Therefore, let not sin reign in your mortal body, such that you would obey its desires. Nor should you offer the parts of your body as instruments of iniquity for sin. Instead, offer yourselves to God, as if you were living after death, and offer the parts of your body as instruments of justice for God. For sin should not have dominion over you. For you are not under the law, but under grace. What is next? Should we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? Let it not be so! Do you not know to whom you are offering yourselves as servants under obedience? You are the servants of whomever you obey: whether of sin, unto death, or of obedience, unto justice. But thanks be to God that, though you used to be the servants of sin, now you have been obedient from the heart to the very form of the doctrine into which you have been received. And having been freed from sin, we have become servants of justice.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul, the Jew of Jews, schooled in the 613 commandments of the Hebrew law, like a good lawyer, hammers away at his point from many angles. He repeats his arguments over and over. Here is His main point right up front.
- How can we who died to sin go on living in it?
Why would we want to? We were prisoners to sin. Why would we return to that life? Why would people released from prison return to doing the things that put them in prison?
In the natural world it is shocking the number of people who have been released from prison that commit crimes that land them right back in prison.
People are creatures of habit. When times are tough, we return to our old familiar and comfortable habits.
God, through the person of Jesus, has freed us. We, however, have to adopt newer, healthier habits. Jesus taught, and demonstrated the new life we are to live.
Precious Lord, you have freed us to live a life out servanthood. Give us the strength and guidance to stay on the path. Fill us with a new spirit. Amen.
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