Walking in Grace: Romans 6

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The author of Romans 6 corrects any wrong thinking a Christian might have about "free grace" and freedom in Christ. Indeed we are freely saved as we freely receive God's gift of salvation. But we ought to remember that the cost of that freedom was never free. God exacted the full cost of that freedom on Christ, and we see the weight of that sacrifice in John 17. Christ agonised in the garden of Gethsemane for over what was to come. It would be the first time Christ was to taste death. As God, He was not familiar with that. He was and is forever alive. It would be the first time Christ will face separation from the GodHead. As God, He has never experienced that. From eternity past, the triune God was one, always together, never apart. And now, at one point, the Father would have to turn away from God the Son as Christ the Messiah, man's one and only perfect offering, bears the sin of all mankind.

The way to freedom from sin and hell is free but the cost of that freedom was heavily paid for in our stead. Now, having received God's free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ's redemptive work on the cross, what then? Do we carry on with life as before? Is everything else the same  where nothing changes after the point of salvation?

Romans 6 tells us "No". Free grace is the very reason why changes in our life take place. Now, I dare not spend thoughts mulling about whether a true mark of a christian is lifechange, otherwise he is no genuine believer at all. Christ says that in the end, there will be surprises, because the people you think you'd find in heaven may end up not being there. This would also mean that the people you never thought you'd see there may be there one day. (Matthew 7:21-23).

Rather, I choose to look inward and challenge myself towards lifechange. Romans 6 makes a statement here. And it's not: "True Christians Are Those With Changed Lives." It is: "Recipients of God's Grace are now to walk in grace, taking back ground from the hold of sin over their lives."

How is it to walk in grace? Romans 6 gives some points:

Verse 1. To walk in grace is to discontinue the practice of sin.
As we allow God's continual grace to work in us, we grow towards ceasing from habits and practices that displease God. We begin to form godly habits instead. It's actually very practical. If you want to stop reading defiling materials, then go out and start collecting books that will help you navigate the faith journey. If you want to stop speaking unprofitable words, read the Word so praise of God and encouragement of others can start coming out of your mouth. This is so, because the Bible says that it is from one's heart and mind that words are conceived. (Matthew 15:18).

Verse 4. To walk in grace is to walk in newness of life.
When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, He causes transformation. Things may slowly change and things certainly will. Scriptures say that He brings us into all truth. He also brings us to a better understanding of ourselves and supernaturally equips us to better handle ourselves and our circumstances. We must understand that it is by grace that we live overcoming lives. We do not make the changes but our yieldedness to the Spirit allows Him to make the changes that we need to live godly in this world.

Verse 11-14. To walk in grace is to choose to love God and to choose Him over myself.
Walking in grace is surrendering the management of your life over to Him.The choices are simple: Do I live for myself or for God? Do I allow sin and wrong in my life or God's righteousness? Do I choose self or do I choose God? Often, when we do something wrong, it's because it's exactly what we want. Often, we choose to persist in wrong because we have not decided to love and please God more than ourselves. If we are serious about living the faith life, we will arm ourselves with the Word of Truth and walk in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit. For only then will we find wisdom, grace, and help in times of need. When we make room and time for God, He can cause victory in our daily struggles.

Verse 21 asks us, what benefit do we have from the former things that we are now ashamed of? We were made for eternity and as we walk in grace we discover things that are more worthwhile than the ones we used to spend time and efforts on. As we walk in grace we place our allegiance to God and live our lives for His pleasure. In bringing Him pleasure we find ourselves experiencing a different kind of pleasure as well, such that is long-lasting and more purposeful.

Let these marked verses from this chapter reading be our challenge for today:
Romans 6:12-14
Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires.
Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.
Instead, give yourselves completely to God,
for you were dead, but now you have new life.
So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

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