This post is still in a mostly-draft state, but I wanted to publish it anyways for sharing.
What does it look like to be a slave to sin, or a slave to the flesh?
- I just can’t stop drinking/smoking/taking this substance
- I just can’t stop my anger
- I just can’t stop getting into arguments and strife on Facebook
- I just can’t stop looking at pornography
Or replace “I just can’t stop …” with “I could stop … any time”. The Bible defines the deeds of the flesh in Galatians 5:16-25
adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these
Romans 6:2 - live any longer in sin? (no)
Romans 6:3 - baptized into Christ’s death
Romans 6:3-6 - baptize -> death -> old man crucified -> no longer slaves to sin (truth)
Romans 6:7 - died -> freed from sin
Romans 6:10 - Christ died once for all. Must He die again for your sin? No, you’ve already got it.
Romans 6:12 - Therefore, don’t let sin reign. You’re not a victim. You’re not powerless. You have the choice to let it reign (truth). Why? because of previous section
Romans 6:13 - “present your members”. This is actionable. What does it look like to “present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness”? Consider any work of the flesh. What are you doing with the members of your physical body right before you do that sin? Some examples:
- Sitting down in front of a computer alone (if the sin is pornography)
- Driving to a certain place or calling a certain person (if the sin is adultery)
- Extending your hand out (if the sin is being violent)
- Tapping the “expand” button to see more comments on a controversial Facebook post (if the sin is strife)
- Opening up the cabinet where you keep alcohol (if the sin is drunkenness)
What could it look like to “present your members as instruments of righteousness to God”? When you wake up, whatever member of your body you have previously used for unrighteousness, pray and decide that you’ll use that part for good. For example: “Lord, I present my hands as instruments of righteousness. You gave me these for taking care of my family, not hurting them”
Romans 6:16 - present yourself slaves to obey
Romans 7:7-12 - commandment -> death. This is one piece of dying w/ Christ. Let the commandment bring grief and sorrow over your sin. To bring death.
Romans 7:13 - commandment makes sin exceedingly sinful.
verses 7-13 are actionable. Whatever sin you’re a slave to, keep the commandment close by. For example, write it out, put it on your bathroom mirror. Recite it when you’re feeling temptation. Read it after you sin and let it bring grief to you.
Romans 7:23 - defines “law of sin”. What we call “struggling” w/ some sin.
Romans 8:1-3 - walk according to the Spirit. Spirit of Life in Christ. -> free from “law of sin”. truth. Free from whatever you’re “struggling” with.
Romans 8:5 - Set your mind on flesh/Spirit -> live according to flesh/Spirit. actionable: set your mind.
Romans 8:9 - Scripture basically states
Have Spirit -> not in flesh. Don’t have Spirit -> you are not His.
If you take the “contrapositive” of that first bit, this becomes:
In the flesh -> don’t have Spirit. Don’t have Spirit -> you are not His.
Simplify that, it becomes:
In the flesh -> you are not His.
That’s terrifying, and it should be! Let that be what motivates you to overcome the flesh, if nothing else has yet.
Romans 8:12-17 - Read this and be encouraged. If you crucify your flesh, being led by the Spirit, you’re a child of God. So we’re also heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, that we may also be glorified with him!