - pray for the state and the rulers.


Therefore we must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.
We must be subject to government; not only because we fear punishment, but because we know it is right before God to do so.


Our obligation to love.

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

On a personal level, the only "debt" we are to carry is the "debt" to love one another - this is a perpetual obligation we carry both before God and each other.

Love your neighbour means to love the people you actually meet with and deal with every day. It is easy for us to love in the theoretical and the abstract, but God demands that we love real people.

"No man can compass the ends of life by drawing a little line around himself upon the ground. No man can fulfil his calling as a Christian by seeking the welfare of his wife and family only, for these are only a sort of greater self." (Spurgeon)

Love is the fulfilment of the law: It is easy to do all the right religious "things" but to neglect love. Our love is the true measure of our obedience to God.

Becky Bramlett Austin

Conform or Transform? {Romans 12}

11:30 PM

By Becky Austin

This is a chapter that holds incredible application for a Christian in every verse.  It challenges us to examine the motives of our hearts, the sincerity with which we love and the humility with which we serve God and all of mankind. 

In v 1 Paul calls us to be "Living Sacrifices".  In the OT, animal sacrifices were offered. Jesus, however, became the perfect sacrifice that did away with the need for animal sacrifices.  Biblically, a sacrifice was something of value given as "dedicated and consecrated to God".  Our worship today is a form of sacrifice to God in that we choose to give up our selfish pursuits and live our lives wholly dedicated to Him. 

V2 tells us how to do that: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Every second of every day, we make choices in how we think, what we pursue, how we react and interact. We are continually having to choose: Will we adopt worldly wisdom and conform to what comes natural to the millions of people surrounding and influencing us or will we let God work within us, transforming us into the image of Christ?

The remainder of this chapter takes a closer look at how we can choose to be transformed and not conformed. Paul reminds us in vs 3-8 to remember God's grace makes us all equal.  Without that grace we are nothing, and that should keep us humble.  “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (v3) Instead of comparing ourselves to others, our focus should be on contributing as "members of one body" by using the God- given gifts and resources we have for the greater good of all. 

In verses 9-21 Paul challenges us to show "genuine love". He lists out some of the things that should characterize a follower of Christ:
-show brotherly love
-show honor to others
- have spiritual zeal and motivation
-rejoice in hope
-be patient in tribulation
-be constant in prayer
- contribute to others needs
-be hospitable
-bless your persecutors
-rejoice with those who rejoice
-weep with those who weep
-live in harmony
-associate with the lowly, don't be haughty
-leave vengeance to God
-show kindness to your enemies

Did this list challenge you? It should, because we must be dependent on the work of the Spirit transforming us to live out a love this genuine. 
Perhaps if you think of bestowing acts of love on those that can easily be deemed  worthy or  that you can feel sympathetic to, it seems reasonable and easy.  But what about the "unlovable", the cruel, the hateful, the ones we want to turn away from, reject or maybe even retaliate against? Paul challenges us by saying...Yes, even these.  We have to love as Jesus loved and Jesus loved his persecutors and enemies.  In fact, he died for them. 

What about you?  Today, you must make many choices. What will you choose?
Will you "Conform" or be "Transformed"?


Moving From Theology to Doxology {Romans 11}

12:00 AM

Have you ever wondered if God was really real? Or if the Bible was true? More personally, have you ever doubted God’s love for you? Was there ever a time where you felt forgotten and forsaken by God?

If you’ve ever wondered about any or all of the above questions I have just two words for you that will prove not only the legitimacy of  God’s word, but also His love for His people. Just two words, and they are:The Jews. History has proven that God keeps His promises despite our failures, and we only need to look at the Jewish nation to prove it!

Paul, in Romans 11 shares three truths about God and His people: 
  1. God’s People Are Chosen By God’s Grace (11:1-10)
  1. God’s Grace Should Keep His People Humble (11:11-32)
  1. God’s People Should Glory In Their God (11:33-36)
God’s People Are Chosen By God’s Grace (11:1-10)
Paul begins chapter 11 by making it clear to his readers that God has not rejected the nation of Israel, it’s Israel that has rejected Him! I love how he chooses to set himself up as the example of that, “For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Paul is pointing out that if God can save a hardhearted man like himself He can save anyone! Don’t you just love that? There’s hope for everyone!

Paul also gives a second illustration to demonstrate that God hasn’t rejected Israel in 11:2b-4. Here Paul reminds them how Elijah felt as though he was all that was left of God’s faithful in his day, But  God assured him that He had kept a remnant of 7000 and again, Paul points out that a remnant still exists demonstrating that God has not abandoned His plan for the nation.

Often times today, some of us may feel alone and discouraged, for we are living in dark times, and people are rejecting God all around us, but the good news is that we are not alone. If you ever tend to think this way, be encouraged—God is still on the throne and still working! 

The second point Paul seeks to make is: 
God’s Grace Should Keep His People Humble (11:11-32)
God has a present and future plan for Israel AND the Gentiles. Israel’s rejection of Christ Jesus has made it possible for Gentiles (that’s us) to be included in God’s family. Hallelujah!! We have profited from Israel’s failure to follow after their Messiah! And this gracious invitation ought to humble us and cause us to rejoice! In 11:11-15 Paul writes, “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles,  I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” 
The obvious question from 11:7-10 is: If Israel has rejected Christ, is their rejection final? And Paul answers emphatically, “May it never be!” Israel’s failure is not final. There is still a future for Israel. Paul calls it their “fulfillment” (11:12) and their “acceptance” (11:15). Today, Israel is fallen spiritually, but when Christ returns the nation will rise again! And until that time there is hope for all nations to come to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord!!

Notice here in 11:28-29: “From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  It's clear we owe the Jews A LOT! For now, and for our sake they stand as enemies of the gospel, but God has chosen Israel and He loves His people, and one day He will make all things right!

Reading all of this, one can easily understand why Paul is overcome and can’t help but turn his theology lesson into a doxology in the third and final part of chapter 11!
God’s People Should Glory In Their God (11:33-36)
After eleven chapters of Paul focusing on writing down theology (which is the study of the nature of God), it is as though Paul can’t contain himself any longer and bursts into praise when he grasped God’s plan for the future. Paul is quite simply overwhelmed and in awe of God and can’t help but to close this portion of his letter with praise, or what is formally know as a doxology.  Take a look at Romans 11:33-36:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

Wow! This is where I want to park and spend the rest of my post! The verses Paul quotes here (found in all CAPs) are from the Book of Job. It is believed that Job lived before Abraham, therefore even before Abraham, man recognized just how awesome our God is!

Let’s take a minute to break down the last verse. For...

From Him: Everything, which means everything; right down to your next breath comes from Him.
Through Him: All things are done through Him. He gives us the strength and abilities we need to do all things. Even Jesus admitted. “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…” and neither can we.
To Him are all things. He receives the credit and glory for everything!
To Him be the glory forever: God receives all the glory for all eternity!
Amen: So be it! And to that I’d like to add a Hallelujah!

I liken this verse to a picture of a triangle:

Our God kept His promises to Israel despite Israel’s constant failures to keep theirs, and He will keep His promises to us as well. This chapter ought to comfort and assure all of us because it clearly demonstrates His unconditional love and acceptance towards His people. He is our covenant-keeping God who will be forever faithful! What still boggles my mind when reading all of this is how anyone would still say, “no” to a love like His?


What is Faith? {Romans 10}

12:30 AM


What does Paul say about Faith?  There is an impression that early Christianity was seen as part of Judaism (Acts 15:1-5).  As a former Pharisee, how did this affect the apostle Paul’s understanding of the term “faith”?  Let’s begin with the Mosaic Covenant and the relationship between faith and works.

The Ten Commandments begin with “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6)

Before any law was given, this preamble revealed God’s intention for the nation of Israel:

Obedience to the law was a grateful response by those who were saved.

By grace alone and by their faith that God would secure their release from Egypt and hold up the waters of the Red Sea, the nation of Israel was saved from Pharaoh (Exodus 14:13-31).

Obedience to the law was an expression of a covenant relationship.  What mattered to God was Israel’s faith and commitment to Him, and only after the nation of Israel made such a commitment, did God reveal the Law (Exodus 19:7-17).

What happened to the Jewish people who believed in God but not in Christ?  Where was their faith?  Rather than living by faith in God, the Jews established customs and traditions, in addition to God’s law, to try to make themselves acceptable in God’s sight.  But human effort, no matter how sincere, can ever substitute for the righteousness God offers us by faith.

The only way to earn salvation is to be perfect – and that is impossible.  We can only hold out our empty hands and receive salvation as a gift. 

People can complicate how to become a Christian.  They can make up rules and try to enforce some kind of traditions, but Paul tells us that salvation is as close as our own mouth and heart.

So, what is faith?  Faith is a gift God gives us because He is saving us – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9.  In God’s mercy, when He saves us, He gives us faith – a relationship with His Son that helps us become like Him.  Through the faith He gives, He carries us from death into life. (John 5:24).

Lisa Moore

A Spirit of Self Sacrifice {Romans 9}

1:58 AM

By Lisa Moore

The first eight chapters of Romans are also known as "the gospel according to Paul".  In these chapters Paul teaches that the only way to have a relationship with God and to receive salvation is not through good works or the Law, but rather grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Now Paul shifts his focus to Israel and his heartbreak over the refusal of the Jews to accept the risen Messiah.

Paul begins by bemoaning, "I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsman according to the flesh..." (vs. 1-3)  Paul's heart ached for his fellow Jews and their rejection of Jesus.  So much so that he himself was willing to be separated from the Lord if it meant the salvation of Israel.  Pretty remarkable considering that at the time of Paul's' ministry, the Jewish people did everything they could to thwart his spreading of the Good News.  They followed him from town to town, harassing and persecuting him.  They stirred up the crowds with lies to incite violence against him.  They hated him to the point of wanting him dead.  Yet through it all Paul never lost hope that they would receive Jesus as their Savior and realize that every hope and promise was fulfilled in Him.  

Such a selfless love is hard to fathom.  After all it's easy for us to want the best for those whom we love, and who love us in return.  But what about those who don't?  Can we have the attitude of a Paul?   Can we have hearts so full of love for Jesus that we grieve over His lost? Through our own strength such a love is impossible.  But if we let Him, God will build in us that same kind of humble, self sacrificing spirit.  A spirit exemplified also by Moses.

In Exodus chapter 32, the people of Israel, tired of waiting for the return of Moses down Mt. Sinai, decided to forsake God.  They commanded Aaron to make a false idol, a golden calf, to worship and make sacrifices to.  And in His anger towards their disobedience God said to Moses, "Now then let Me alone that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and make of you a great nation." (Ex. 32:10)  Instead of taking God up on His offer, Moses pleaded with God to forgive the sins of Israel.  And if God was unwilling, Moses asked Him, "...if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written." (Ex. 32:32)  Moses asked to face the same consequences the people of Israel would face as a result of their sin.  These same people who Moses did so much for, who appreciated nothing, and constantly grumbled against him.  Just like Paul, Moses was willing to make a great personal sacrifice.  Yet being sinners themselves, neither one of them could be an atonement for sin.  But there was One who could. The only acceptable substitute for the sins of the world was God Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

"But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Gal. 4:4-5)  Jesus came to take our place.  To pay in full the sin debt which we owed.  In the ultimate example of self sacrifice, Jesus died so we could be reconciled to God and be adopted into His heavenly family.  Through Christ we are able to experience a life free from condemnation.  Free from rituals and religion.  Free from the burden of keeping the Law.  This was the life Paul wanted for the Jewish people.  And a life that as believers, we should want for all of those who walk in darkness.  Paul was willing to do what it took to lead people to faith.  Are we willing to do the same?  How badly do you want people to know Jesus?

Sandra Wyatt

The Roman Road to Salvation Part 2 {Scripture Saturday}

8:09 AM

By Sandra Wyatt

Welcome to Scripture Saturday!

We continue our memorization (or reviewing) the verses that make up “The Roman Road.”  The verses for today are 6:23 and 5:8….

~“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23)

~“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (5.8)

Our sin has a cost.  The cost is spiritual death or eternal separation from God.  BUT because God loves us so very much, He sent His sinless, perfect Son to earth to die and pay for our sin Himself. 


He is Our Abba Father {Romans 8}

12:30 AM

Some of you know I was raised in a dysfunctional home. Most of the time my father was away, so I hardly remember any special moments with him.  When I turned 15 my parents divorced so this brought a broader distance between us. Of course, I was left with so many questions and a deep desire to be loved. By the age of 22 this yearning came to an end and a great part of the questions were answered! Psalm 40 can describe what happened (I’ll only focus on the first 3 verses):
I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear [with great reverence] And will trust confidently in the Lord.” 
That was 33 years ago, and let me tell you, since then, Romans 8  has had a great impact on my life!

In the first verses, Paul describes how important it is to recognize that in our walk with the Lord we continually have to fight against our flesh which was for many years directed by the law.  The law can do many things. It can guide us, teach us, and tell us about God's character. But the law cannot give energy to our flesh; it can give us the standard, but it cannot give us the power to live pleasing to God.   But now it is not so: Paul tells us that not only are we saved by the work of the Spirit, but also we must walk by the Spirit if want to grow and pursue holiness in the Lord. We cannot be like some among the Galatians who thought they could begin in the Spirit but then find spiritual perfection through the flesh (Galatians 3:3)”. (Bibleorg)

Now that we are in Christ we do not continue to live according to our old nature, but according to the Spirit which is in us!  At first it might be difficult, but the Spirit will begin to deal with us and convict us. The power for the Christian walk is the Holy Spirit. We will never be alone, because He promised it: "I will be with you to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
By having the Spirit of God in our lives we will experience a life of peace (vs.6). However, for those who live in the flesh, that is, sinful minds, death results because they are hostile to God’s laws.
"It does not say, 'As many as are driven by the Spirit of God.' No, the devil is a driver, and when he enters either into men or into hogs he drives them furiously. Remember how the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea. Whenever you see a man fanatical and wild, whatever spirit is in him it is not the Spirit of Christ." (Spurgeon)

.How does the Holy Spirit lead us?
- We are led by guidance
- We are led by drawing
- We are led by governing authority
- We are led as we cooperate with the leading.

 Where does the Holy Spirit lead us?
- He leads us to repentance
- He leads us to think little of self and much of Jesus
- He leads us into truth
- He leads us into love
- He leads us into holiness
- He leads us into usefulness

Paul wrote: “For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”- Romans 8:14-15

Yes, we have now become His children, and now He is our Daddy! Isn’t that awesome?
"In the Roman world of the first century A.D. an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no whit inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature." (Bruce)
Paul continues to explain: "The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.  And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.” (8:16-17)  What a privilege and an amazing promise: we are fellow heirs with Christ!
Our life in Christ will not always be easy (“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses…” vs .26 ), but we have our Daddy who will always be with us to help us fulfill His perfect will and purpose for our lives (vs.28); He will always be for us (vs. 31) AND NOTHING will ever separate us from His  LOVE!

I am a living witness of all this and I can’t thank Him enough for His Faithfulness! On June 2013 I received a telephone call from one of my half-sisters (my father re-married after the divorce and raised 3 children), telling me that my father was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. From then on I phoned him on a regular basis, and eventually he surrendered his life to Jesus! For the last 3 months of his life we had the opportunity to share over the phone many things. We knew nothing about each other, but it was especially wonderful for me to share the unfailing love of our Heavenly Father!, I praise our Daddy that on October 2013, he gave my husband and I the opportunity to fly to see him in the hospital. I was by his bed, holding hands with him and praying for him and his family, a few days before our Daddy took him Home with Him. This was something I had never imagined!! His Plans, His Ways are Perfect and His Faithfulness endures forever!

Let me ask you: Are you waiting to come back to your Daddy? His arms are open to you!

Measuring Up {Romans 7}

11:59 PM

By Becky Austin

I'm sure that Paul knew every detailed letter of the Law as did many of the Jewish people he was trying to teach about salvation. As Chapter 7 begins, Paul is using an analogy to show his listeners that although the Law is binding, there is a way to be freed from it. According to Jewish law, a woman was obligated to stay married until her husband died.  But if he died, she was free to marry another.  Through the death of Jesus, on a spiritual level, a similar thing occurred. “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” (V4) Jesus did away with our obligation to the Law and became like the "new husband". Our loyalties were shifted from being enslaved to serve the Law and we gained freedom to serve Jesus, and to bear spiritual fruit for God. 

We are no longer bound to the Law but that doesn't mean the Law has no value or purpose.  In fact, Paul says it serves an important role. "If it had not been for the Law, I would not have known sin".  The Law shows us the character of God.  It shows us the righteousness and holiness of God.  “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (v12). 

The Law is not what brings us a death sentence spiritually.  Paul recognizes that it is the sinful nature of our flesh that wants to entice us to do the  opposite of the Law that is the true threat to us.   Unfortunately, he also realizes that even though we are spiritually given God's grace and eternal salvation, we still have bodies of flesh to contend with.  “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (v 14-15)

Do you struggle as Paul did with wanting to please and honor God but your flesh keeps tripping you up? “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. " ( V22-23) As a Christian, this can be very discouraging. And guess what....
That's just what Satan wants you to be.  He wants you to quit, throw in the towel, or maybe he wants you to keep trying harder and harder in your own strength until you exhaust yourself or get swallowed up in defeat and failure.   

Perhaps you ask the same question Paul did. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  (v24).  Notice he didn't ask "What" but " Who".   Paul, who encountered the risen Jesus on the dusty road to Damascus, knew that it wasn't his failures in the flesh  that he should focus on but the perfect work of the risen, glorified Christ whose blood covers all our sins and failures. " Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! "

We're not going to be perfect in these bodies of flesh.  We don't have to be.  We're perfectly represented to God because Christ dwells in us and He is perfect. Living this life is a process of letting The Holy Spirit continue to work within our hearts to mold us, teach us, transform us and draw us deeper and deeper in a dependency relationship with Jesus. Even our failures can be tools of transformation if surrendered to Jesus. 

    " My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. " Psalm 73:26


Winning The Battle Over Sin {Romans 6}

1:25 AM

By Sue Desmarais

This past week has been one of the hardest weeks ever for me! A very close friend’s husband lost his battle with opioid drugs and alcohol addiction. The sad truth is, he died just days after he had told his wife he was ready to turn his life around and come back to be the husband and father God had ordained him to be. His heart desired to turn/repent and do things God’s way, but he couldn’t free himself from the control the drugs now had over his body.

The truth is, he is just one of many!

Sin starts out masking itself as something to be desired. Sin is FUN---enjoyable! Holiness is dull, boring and no fun at all! Right? That what our enemy would like us all to think. No one takes the first drink of alcohol determined to become an alcoholic, or prescriptions drugs planing to become dependant on them to function. No one lusts after things not promised to them in hopes that whatever it is will take them down a path that can ultimately destroy their life and others, especially those they love most! We all think we’re above all that. Just a little won’t hurt, we’ll be able to stop at anytime. I bet most, if not all of us, can recall a time when those very thoughts, or some like them swirled in your mind. What’s important is what we did with those thoughts! This is what Paul is addressing here in chapter 6.

The word that came to mind most as I read over Romans 6 is, SURRENDER. Each of us have a choice before us daily. All of us must choose each day to surrender to the world’s sin, or God’s righteousness. Hear me when I say, you will surrender and become a slave to one or the other, which is why chapter six is so crucial to the book of Romans, because here is where Paul let’s us know that we can live in victory over sin and how; for Christ’s death and resurrection not only paid the penalty for our sin, but also provided the power that we need to overcome sin on a daily basis.

There is so much found in this one chapter that I have struggled on what and where to focus my post, but I finally settled on where we receive the power for freedom from sin!! For, I know none of us, if given the choice, would choose to live as a slave to sin’s power to destroy us and others. The victory over sin is found in Romans 6:3-4, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.”

Baptism is the picture of Jesus’ death (standing in the water -death on the cross), burial (going down under the water) and resurrection (being raised up out of the water to a new life).

Paul goes onto tie these verses with his  first command in Romans 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” “Even so” means, just as Christ died for our sin, so you too should count yourselves in Him to be done with it. Just as Christ has risen from the dead and now lives far removed from sin, so you too should live in Him, since in the future you will live forever with Him in heaven.”

It’s also important to note that the word,“consider” is in the present tense which means, “keep on counting this to be true.” However, we won’t count it to be true because we feel dead to sin and alive to God, but rather because God Word says that it’s true! Victory over sin begins in our minds, and Paul will go on to speak more about this concept in the chapters to come.

For now, I’ll leave you with Paul’s last words in chapter 6, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23). We’ve been given a gift, the most precious gift. God would never demand anything from us without also giving us the ability to do it! He has given us everything we need in Christ Jesus our Lord. Surrender to Him and His righteousness (way of doing things) and you WILL have all you need to live a victorious life this side of paradise.

I love this song by Nicole C. Mullins It’s a great reminder of what can happen when we call on Jesus: