Category: Daily Devotionals

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:15-23

Romans 6:16 “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

The misconception about freedom is that it means you can do anything you want, anytime you want, and to anyone you want.  The lie is that choosing freedom means choosing liberation from a master, that you are your own boss.  Paul’s point in this verse is that there is no such thing as that in this world.  If you choose self or Satan or sin, which are really one in the same thing, you are a slave to that master.  You will do precisely as it dictates you do, whether you think you’re in control or not.  This choice is self-serving and painful;  the only end result is death.  If you choose God, then your Master is good and gracious and kind, wanting nothing but what is good and right for you.  Choosing obedience is choosing righteousness, which results in life eternal.  We follow one course or another in this life and every course has its rules.  Which course do you choose?

Study/Meditation:  How is sin confining?  How might you convince an unbeliever that this is so?

*Father, You are my Master and my God.  I choose to seek You and to live by Your mandates and laws.  I know that You have my best interests in mind and I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:15-23

Romans 6:15 “What then?  Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?  By no means!”

Paul asked a very similar question in verse 1 of this chapter.  His rhetorical question is basically, “Since we’re free from the law, can we do whatever we want?  Are we free from the laws of the Old Testament?”  The problem with how some answer this question is a misunderstanding of what “grace freedom” actually is.  You see, our problem isn’t the rules or the Old Testament laws; they are not the things that bound us.  Our problem is sin.  We were bound to sin.  Grace gives freedom that addresses our problem—sin.  It frees us from the condemnation brought by the law because we were bound by sin.  Being under grace does not mean that we aren’t morally bound to the keeping of God’s Law, which is simply a reflection of His character.  Being under grace means that we aren’t condemned by the Law.  Instead we are sanctified, justified, saved, and we are freed by God’s grace to love His Law and His statutes so that our desire is to keep them.

Study/Meditation:  Paul addresses this issue again in 1 Corinthians 15:56-58.  Read that passage and think about what Paul is teaching there and in our passage today from Romans about sin, death, and the law.

*Father, thank You for Your grace that frees me from the bondage of sin.  Thank You for this grace that covers my sin and gives me the ability to love Your Law to keep it.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:1-14

Romans 6:14 “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

It might be relatively easy to be confused by Paul’s wording here.  After all, the law tells us what we should and should not do, so it would seem to make sense that being under it would result in sin having no dominion over us.  Here is the problem:  whereas the law instructs on what to do, it doesn’t enable us to do it.  That’s what grace does.  Without grace, we would stand under condemnation in the face of the law with no ability or desire to keep it.  This would lead only to condemnation and the dominion of sin over us.  Grace, on the other hand, gives us the capability to obey the law by instilling in us a desire to do so.  Praise God that He has granted to His children His grace so that sin does not reign in us.

Study/Meditation:  How is it that living under the law would give sin dominion in your life?  How does living under grace enable you to obey the law?

*Father, thank You for Your grace.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:1-14

Romans 6:13 “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

Having been freed from the bondage of slavery to sin, believers must consciously devote every part of their bodies and minds to righteousness.  As stated before, though saved we are still living this life in fallen bodies which are often guided by our fallen states of mind.  We must recognize our own propensity for sin and then make a decisive effort to use every part of us—mind, body, and heart—for the sake of righteousness in God’s work.  This is not an automatic function once we are redeemed.  That’s why Paul makes this point in verse 13, telling us to purposefully give all of ourselves to righteousness, thereby keeping all of ourselves from unrighteousness.  It takes discipline and training to do this, which is why Paul also refers to this life in many other instances as a race or a fight.  We are to fight the good fight and run the good race.  This can only be accomplished through training and discipline.

Study/Meditation:  In what ways can you discipline and train yourself to present all of you as an instrument for righteousness rather than one for unrighteousness?

*Father, help me as I seek to give all of myself to You and to Your work.  Help me see the areas of my life that need refining and rededication to You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:1-14

Romans 6:12 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.”

Paul just wrote in the sentence above this one that we are to know who we are in Christ.  Now he is saying that once we know who we are, we must act like who we are in Christ.  However, he makes an important distinction in this directive, one we should not overlook.  Paul is absolutely not saying that being a Christian requires being without sin.  By virtue of the fact that he uses the phrase “let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies” demonstrates that sin is in there.  He wouldn’t direct us against giving it reign if it wasn’t already there.  The fact of the matter is that we sin.  What he is directing us toward is the place sin holds within us now that we are in Christ.  It does not rule us.  We are ruled by the Holy Spirit and our subsequent desires for righteousness.  This is the battle we face in these mortal bodies, but it is one over which we have victory now that we are in Christ.  Know who you are and behave as you have been made to be.  That’s the mysterious joy of living in Christ.

Study/Meditation:  What is the distinction between when sin reigns in you and when you sin even though it does not reign in you?  Where do you find your strength in this battle?

*Father, help me as I battle sin in my life.  Thank You for placing the Holy Spirit in me to rule and reign there.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 6:1-14

Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

It is extremely difficult for many Christians to view themselves as redeemed.  They think they’ve done too much, sinned too much to see themselves in any other way than through the lens of this sin.  They may say something like, “I know me.  I know who I am and what I’ve done.”  Paul is reminding us to really know ourselves.  Yes, we sin because we are sinners, but we are sinners who have been made new.  Paul says, “Consider yourselves dead to sin.”  In other words, “Know who you are now.  Know that you are not only a sinner who still battles sin, but you are a sinner who has been redeemed and in whose body sin no longer holds dominion.”  And then even more than that, Paul is reminding us that not only does sin no longer reign in us but that Christ  does.  Know who you are.  You are the very Bride of Christ, the redeemed of the Lamb.  This is not the power of positive thinking; this is redemption done fully and completely for us by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  You are redeemed, and that by the blood of the Lamb.

Study/Meditation:  What is the difference between what Paul is preaching in Romans 6:11 and what Norman Vincent Peale haled in “The Power of Positive Thinking”?  (Hint:  Who is at the center of each teaching?)  Why is it so imperative that believers live in what Paul teaches?

*Father, thank You that I am redeemed.  Thank You that I have been set free from the bondage of sin and that I am alive in You.  Amen.