June 19

Romans 6:1b-11

“Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?” vss. 1b-2

At some point it became fashionable for Christians to speak of their personal relationship to Jesus and many have become comfortable with that kind of talk. They’ve learned to recount the story of their conversion and what it is like to have Jesus come into their lives. In some parts of the church such testimony is a favored evangelism tool. Obviously it’s good to be able to speak of faith in personal terms, and some of us have encounters with Jesus that are worth sharing, but to make salvation dependent on personal experience is contrary to the gospel. It is Christ who has died to sin and now leads a new life. That happened a long time ago on the cross, and by grace it is for all people. Now when Paul proclaimed that message, some concluded that they could do whatever they pleased, that their actions were immaterial. Paul disagrees vehemently! Since we are in Christ and he is dead to sin, that ought to be our modus operandi too! But he always speaks in terms of the community, not the individual! And it’s not our salvation that he’s concerned about–that’s been taken care of–it’s our response to salvation that’s on his mind. And that’s what should be on our minds too! How shall we respond to the grace that has saved us, doing what we please, or what pleases God?

Thought for the Day: When did I figure out that salvation is by grace?

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