Devotional: April 29, 2020
So, what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
Romans 6: 1-3 The Message
The other day, the news carried a report of a driver pulled over for speeding in excess of 130MPH in England. His excuse? "I thought the faster I went the less chance I would catch coronavirus," he reportedly said. Obviously, the police didn't buy it and sent him off to court to settle a hefty traffic ticket.
Unfortunately, such silly, backward thinking is not confined just to breaking traffic laws. It can creep into many parts of our lives including matters of faith. The Apostle Paul had to deal with some believers in both Corinth and Rome who believed that since God forgives sin, they could just ask for forgiveness, and then sin again, knowing they could again ask for forgiveness. This wasn’t the first time a harmful weird idea was adopted in the name of religion, and it will not be the last.
This false belief would lead to an ongoing, escalating sin circle, rather than steps leading upward and away from sin in one's faith walk. While we will always sin, God wants us to learn from our mistakes and our sins. As He forgives us, He always declares, “now go, and sin no more”.
Sometimes, a little logic helps make sense out of things. Jesus was accused of being in cahoots with the devil. Our Lord correctly pointed out that this would make no sense, because a house divided against itself would not stand. In other words, any dwelling with two powerful opposing forces cannot survive. President Abraham Lincoln adopted this biblical image when he argued against the South seceding from the rest of the country.
One of the most powerful things to remember in matters of faith is that Jesus saved us from our sin by forgiving us. When we are forgiven, we are to leave our sin. According to Romans, we are to pack up, leaving our sin behind as we move to a “new country”. Our change of address is symbolized by our changed spirit. Through baptism, we become new creatures, living not in the land of sin, but in the land of grace. Our new core identity is not “sinner who sins”, but “one saved by grace”.
When we cross the border into a new, grace-filled and light-filled land, we do not pine for our old address of sin and slavery. Be thankful you have your Jesus passport, by which you gained entry into this new, blessed land! Don’t look back. Look ever forward, with faith!
Thank you for Your amazing grace, and Your deep love for us. May we never take Your sacrifice for granted. Instead, fill our hearts with gratitude for Your blessings. Keep our eyes on what lies ahead for us, in our walk with You. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.