Romans: Day 12

Our New Life in Christ

by

Today's Text: Romans 6:1-14, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Colossians 3:1-11

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:1-14, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Colossians 3:1-11

My daughter was baptized a few months ago.

She decided to follow Jesus in her elementary years, and considered baptism a long while until she entered middle school. The week prior, a pastor from our church sat down in our kitchen to talk to her about the weight of this decision. She was choosing to publicly testify Christ as her Lord to anyone who asked. This was a commitment to follow and serve Jesus no matter what, even when it was difficult.

The following Sunday she wrote a letter to Jesus, just between them, and pinned it to a wooden cross at the front of our sanctuary before taking her turn in the waters. As her daddy lowered her beneath the water he offered the words, “buried with Jesus in the likeness of His death, and raised to walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Scripture says we joined Jesus in His death when we were baptized. Death no longer rules over Christ Jesus, nor does it rule over those who believe in Him. What’s more, when we died with Christ, we were set free from the power of sin. “For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time.” As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to “consider [ourselves] dead to sin and alive to God” (vv. 9-11).

But if we’ve truly died to sin, why do we continue to live in it? The act of sharing in Christ’s death wouldn’t be a one-time thing any more than taking communion would be a one-time thing. In fact, we’re told to examine our hearts before we take the bread and the cup (1 Corinthians 11:27). We ought to examine our hearts in everything and invite God to search our hearts too (Psalm 139:23).

When we take a lackadaisical approach to our sin, we give it room to rule over us, to distract us. As those who have been crucified with Christ, sin is no longer our ruler. We are not under the law but under grace (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:14).

This begs the question: What in my life needs to die each day? What has become an idol, a security, a focus, or a prop that has pushed God aside? I never seem to see sin enter my heart until I hear it roll off my tongue—a little sarcasm here, a critique there. Then envy soon follows, before resentment settles in and camps out.

For starters, my pride needs to die. It needs to die a thousand deaths. It’s the temptation of the religious leader to get puffed up by our words, thinking the message is ours. But the truth is that God has planted His Word in our hearts (Hebrews 10:16). We are simply called to speak His Word when summoned.

There’s something else that needs to die for me in this season: production. It’s time for me to get quiet after a long season of pouring out. Making room for the death of an idol opens wide the gates for a new beginning, a new imagination for what God will bring about in the days ahead. I’m walking out these days with an expectant heart, putting my ear to the ground, and listening for a fresh refrain of reverence.

I wonder, is there something that needs to die for you today? When you are joined in Christ’s death through faith, you are also raised with Him in newness of life. Laying down your idols will open the floodgates for freedom to reign once more, making room for new life to spring forth again.

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  • I need to lay down my desire to have a baby. It’s caused me to sin so many times with envy and jealousy when even the girls I mentored in youth group are pregnant or when the news talks about someone abusing their child. I have prideful thoughts of how I would do better or we deserve to have a baby. But God may not have that for us and if He does it will be in His timing and not my own. I keep thinking that I’m surrendering this to Him, but I don’t think I truly have. Thanks for these scriptures and these words today. I love reading all the comments even when I’m a ways behind:)

  • Reading this reminded me of things in my life that have been pushing me away from God. Often times I sleep in knowing that I should wake early to spend much needed time reading the word of the Lord. I need to regroup and set aside more to spend with God daily. My pride needs to die.

  • Steph J

    Really beautiful message. Put to death what is earthly. Focus on our new lives in Christ. (Col. 3:5-10)

  • Lacey Barnwell

    Love Love love this! Gave me new eyes and understanding to these scriptures I’ve read several times.

  • Chrissie

    Living under grace, not the law also means showing grace to others who are struggling to put to death their own sin. God has given me grace upon grace, and sometimes its up to me to remind another that there is always forgiveness when we confess to God. Encouraging others to step into the light takes away the enemy’s weapons of secrecy and shame and reaffirms Christ’s victory! He “entrusts us with the message of reconciliation.”

  • Hit the nail on the head.. I need to lay down my pride… so many times I wonder why is this happening to me, or I deserve that not them.. truth is pride holds me back from accepting Gods plan for myself most days. I need to drop kick my ego outta here

    • Brooke

      Lisa, you speak my language. This is exactly what I’m pulling from this day. Actually, it’s being thrown on the furnace where my pride burns. It’s painful but it’ll be so good. Praying for you in this journey of the Lord’s plan for your life!

  • Samantha Patterson

    Such a great read!! I need to lay down my fear of people, my anxiety, my pride, my judgment of others, and my anger!! Those are. It things that are created by God! Father, I lay down my sins listed to you. You are a God of love, peace, grace, and forgiveness. Help me to live in your world and not of this world! Amen!!

  • Wow! What a great read. I need to lay down fear and lack of faith in God. Everyday I turn on the news and put my trust in others or worldly things when I should turn my gaze to Him and trust him!

  • There are many sins I need to lay aside – pride, judgment, self-centeredness. But as I was reading through these comments, it struck me that what I most need to lay aside is living in the spiritual death that is low self-worth. Believing lies about myself. Comparison to others. “I’m not as talented” “I’m not as outgoing” “I’m not as beautiful” (shoutout to Kari above for pointing that one out). Are these sin? Perhaps, probably. At the very least, these are unhealthy beliefs that come from the old life I am called to throw aside. Today I feel God telling me I not so much need to die to particular sins (although that is and always is true), but to continue putting to death my old self in its false and ungodly mental patterns.

  • This was wonderful! It just hit me this week how I need to lay down my idol of beauty. Focusing on my outer beauty, as so many of us women do. What a time waster in the day. Precious time in the morning I could be devoting to Jesus. What wonderful timing of this devotional, Rebekah! Thank you!!

  • Tania Michelle

    This brought confirmation in right timing. Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    Taking advantage of Grace Day to catch up with yesterday’s devotional-wow! Wish I could ‘ve skipped it-hit me right between the eyes

    • Jennifer

      –to continue-“I never seem to see sin enter my heart until it rolls off my tongue.” Were you at dinner with me last night? I was so convicted I had to stop reading to apologize to my friends for running my mouth. Why do I do the very thing I do not want to do? Oh what a wretch I am-glad to have a friend in Paul. So thankful for forgiveness, grace and mercy even in the discipline He brings.

  • Wow, I needed to read this. What do I need to lay down because it is becoming an idol? Confirmation I’m doing the right thing.

  • The readings and the devotional are so profound and moved me. I already knew this truth but it felt like I needed to be reminded of it. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Today I had closure in a relationship that has been a definite roadblock in my walk with God. It was really great though to read that once we give those distractions that led to brokenness over to God, we are made new in Him. I made the right choice. Please pray that I find comfort in these words that I am now this new person–the one God wants me to be.

    • Ana

      Praying for you!

    • TammyJ

      God loves you so much… prayed for you this Saturday morning… Call to Him and He will hear. Seek Him and you will find. He will show you great and mighty things which you do not know. Open His words. He is there. Set and reset you mind on what you find there. Put one foot in front of the other. Just continue to do the next thing… live one moment and then the next. He is in them with you… He will never leave you nor forsake you… and you are more precious to Him than gold or silver. He can be trusted. He. Is. Faithful… to the end. You are not alone. Walk. <3 <3

  • Alessandra Hurt

    This hit me hard today. I broke down crying. So needed this. Praise!

  • Lizzieb85

    Yikes! This was a good read today. I usually do my study during the twins’ afternoon nap. Today *I* needed a nap too! So I’m just getting to this now that they are down for bed.
    It was a tough day, y’all. Right before dinner I was on FB & something irked me & I left a nasty comment to someone. I made dinner, put the boys to bed & sat down to read: “What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?” Romans 6:1 Before I went any further I had to go on FB & apologize for my comments.
    Then as I was reading the scripture passages I started to set aside some of the verses I felt I needed to share with someone. But they are harsh verses for conviction & repentence. I didn’t feel perfectly comfortable sending them. I felt I needed to sit on them. Then in the Devo, Rebekah said, “We are simply called to speak His Word when summoned.” YIKES again!
    I am so glad I took the time to study today.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Lizzie! It is so sweet to feel the Spirit move in our hearts throughout the day!

      – Stormye

  • I also have a problem with pride. I have a tendency to be prideful at work most of all, but keep my thoughts to myself, which is just as bad as verbalizing my prideful feelings! I will start to point this out in my prayer time and ask God to remind me daily when I am being prideful. I need to remember that God is the one who gave me my skills and abilities, so pride actually has no place in my professional life! I can’t take responsibility for the gifts that God has given me, I must learn to use my gifts and be THANKFUL rather than prideful, that God allows me to help others with these gifts. This study is helping me to place a mirror in front of myself and see who is looking back. Hopefully, I will begin to see a new person in that mirrored reflection – one who is no longer prideful but “clothed in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” Colossians 3:12.

  • Lauren Williams

    I think what needs to die is my addiction to instagram. I’m checking it all the time when I could be praying! And other people that I follow have become idols because I’m consuming my thoughts with their day to day activity like what they are eating or what gym exercises they are doing. I’m on a fitness journey to better myself but I don’t want that to hinder my relationship with God or my relationship with people that are here with me in person. Anyone else struggle with social media balance?

    • Erin

      Lauren, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve noticed in the past year that social media brings up feelings and desires that are not from God. When I take breaks, my mind is definitely healthier which allows me to hear the Lord’s voice more. I’m too trying to find the balance. I noticed if I limit myself to scroll through just once a day, it’s much healthier than checking all the time.

    • Sheryn

      Hi Lauren,
      I did the same thing with Facebook. I had to delete my account because I found myself comparing my life to other people. Only when I realized it was all a lie, did I finally delete my account and stop feeling so jealous. (I realized it was a lie when a friend of mine told me she was having an affair with a married man, and was also following his wife on FB – who posted all kinds of happy family photos of their ‘happy life’. That was enough for me. I knew it was something I needed to leave or continue to get sucked into the whirlpool of jealousy, comparison, and negativity.) I now use my IG account to follow positive organizations and people who are making a difference in the world. My IG account makes me want to serve more and become a better person, but I NEVER feel jealous – I feel compelled to change!

    • Kristi

      Lauren, I struggle with this too but in a slightly different way. I am a teacher and a couple years ago I created a separate Instagram account to share ideas with other teachers and get new ideas too. At first I didn’t have that many people following me on there, but in the past 6 months that number has tripled. During that time I noticed I was checking more frequently and spending more time thinking about it than I used to. It was something I knew God was speaking to me about and I needed to set some limits. I few weeks ago I took a one week Instagram fast and didn’t open the app at all. It was so needed and I was able to decide on ways to limit the time I spend on it. I have put those limits in place and can already feel a difference. I’ve started sharing about my faith on IG as well and people who follow me have commented and messaged to tell me how much of an encouragement it’s been to them. I don’t think social media in itself is bad. The truth is, just about anything can become an idol when we allow it to control us or abuse it. The key is to use it in a positive way and to make sure we are controlling it and not the other way around. I’m thankful that God speaks to us through His word and calls us to examine our hearts when there are idols in our lives. Praying that you will be able to set some limits to keep you centered on Christ; remember, you can do all things through Him who gives you strength!

      • Brooke J

        Hi Kristi! This too has been a struggle of mine, especially in the past few months. I also did a week-long Instagram fast and while it was amazing, I still find myself falling back in to my old patterns. Could you expand on the limits you set? Would love to pick your brain. Thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for sharing, Lauren! Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Kathleen

    Amazing! Never have I heard a message for me come out so loud and clear. Thank you so much. I really needed this!

  • PronetoWander

    “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” I need to learn to do that and not “obey” my passions that the world offers. I need this message everyday that Sin has no power over me! (I don’t feel that really. I feel enslaved, making the same mistakes over and over) That line, “sin has no power over me” reminds me of when in The Labyrinth by Jim Henson, Sarah tells David Bowie’s character “YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!” And it breaks his power/hold on her! I feel that scene applies here, when we realize sin has no power, and proclaim that, Jesus is in charge not Satan! (And we realize Satan hasn’t been in charge anyways) now I need to “set my mind on things that are above” which I’ll be trying to figure out what that is…

  • Thank you for today’s Study.
    These words have allowed my mind to remember that :
    1) I “joined “Jesus in His death when I was baptized.
    2) I was set free from the power of sin.
    Each day forward I will try a little harder and more intentionally to keep these truths close in my heart, continuing to push the evil one away when he tries to show up, when he tempts me in thought or action.
    Sometimes my “worlds worth” seems unimportant, but reminders such as this mornings readings reminds me ….
    I am right where God wants me to be.
    I am feeling very thankful in this moment for all the blessings in my life.
    Have a good weekend, Ladies!

  • Caroline

    “We are not under the law, but under grace” I will never, ever get tired of that message! Ever.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Stephanie

    I will to be mindful in the moment that my thoughts, words, and deeds are potentially sinful and not continuously asking for forgiveness ,but thankful God was my first thought.

  • Virginia

    Humming in mind the song “Your Love Never Fails” by Newsboys

  • As I read this devotional I think of the things of this world that will sometimes consume my heart. I pray that I look to Jesus each and everyday instead. And my heart cries out to two of my closest friends who aren’t living in the life God has called out for them. I pray I am a light to them and that they will come to understand being a believer means our old sinful selves are gone, sin does not overpower us anymore.

  • Sometimes I think it would be nice if the death of sin WAS just a one time thing. Then I think, “Why isn’t it?” Why would God allow me to continue the struggle with sins that have the potential – when left unsubmitted – to grow, consume, devour, and ultimately ruin lives? Wouldn’t it be nice to just not HAVE that niggling struggle? For 50, 60, 70, years!? Just to be able to walk w/out the, “Geez, I’ve done it again… Lord, please forgive me”? As I ponder this I think… If I didn’t need Him daily, would I forget Him? In this land where I can’t SEE Him with my natural eyes? Would I REMEMBER the humiliation of my sin enough to relate the struggle and salvation from it to others? Would I remember the sweetness of His rescue? The relief of His presence? The desolving of the fear that “this time He might not show up… THIS time I may have pushed too far”? God help me. Help US to always need You. And help us God to always SEE our need for You… and OWN it. Thank You, Lord, for the struggle that brings me to Your feet. Though I wish it weren’t there. Thank You for using our sins to bring us to You. Help us to fight. Be our strength, for without You, death is certain. But with You all things are possible. Sometimes the battle is long. Sometimes it’s beyond exhausting. But we look to You. We KNOW where our help comes from. Our help comes from The Lord. The One who created heaven and earth… and from whom we SHALL one day hear the words, “We’ll done my good and faithful servant. You fought a good fight… You finished the race. Come. Find rest.”

    • Melissa

      Beautiful insight!

    • Gena

      What a helpful reminder !

    • Emily B.

      I can so relate to what you wrote. I’ve told God before that I’d just like to be “done,” thank-You-very-much. But He’s making me a new creation, and sometimes that means I backtrack a little. There’s grace for that! I don’t need to feel like I’m under a lot of pressure.

    • GramsieSue

      Perfectly written! Exactly how I feel. Thank you! ❤️

    • Rachel

      That was some wonderful Spirit filled insight. Thank you for sharing

    • Holly

      Thank you for sharing these encouraging words. We DO need Him daily and our sin reminds us of that…bringing us to His feet. Press on dear friends. Our true Rest awaits after this life when the struggle will be over and we will bask in His presence forever!

    • Kasey Summers

      Yesssss amen!!! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Michelle

      “Would I remember the sweetness of His rescue? The relief of His presence”? ………love that!

    • Abi

      Thank you. This was a blessing to me

    • Kendra

      I love this! I have often thought that too. Reading your words this morning have reminded and spoken to my heart.

  • “Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator, with His label on it.” This version of scripture gives me such a good visual of what God wants us to understand about Him. I walk through this life with His label stamped on my life. There is so much freedom and power in that!

  • churchmouse

    Oops tomorrow I OFFER myself again.

  • churchmouse

    Lackadaisical about sin? Oh no. I was raised in a tradition where you thought about sin a lot. I mean A. Lot. I was taught that with each sin, I should go in to a spiritual ‘time out’ and think about what I’d done and how I would absolutely never ever do that again. I was very good at cringing over my sin. And though the guilt ran high, the confession frequent, sin still ruled. I felt so defeated all the time. I would never be ‘good enough.’ God would surely never break into a smile over me. For years I suffered with a spiritual kind of PTSD – Post Traumatic Sin Disorder. How could I have the joy of the Lord when I was such a wretched sinner, such a failure? Then… I read and studied and meditated on Romans 6. The light bulb went off when I read, slowly, Romans 6:13b. Whereas every day I feared and, truth be told, waited to fail again, this verse instructed me on a very better way. “Offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons of righteousness.” Instead of prematurely beating myself up, my attitude and prayer became “Here I am, Lord. I offer You myself today. Every part of me. Use me for Your glory.” I offer Him myself, the good and the ‘still needs some work.’ I no longer berate myself. I don’t sit in sackcloth and ashes over my sin. Oh I admit I sin but sin is not my dwelling place. Instead of focusing on dieing to sin, I focus on living for Jesus. I offer myself for this day and I go about my business. I don’t walk chained to sin. I walk in freedom, chained to grace. Tomorrow, I let myself again. This shift in focus opened the floodgates to that joy of the Lord I was missing. Instead of “woe is me!”, I now live “hallelujah, I am free!” Romans 6:13b made all the difference. And God is smiling, grinning, over me!!

    • Leenda324

      I love this perspective. Thank you!!! ❤️

    • JessMC

      Wow! Thank you for sharing. So thankful for the grace he offers us today and everyday!

    • churchmouse

      Oops tomorrow I OFFER myself again

    • Jena

      Thank you for this! I’m going to try to use this perspective each day!

    • Kimberly

      I too am so good at beating myself up over sin. Walking in defeat and misery. But over the years as I’ve grown in my understanding of grace my life has changed. Now I pray everyday Psalm 139:23-24. Giving Him time to reveal sin and speak to my heart. Some days I have things to repent of. Some days not. I move into my day with so much Joy. Alive to God!

    • Lana

      Seriously churchmouse, I feel like you have a phd in spiritual maturity. So happy you take the time to comment each day. I appreciate your wisdom so much! And your perspective on this is also mine. The scripture that grabbed me was Colossians 3:1-2: so if you had been raised with Christ, seek the things above… Set your minds on things above…

      We are what we focus on and this scripture tells us where to focus. My focus is on Christ love. When we focus on Christ (the purest love), our behavior and thoughts gradually begin to reflect that, and the death of our abusive behavior (sin) naturally occurs. 1) do love 2) speak love 3) testify about the divine. That’s what I focus on.

    • Lana

      *we are CONSUMED by what we focus on. I don’t actually believe we are what we focus on. Just as God is I AM, WE ARE.

    • truthseeker

      “I walk in freedom, chained to grace.” LOVE THIS !
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Cynthia

      Words of wisdom! Thank you,Churchmouse! The Lord has used your testimony to reach me in the pit of despair! Glory to God for His bringing me into His kingdom of light! Changing my focus TODAY to living for Christ!

  • Dead to sin and alive in Christ. My prayer is to keep that perspective throughout the day. My life is not my own,yet so often I forget. Thank you Jesus for being my Savior of all my daily sins, selfishness and pride. So glad that His mercies are new every morning and I can rest in His peace. Jesus will lead me and keep doing that good work in me.

  • Kasey Summers

    “When we take a lackadaisical approach to our sin, we give it room to rule over us, to distract us. As those who have been crucified with Christ, sin is no longer our ruler. We are not under the law but under grace (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:14).”

    Praying God would remove any apathetic feeling towards sin in my heart and give me a passion to fight against sin everyday in my life. In particular with my mouth. I always say if what comes out of my mouth is not encouraging to others or furthering God’s Kingdom then there is no reason to say it… but how often is this truth I know to be so true in my brain so far from my heart. So convicted by my this. 34 weeks pregnant and thinking about how I want to be such a good example to my daughter of a woman who loves the Lord so deeply and so passionately. I want to get ahold of this struggle but I can’t do it on my own. This is something I’ve always struggled with my entire life. Guarding my tongue. Being gentle. Knowing when to not say anything. Praying God would guard the doors of my lips. Relying on the Lord to fight against this. Because I can’t do it alone. He is my strength. So thankful for His grace and that he doesn’t leave us in our sin!

    • Kristine L

      Kasey I have the same issue with my mouth. I’m quick to speak, quick to judge and let you know it. It’s almost become a joke, but inside I know it’s not funny and I’m not being an example of Christ. Praying with you that our awareness of our words hit BEFORE those words manage to escape our mouths!

    • GramsieSue

      Yes, I too struggle with speaking critical, judgmental words. And I have to remind myself that “What’s down in the well, comes up in the bucket.” I must purify my heart. I must continue to immerse myself in His word. This study has been so convicting to me. Sunday morning I was teaching high school girls and my co-teacher suggested we all pray this week for God to show us just one “wicked way” in us and lead me along your path (Psalms 139:24). Oh yeah. He answers prayer. And thankfully He is right beside us, giving us victory in our struggles. I may not win every time, but day by day, hour by hour I’m being made new. Praise Jesus!

    • Erin

      Thank you Kasey, definitely something I need to work on too. Your post has truly been a blessing to me today, and probably for a long time!

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