For over 100 years, all freshman Harvard Law Students were required to read all of Romans from the Bible. The assignment did not have anything to do with theology but the fact that Paul was the greatest debater.

Oftentimes God uses pain in our lives so that we cleave to Him. Tough times set the stage for dependence on our Father. Paul makes an indisputable argument in Romans about Jesus being the Lord of our lives. For many of us, we think after Salvation ( our past and future sins covered) that we can just live the way we want. I mean why not since ALL of our sins are forgiven but Paul adds this….

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 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? 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.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

We think of Holy as being perfect or “over the top” Religion but what it really means is to be set apart from what the world says. See true freedom and joy comes only from pursuing Christ. Seek the Kingdom first and then all things will be given. It is about a relationship and as you build your relationship with Jesus, you will no longer want to do the things you once did. We are called to love God not the selfish value system. Do you love the things of this world and reject God and His people? Adam infected us all with a generational curse but the good news in Jesus came to save us and lead us back to Him. Grace Abounds does not mean we get to use the grace card limitless. Paul says by no means! What evidence do we have that Jesus is in fact our Lord? Is anything different or are you still doing what you’ve always done? We as Christians need to be grafted to the root. It’s very similar to marriage language. We are to quit laying back down in our filth and take off our grave clothes. Evil passions are dead.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said I am the abundant life.

Quit thinking of yourself as a sinner. If Jesus is your Lord tell all of your body parts to obey. And with your money don’t be greedy, be generous. And with your mouth bring life. And with your mind choose faith and not fear. So what then, are we to sin because we are under grace and not the law. No!

Augustine before he was a true believer used to run around town with different women. He is walking through a town post conversion and one of his old mistresses saw him and comes up to him and invites him to go with her “to spend time” together. He looked at her, ignored her and kept walking. She began to follow him thinking that maybe he forgot who she was. She gets right in front of him and says, But Sir it is I.” And he replies, “I know it is you but madame it is not I.” What he was saying is I don’t do those things anymore because I’m not that person anymore. I am a new creation, a new person.

Grace means we are free from sin not to sin. We all have a master we just get to decide who that is?

These are only 4 areas we struggle in that lead us into the pit, the death.

1. power- It’s all about you and what you have and what you will do to keep what you have ( ego). You have to win. You desire to be the most powerful person in the room and you are in competition with others.

2. control-Your way with your rules and your time table. Others suffer at the hands of your control- Idol in your life

3 comfort- You make sure your comforts are always met first not considering others and their needs.

4. approval- Your image, seeking the applause of others. It can mask itself with your home, car and your power. You are a slave to others (men) and things.

What do you really have to offer God? What does God owe us? Why go for power when we serve the most powerful. Isn’t it time for us to take our proper place?

We are not a citizen of this world, we are just passing through. God’s opinion alone is the only one that matters.

Holiness is not a hindrance to our freedom, it is the key. Go get the fire in your bones for Jesus as our days are numbered.

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