The Gift of God is Eternal Life—Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23)

Do you ever notice how the good news comes last? Even in conversations we always start with the bad news so that we can end on a good note. We like to have the good news last so that we can focus on that and not worry about the bad new. With Christ, there is always a good news!

In today's passage, Paul mentions the problem so he could introduce the solution. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ( Romans 6:23 ) This verse is a well know verse. I remember memorizing it as a child. I also remember hearing mention of it every time I heard someone share the gospel. As a child, this is what I heard... 'the wages of sin is death.' But that is simply the bad news. Thankfully Paul did not end the sentence there.

Neither did Jesus. The good news is that there is a gift. The good news or gospel literally means, 'the almost too good to be true news', meaning that this gift is so good, we always look for a catch. But there isn't one. Paul said the 'gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord'. If we focus on what we can earn, then our wages result in death. However if we accept this free gift then the gift brings eternal life instead of death. Isn't that amazing!

I am so glad that Paul ended this chapter with the good news. No longer are we bound under sin or our old nature. But we have been freed of it and introduced to our new nature which was obtained through Christ Jesus as a gift from God. Today, celebrate this free gift and the good news! Amen!

For further information about becoming born again or eternal life, please visit these article:
The Gospel: How To Know Without a Shadow of a Doubt that You Have Eternal Life

Born of Water and of Spirit

Posted in Romans 6

You Are Holy—Romans 6:22

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life" (Romans 6:22)

Did you know that we were called to be holy? Peter talks about this I Peter, "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." ( I Peter 1:15-16 ). Peter is quoting from the Old Testament Law in Leviticus. God had instructed the Israelites to be holy patterned after God and His holiness. Although throughout the scriptures we see how desperately the Israelites failed continuously at this. They could not live holy because it was impossible.

In the same way we are called to be holy. But as New Testament Believers our holiness depends upon Christ not the law. It is not impossible for us, as was the case with the Israelites, because our holiness is not a byproduct of our actions. Our holiness is a side-effect of our new born again spirit. We are holy because God is holy. We are presently holy because we have the Spirit of Christ living inside of us. This might be a new concept but that is what Paul is saying in today's passage. Holiness comes out of your new nature and it exists presently in your born again spirit.

Lets looks further at what Paul said, "But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life." ( Romans 6:22 Amp ). So the reward of holiness is eternal life. Now we know, as born again believers we currently possess eternal life. Jesus said in John 3:36, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life...." Jesus used the present tense form of the word so that we would know, we experience eternal life right here and now by believing in the Son. He also tells us what eternal life is, "... Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." ( John 17:3 ). So eternal life is knowing God the father and Jesus Christ the son and we currently possess this now by believing in the Son. So if we already have the result of holiness, which is eternal life, the we also have to possess holiness. Remember, holiness is not based on actions or work which would be self-righteousness, but it is based upon what was provide for us in our born again spirits. Which we received by believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior.

Jesus has set us free from the sin nature and has given us the holiness that the law ascribed to. We are holy because Christ is Holy. When God looks at us, he sees Christ. Jesus' blood is the filter and cleansing agent that God used to make us right with him. Today may this revelation of your holiness in Christ overtake you. May you see it's results manifest into your live from now on. God bless you!

For further information about becoming born again or eternal life, please visit these article:
The Gospel: How To Know Without a Shadow of a Doubt that You Have Eternal Life

Born of Water and of Spirit

Posted in Romans 6

The Benefits of the Sin Nature—Romans 6:20-21

"When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!" (Romans 6:20-21)

I remember carrying around guilt for a long time. I would constantly remind myself of things I had done. The events would play over and over in my mind and I was ashamed. Whenever, I read this verse I would bring further condemnation upon myself. That is because I did not understand what Paul was really saying. Instead Paul wrote this to encourage us. He is using this as a comparison to help us understand our new nature fashioned after Jesus Christ.

The subject and the good news of this passage is that we are now under the control of righteousness as born again believers. No longer subjected to our old nature. The things of the old nature were obvious, those things brought death, shame and denunciation. Paul is simply reminding us of how it used to be so that we could understand on how it is now.

Galatians 5 paints a pretty good picture of what Paul is talking about here, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." ( Galatians 5:19-25 ) Paul's conclusion is that the difference between the two natures are so obvious. We are able to see the fruits of each nature operating in people. Those who live according to the sin nature exhibit that natures characteristics. Those who live according to the Spirit demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. We are those who live by the Spirit.

So this verse in Romans 6, is not a verse of condemnation Paul wanted to make sure we understood the difference between the two natures so that we would know how to live according to our new nature. If you are struggling with thoughts of condemnation, than know that it is not the Lord who is accusing you. He has already forgiven you and freed you from sin's grasp. Paul confirmed this in I Corinthians 6, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." ( I Corinthians 6:11 ) and if we were washed clean by God... if we were sanctified, which means set apart, by God...and if we were justified, which means, just as if I'd never sinned, by God...then you are free of accusation by God as well.

When I understood this, the all feelings of condemnation disappeared. Since then, the Lord has worked a miracle in my life, because memories of those things are so distant that now when I read this verse, my heart soars knowing what Paul was saying. Those things have passed. Everything that brought shame is gone. Those things resulted in death and benefited you not. "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." ( Romans 6:17-18 ) Amen!

Today may you free your mind from any guilt and condemnation that continues to hold you in chains. It is not on account of God. He loves you. He has forgiven you. He wants you to be free. Today, may you experience this freedom in Christ Jesus. Amen!

For further information about becoming born again, please visit these article:
The Gospel: How To Know Without a Shadow of a Doubt that You Have Eternal Life

Born of Water and of Spirit

Posted in Romans 6

The Cause of Holiness—Romans 6:19

"I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness" (Romans 6:19)

It is amazing to me that God gives us a choice. We have a choice in everything. He does not dictate our every move. We are not His robots. We are however the recipients of everything he appropriated in Christ Jesus. He provided everything that we need to live free in Him on the cross over two thousand years ago. However, it is our choice whether or not we utilize what he has done.

In the previous verse, Paul tells us that "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." ( Romans 6:18 ). Meaning that this was an accomplished fact. However, Romans 6:16 says, "you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" ( Romans 6:16 ) Meaning that how we act dictates whether or not we truly experience this freedom from sin in our lives. It is a choice.

What Jesus did, was provide this freedom from your old sin nature in your born again spirit. So the natural side will still see some effects of the previous nature. However, It is important to know we have been freed as the starting point. So in today's passage Paul explains to us how to replicate this freedom into the natural realm of what we see and experience. The solution is to offer your body in slavery to righteousness which leads to holiness. The Amplified Bible puts it this way, "I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification." ( Romans 6:19 Amp ).

In today's verse, Paul makes a switch and talks about the natural realm so that we will see the fruit of what is currently in our spirit overflow into it. Remember It is a choice. The truth is that you have been freed from sin. The application is that you should no longer yield to the old sin nature that is foreign to your new nature. Instead you should yield to the new nature and become slave to that. Your new nature is a nature of righteousness through Christ Jesus. When we yield to him we see the leftover effects of the old nature disappear. The result of yielding to the new nature is holiness. Not obtained through works of the Law but obtain as an effortless byproduct of our new spirit.

Today, I pray that you yield completely to your new born again spirit and become a slave to that. May you experience true holiness branching out from this. God Bless you as you take His word into your heart and watch it grow.

Posted in Romans 6

By Faith We Become Slaves to Righteousness—Romans 6:17-18

"But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18)

Every thing that Jesus Christ offers us, was provided over two thousand years ago. Forgiveness of sins, eternal life, freedom from death, healing for our bodies... the list goes on and on... all of it was provided when he redeemed mankind from the power of darkness. This is not something we are waiting for, it is something we have in our spirits as born again believers. In today's passage, Paul gives us the key to how we receive this. He wrote that all of these things became present tense realities when we wholeheartedly obeyed what we heard. It happened by faith when we committed ourselves to Jesus.

It took faith. Jesus is what set us free from being a slave to sin, but it was our faith that activated this change in our own hearts and made it a present tense reality. The writer of Hebrews said that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" ( Hebrews 11:1 KJV ) Which means that when you entrusted the Word of God into your heart, it took root and grew. When ready, by faith you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior. It was faith in what Jesus Christ did, two thousand years ago that saved you. God provided the means, but it took faith or action upon our part to become a reality. The writer of Hebrews goes on to say in verse 6 of the same chapter, that "without faith it is impossible to please God" ( Hebrews 11:6 ) which means, that faith pleases him.

Today we can praise God that we are free from slavery because of our faith mixing with God's grace and mercy. No longer kept in bondage to our old nature but freed completely in order that we should become slaves to righteousness overflowing from our new nature. Today, I pray that this revelation sinks deep into your heart and yields much fruit! Amen

Posted in Romans 6