Romans 6:1-11 (ESV)
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b]from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
It is difficult being a Christian in 21st-century America. Contemporary
culture lures us to believe that the ultimate goal of life is selfactualization,
that is, realizing our own hopes, our own dreams, our
own successes to the fullest extent possible. Contemporary culture lures
us to believe that it is all about us. When we succeed, it is because of us
and all the steps we took to achieve our goals. When we fail, it is also
because of us and our failure to live up to our fullest potential.
Christianity does not fit easily into this contemporary construct.
Christianity teaches that it is not all about us and our achievements.
Rather, it’s about Christ and what God in Christ Jesus has achieved for
us through his death on the cross and through his rising from the grave.
The goal of the Christian life is not to become the best person we can
be but rather to let Christ live in us. And here’s the really hard part—
letting Christ live in us means first dying to our selves, to our own
hopes, to our own dreams, to our own aspirations—it means devaluing
all of those things that contemporary culture tries to convince us are of
the utmost importance.
As St. Paul writes in today’s reading from Romans, when we are
baptized into Christ, we are so closely joined together with him that
Christ’s death becomes our death and Christ’s resurrection becomes our
resurrection. Because Christ has died to sin once and for all, so also
those of us who have been baptized into him have also died to sin once
and for all. Because Christ has been raised up from death to new life, so
also those of us who have been baptized into him have also been raised
up from death to new life. Through our baptism into Christ’s own death
and resurrection, it is no longer we who live, but rather Christ who lives
in us. Therefore, the life we live is no longer ours, it is Christ’s. In this
baptismal promise alone is our freedom—freedom from sin, freedom
from death, freedom to fully become the person Christ died and rose
for us to be.
Lord Jesus, in my baptism, your death became my death and
your resurrection became my resurrection. Help me to die every
day to my sinful self so that you, O Christ, might live in me.
Written by Pastor Greg Busboom—Lead Pastor