Saturday, March 29, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Twenty Four

Here is my translation of Chapter 6--

"Well then, should we continue dwelling in the land of evil in order to obtain more free gifts from God? HECK NO! (okay, I'd be even stronger if it wouldn't give the fundamentalists a heart attack because it is an emphatic no here!). Since we have left that land behind we shouldn't seek to return. Don't you know that all of us who have been baptized into King Jesus died with him? We were buried with our King by baptism and just as our King rose from the dead by the powerful hand of the Father, now we also have been raised to wholly different lives.

So, if we were with him in his death, then we will also be united with him when we are resurrected just as he was. So know this, your old, evil, rebellious self was crucified with him in order that our perverse existence would be annihilated, so that we would no longer be slaves to this evil rebellion. For the one who died has set us free from evil. Now, if we are so close to Christ that we died with him then we also trust that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has any power over him. His death defeated evil and he now lives to glorify God! So you too should consider yourselves dead to evil and capable to live for the glory of God through King Jesus.

Do not let evil control the way you live. Do not give in to its seductive call. Do not let any part of your body become a weapon of evil to be used to rebel against God. Instead give everything you are to God since you have been given a new life and use your whole body as a weapon to fight for the glory of God! Evil is no longer your king for you are no longer subject to rules which Satan uses to enslave you. Instead you are free thanks to the free gift of God.

"So, Paul, since God has graciously freed us from the law does this mean we can go on doing evil?" Heck no! (again, see note on above parenthesis). Understand something, whatever you choose to obey is your king! You can choose evil, which leads to death or you can choose to obey God and be reconciled to Him. Thank God!!! Once you were slaves to evil but now you have obeyed, with everything you have, the new teaching God has given you. Now you are free from evil, your old master, and you have become soldiers to new your new king--justice!

Please note, I'm speaking to you this way, using the example of slaves and masters, because it easy to understand.

Before you came to know our King, you allowed yourselves to be slaves of perversion and rebellion. Now you must choose to be slaves of justice so that you might be set apart for God's great plan.

In the past, when you were slaves of evil, you didn't care about doing what is right and what was the result? It wasn't good because now you are ashamed of the things you used to do, things that lead to eternal torture but now you are free from the power of evil and you have become obedient soldiers of God. Now you do those things that lead to godliness and result in eternal life. For the payment one receives for evil is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through King Jesus our deliverer, teacher and high priest.