I’ve been reading the second half of Romans 6, it’s a bountiful garden of slap-in-the-face-wake-up-calls.
Starting in verse 15, Paul reiterates his view at the beginning of the chapter, that we should not sin just because we are under grace. Here’s a catch for the rebel in you: if you’re disobeying God, you’re obeying someone else. And you make yourself a team player, a part, a slave, to that someone else.
Think about colleges. For the most part, we’re proud to say, “yeah, i’m going to UCLA,” or “yeah, I’m going to UCSB, etc.” But ask someone who’s going to a community college, and they’ll mutter, “mmmweell I’m going to Mooorrparrkk for now BUT I’m planning to transfer in two years, PLUS it’s cheaper!”
Let’s get this straight-there’s so many benefits of going to community colleges, but we won’t get into that now – the point is that whatever we owe our allegiance to, we want to be proud of. And if I have to be subservient to someone, I’d rather have an all-powerful God be my master rather than be co-enslaved by sin and death, both of whom by the way, have been thoroughly thrashed by the God team.
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. -Romans 6:17-18
Key phrase here: obedient from the heart. Let’s forget for a moment our church-going activities, our worship singing, our youth groups, and small groups. Obedience from the heart doesn’t come from there, and it doesn’t start there. It starts in your bedroom, in your living room, in your mind, in your heart, at the time of day when you’re pressured, at the time of night when you’re tempted.
Verse 19 doesn’t hold anything back either,
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. – Romans 6:19
All I have to say is….ditto: what Paul said!
This is the battle I’m fighting right now. And the same struggles are, at this moment, “beating around my head with awful wings,” as they did with Simon in Lord of the Flies.
I thank God that my conscience, that the Holy Spirit in me, has woken up once more to the state of my weak flesh.
Matthew West sings a song that goes:
I don’t want to go through the motions, I don’t wanna go one more day, without your all consuming passion inside of me. I don’t want to spend my whole life asking, “what if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?”
This is the cry of my heart right now. I’m one sucker and a failing sinner, but I’m sick of it. You with me?