Sin & Death: Volunteer Sinners

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” (Romans 6:11-12)

All week long there’s been this lingering question about sin: Why do we still do it? Why is it still such a battle for us NOT to sin? Paul keeps saying that we died spiritually with Jesus, right? He’s saying Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is applied to us when we trust in Him. We’re free, he keeps saying, from being sin’s slaves. It doesn’t own us any more.

sandd_350So why don’t we just stop? Here’s the deal: We’ve been freed from the power of sin. It’s not the boss of us. But we’re not free, yet, from the “want” to sin. We still like how some sin feels. Even though we know it leads to death. Even though we know it’s what Jesus died for. Even though we know it’s ugly and painful and wrong. We still want it.

Paul said it’s time to do battle with your wants; he called them “evil desires.” The want to sin is the want for something evil, even the want for the “little sins” that don’t seem like a big deal. Remember, Paul urged, you don’t have to do any of that any more. Now that you’re free, don’t be a volunteer sinner. You can tell it “no” and walk away. That’s what free people do.

Think: Are you ever tempted to think you have no choice about your sin, that you cannot control yourself? How does that fit with Paul’s teaching here in Romans 6?

Pray: Ask God to remind you that you never have to give in to temptation; you always have the power to say “no.”

Do: Try to memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13. It won’t take long, and it’s handy to have in your head when the temptation to sin feels especially strong.