Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Alive To God In Christ Jesus

Romans 6:11

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

I had a young person in my office recently. This young person was having a battle with an addiction and was asking for my recommendation on how to overcome the addiction. When they were in the midst of their addictive behavior – they would feel the Holy Spirit pricking their heart – yet they enjoyed the addiction – so they often pushed the Spirit aside. It was a real struggle – a struggle many of us have battled before and will battle in the future.

I know a person who has battled addiction for many decades. They have suffered much. Their family has suffered much as well. They seemingly had defeated the addiction for a long period of time only to have it rear its ugly head again. Addiction is never gone – it is always one day at a time. Our victory is only a needle – a bottle – a porn site away. Addiction can at times make us seem powerless to control ourselves.

Today’s passage speaks of counting ourselves as dead to sin – but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Romans 5:20–6:4 – 5:20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

What is it that controls us? Is it sexual desire? Is it Amazon Day or shopping in general? Is it a sinful lifestyle or choice? Is it a drug or a behavior? Is it materialism – money? Most of us experience addictions in some fashion. It may not be the typical drug or alcohol or sexual addiction we read so much about these days. But there are things in our lives that seem to control us. We need to battle the things that control us and live in Christ more and more each day.

A familiar passage reminds us that when we are in Christ – we become a new creation – the old is gone and the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! Unfortunately – as I have always reminded us – the old hasn’t gone very far. Addiction is never gone – it is always one day at a time.

Paul writes – We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? There is a difference between living in sin and committing a sin. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The difference is our attempt to remove sin from our lives or simply giving into sin and living in it. Someone once said – Christianity bowls down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. As Christians our heart’s desire should be to remove sin from our lives – to be dead to sin in our lives – to defeat the addictions that try to control our lives. Let us count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Let us be open to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Let us be open to the call of God to walk in Christ rather than in sin. Let us strive to walk with Jesus rather than with our sinful desires.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

July 12, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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