Devotional: The Roman recipe (3)
We continue with the ‘Roman Recipe’, in Romans 6:1-14. We are now in the final phase, resulting in this wonderful result: freedom from sin.
The final consequence is in verse 8, "We will live with Christ." What tremendous words. We will share His eternal resurrection life. In that He died, He died once to sin. He can't die again. Now He lives forever to God ‑ and we enter into that eternal life that Christ lives toward God. We share His eternal resurrection life.
The third part of this Romans Recipe is found in verses 11 through 13. There are five steps in this practical “how‑to” as outlined by Paul. First of all, in verse 11, "count yourself dead..." Believe it ‑ reckon yourself dead ‑ the Bible says you're dead ‑ believe you're dead. Talk about yourself as dead. That's what Paul did. He said, "I'm crucified with Christ, but nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me..." So he counted himself dead. He saw Christ's crucifixion and death as his own crucifixion and death. Not merely did he think that way, but he talked that way. He reckoned it true. He reckoned himself dead, but also alive. You have to do the same. Count, believe, reckon yourself dead and also alive.
Steps two and three are negative, "Do not let sin reign in your body," and the next, "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin..." There is a very important negative in this recipe. You must not yield to sin. Before, you couldn't help yielding to sin. Now you have the choice. There's a power in you that's greater than sin. You've been liberated, you've been justified. But you still have to exercise your will. When sin comes, when temptation comes, you have to say a firm and final "NO! No I will not! I will not yield my body! I will not yield my members! I have been freed, I belong to Jesus. I'm living Jesus' life and sin you have no more power over me. I do not yield to you! Satan, I do not yield to you."
You know one thing I've learned by experience about the devil? He knows when you mean it. And when you really say it and mean it, he'll leave you alone. But if he thinks he's got any chance of persuading you just temporarily to change your mind, he'll keep on bothering you. This is the way we recultivate our will which has been weakened and enslaved by sin. It's by saying, "NO!" No to sin, no to Satan. "Satan, you can't have my body, you can't have the parts of my body."
And then the next two ‑ the last two steps in this recipe ‑ the positive ones, steps four and five: offer yourself to God. You can't remain an independent agent and be free from sin. That's not a choice that's valid. You have to choose whether you'll serve Satan or whether you'll serve God. Delivered from the service of Satan, you have to offer yourself as a sacrifice to God. In Romans 12 Paul says, "Present your body as a living sacrifice to God..." Give yourself totally ‑ all you are and all you have ‑ present it to God. Hold nothing back. And then he says, "Offer the parts of your body to God..." Yield every part of your body to God for Him to use it as He wants for His glory.
And then this glorious promise which is the result ‑ that which the recipe promises to accomplish ‑ "sin shall not be your master." You will be set free from the shame, the degradation, the agony, all the evils that sin brings ‑ you'll be delivered from them if you follow this Romans Recipe if you'll work through your identification with Jesus in death, burial and resurrection. May God help you and bless you! And He will if you ask Him!
Thank You, Father, that You not only provided forgiveness of sin, through the Blood of Jesus, but even more, complete freedom of sin, and all its influences and evil consequences. Help me, Father, through Your Holy Spirit, to hold fast to the right confession. Help me to say ‘no’ to sin, and really mean it! I want to give you my body, as a living temple, and all its members, so I may glorify You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!