It's Your Independence Day
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace. Romans 6:14
Like so many others on 4th of July, my wife and I will probably wake to smiling children crowding our bed, bursting with excitement over the celebrations this day brings.
We know Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence but what does this day look like for you? For us it means, we'll break out the grill, there will be scorched hot dogs; Popsicles will melt down chins; We'll play games yelling and screaming; Water wares will freely commence; We may even load the car, head downtown and join thousands of people we don't know from all walks of life; Sitting bunched together in a sea of people riveted by the riotous explosion of colors in the sky; It means we'll celebrate our freedoms together. Freedom to speak our minds; Freedom to dream big dreams and pursue them but most importantly, freedom to worship our God, without oppression, without tyranny. It's a celebration to remember to never take these liberties for granted or to forget what those who have gone before us have given for these liberties. Spiritually speaking this day is a reminder of something so much more profound.
Paul reminds us in this passage above that we too can celebrate a sort of Spiritual Independence Day because of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has made for you and I on the cross. Though we can never say in this life that we are free from all sin (1 John 1:8,10), we also should never say, “This one sin has defeated me, I give up.” The power of Christ's resurrection at work within us is greater than the power of any sin, no matter how long you have been wrestling with it in your life (Romans 8:11). To be under the law is to be operating in a system of trying to earn salvation with your own efforts by obeying the law, but to be under grace is to be made right (justified) and to live by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ who lives in you once you accept his gift of salvation. We can daily die to sin through all the resources that grace provides. Paul is not saying here, that it does not matter if Christians disobey God's moral commands, because they are no longer “under the law.” That goes against Paul's whole discussion of sin and its effects. Although the enemy is hard at work and trying to lead you into sin (1 Peter 5:9), he does not need to be obeyed. He tries to convince us that little sins are ok; He may even stir up fear and if we do sin, he's right there to accuse you and I before God (Revelations 12:10). But his power to control you is gone! Jesus has destroyed sin's power and is no longer your master! You are no longer its slave! This is your Spiritual Independence Day! For me and my family this 4th of July, we revel in our God and thank Him for our liberty.
1. What are you thankful for as you reflect on this Independence Day?
2. What specifically do you need to do this week to count yourself dead to sin but alive to Christ?
3. What one area of your life/sin are you needing to experience freedom from? Give it to the Lord today!