Liberated!

What are we saying? Should we carry on sinning, so that grace may increase?

Certainly not! We people who have died to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? Don’t you understand that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by that baptism into his death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we’ve been united with him in a death like his, it’s certain that we shall also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Because we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body which was governed by sin might be done away with and that we would no longer be servants to sin – because anyone who’s died has liberated from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we’ll also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he can’t die again. Death no longer has any power over him. The death he died, he died to sin once and for all. But the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, you should consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God – in Christ Jesus. So don’t give sin the authority over your mortal body to make you obey its evil desires. Don’t offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as people who’ve been brought from death to life. And offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of goodness. For sin shall no longer have authority over you, because you’re not under law but under grace.

What should we do, then? Should we carry on sinning because we’re not under the law but under grace? Certainly not! Don’t you realise that when you present yourselves to anyone, you become servants of whoever you obey – whether it’s servants of sin,which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to honour? But we’re grateful to God that, although you used to be servants of sin, you now obey from the heart that level of teaching to which you’ve made your own. Thus you’ve been liberated from sin and become servants of honour.

I’m using an example from daily life in order to help you: just as you used to offer yourselves as servants of impurity and wickedness, so now you offer yourselves as servants of honour – which leads to purity. When you were servants of sin, you were unhindered by honour. What benefit did you reap at that time from those things you’re now ashamed of? The only outcome is death! But now you’ve been liberated from sin and become servants of God, the benefit you reap leads to purity, which will result in eternal life. For the wages sin pays is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul

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