Free From Sin
For sin will no longer be a master over you, since you are not under Law [as slaves], but under [unmerited] grace [as recipients of God’s favour and mercy]. (Romans 6:14) This is a very comforting verse to be honest. Usually I take the NIV version, but today I want to look at the AMPlified version simply because it is more poignant. First of all, sin will no longer master us. I don't know about you but it can often feel like I'm not in control of myself when I cave in to temptation. Sin can very much master me in that sense.
It feels horrid when you feel like you don't have control over a matter or a say in how things play out. I'm sure anyone who has experienced being under the absolute authority of another being can testify as to how uncomfortable and disturbing such a sensation is. To be absolutely powerless; almost a living puppet. Honestly it's an unearthly feeling, almost terrifying.
Yet here Paul tells us that we no longer will be mastered by sin, because we are no longer under the Law. The Law here is both metaphorical and literal. Literally, Paul was speaking about the Laws of the Torah or legalities in general. Held to those standards, the Jews and even the Gentiles would have been condemned many times over for their actions, to the point where repentance and salvation were so far away concepts that it made no sense to pursue them.
However, apart from the Law, we are no longer judged. We are safe in the understanding that we are no longer held responsible. We are held accountable, because of our knowledge and consciences, but we are no longer responsible for Christ died on the cross. We are apart from the system that was set to condemn and to punish; rather we were given a chance to skip tracks to a system of redemption, grace and forgiveness.
Indeed, the AMPlified version makes it clear: the grace we receive as part of God's favour and mercy, is unmerited. We do not deserve the grace that has been imparted to us. We are recipients to something that we are wholly incapable of earning. All the more because of this, the grace that we have is precious. It came at a cost not to us, but to the one who showed us grace. It makes no sense and it doesn't have to.
Can you imagine giving grace to someone at your own heavy expense? I don't think anyone would do that. Paul rightly says in Romans 5: very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God shows his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Take a moment to let that sink in.
So given all this, should we still sin? No. Paul immediately follows up with the explanation that we should not continue sinning because we are dead to sin. Of course, we will stumble and fall but sinning purposefully for the sake of it is not something that we should do. Alas, even as Christians who put our whole faith in God that can sometimes be difficult. But by grace, let us strive towards being better and living up to the grace that was rendered to us, that we might one day be able to face God with a clear conscience.
Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.