22.04.19 – Romans 6.12-14 – Instruments for righteousness

In the fourteenth century two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in what is now Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus,”a Latin nickname meaning “fat”.

After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him and assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised a sneaky solution. He had a room in the castle built around Crassus, a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald that he could regain his land and his title any time that he wanted to. All he would have to do is leave the room. The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near-normal size. All Raynald needed to do was slim down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had had before his defeat. However, his younger brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty treats, and Raynald’s desire to be free never beat his desire to eat (adapted from EnduringWord).

Today Paul writes on how we should use our bodies (your members) to please God,

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Paul has previously written that we are to consider ourselves dead to sin (6.11) in such a way that as the ways of the world have no influence over someone who has passed away, the ways of sin are to have no influence over us. Rather, Paul writes to the Romans, we are to present our bodies, our whole selves, to God as those who have been brought from death to life. 

Isn’t that what we celebrated yesterday? Being brought from death to life?

Isn’t that what Paul wrote about in 6.4-5? 

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

See, the Easter story isn’t self-contained and separate from the rest of God’s Word to us. It is one wonderful, seminal, foundational, and formative part, for sure, but the interconnectivity and interconnectedness of God’s Word is mind-blowing. 


Sin now has no dominion over us, death has no power over us, for we are not under law but under grace. We truly have been raised to a new life to walk in newness of life. 

All this considered, considering that sin no longer reigns over us, that we have a choice to not obey its passions, we have the power in us to make this choice, the logical question is how are we presenting our bodies?, and to what are we presenting them?


Point to ponder – Am I presenting my body to sin’s passions, or as a living sacrifice to God?

Prayer – Father, we thank you for the world-changing, paradigm-shifting events that took place on that first Easter weekend all those years ago. We thank you that one consequence of that is the fact that we can now present our bodies to you as instruments of righteousness, and that you have broken sin’s hold over us. Amen. 

18.04.19 – Christ Is Risen – Thursday Music

This weekend is Easter weekend, the most important three days in the history of the world. God the Son, God in human form took upon Himself the sins of the world, died a death to sin, and three days later rose from the dead, declaring victory over sin and death forever. That being said, it seems only logical that we look at an Easter-themed song for our Thursday music. Christ Is Risen by Phil Wickham sings of the triumph of Christ all those years ago.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

For I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

It starts off familiar looking, borrowing a verse from the classic hymn Amazing Grace, but to a different tune. The message is still the same though, God’s grace is amazing and saves all who call upon it.

The prodigal is welcomed home

The sinner now a saint

For the God who died came back to life

And everything is changed

This references the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-32), and alludes to the thief on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23.39-43). The fact that this man repented so close to death gives us hope for those who do not yet know Jesus that there is always time.

The God who died came back to life, and everything is changed…could there be a more succinct summary of Easter weekend?

The chorus then echoes the foundational, formative truth of our faith, without which we simply don’t have what we think we have,

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

Can you imagine what His disciples felt when they saw Him?

Can you imagine what you will feel when you see Him face to face?

I’d suggest this may be right up there, Hallelujah, Christ is risen from the grave!

Secular historians confirm that His death was real and really happened, what makes Christianity distinctly Christian is the fact that Christ is risen from the grave!

O death, where is your sting?

O fear, where is your power?

For the mighty King of kings has disarmed you

Delivered and redeemed

Eternal life is ours

O praise His name forever

Here we think back to 1 Corinthians 15.55-57, 

“O death, where is your victory?

 O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


And on the day You call me in

To heaven’s sweet embrace

I’ll see Your scars, Your open arms

And the beauty of Your face

Through tears of joy, I’ll lift my voice

In everlasting praise

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

The day we meet Jesus face to face will be the sweetest day we can ever imagine, and then some (Revelation 22.4), and as the old saying goes, the only man-made thing in heaven will be the scars we will see on our Lord and Saviour (John 20.24-27). We will join the heavenly host in a cycle of never-ending praise (Revelation 4.1-11), and this is all available to us because Christ is risen from the grave!

Have a great Easter weekend!