Have you ever adopted a child or known someone who has? It’s a long and arduous process. At the end, when the child becomes part of his/her new family, any authority that the previous guardians, parents, or government entity had over this child no longer exists. He or she is “dead” to his/her previous life. Through adoption, the child now has a new name, a new status, a new identity.
Will he/she continue to identify with the person he/she was before the papers were signed? Perhaps, even though the child now exists in an entirely new situation. Will the child continue to behave as he/she did before the adoption was final? Most likely, because it takes some time to adjust to a new reality, to accept that what once was true of one’s self is no longer true.
Romans 6 says the same of us when we are born again into Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul explains to his readers how, since all our sin is forgiven— past, present, and future — it is no longer our identity to be sinners.
15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you.
We have died to our old selves. We have been born again, adopted, immersed, into a new family—the family of God. We are now sons and daughters of the King. What used to have power over us, no longer does because when we died, all that was true of us when we were alive died too. You are no longer a liar, an adulterer, a substance abuser, a cheat, a thief, a gossip. When we are born again, we are new creations in Christ. We are now under his grace, and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
But just as with a child who has been newly adopted, it takes a while to grasp and live in this new reality. These children often test the love and affection of their new parents, and often we followers of Jesus do the same with our heavenly Father. But we are no longer slaves to sin. That bears repeating: We are no longer slaves to sin. We are slaves to God and his righteousness. God’s grace has set us free, but satisfying the payment for our sin cost Jesus his life. May we live lives worthy of his sacrifice.
22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do you struggle with the same sin over and over?
How can you access the power to have victory over this sin?
Sin is no longer your master. Attend GrowthTrack or Celebrate Recovery for help in making this truth a reality in your life.
Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for your gift of grace, an unmerited favor that I could never earn on my own . Help me live out of the fact that I am a new creation in Christ because of your free gift. I submit to your leadership and lordship in my life today, and every day. Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook.
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