Romans 6:12-23 (VOICE) 12 Don’t invite that insufferable tyrant of sin back into your mortal body so you won’t become obedient to its destructive desires. 13 Don’t offer your bodily members to sin’s service as tools of wickedness; instead, offer your body to God as those who are alive from the dead, and devote the parts of your body to God as tools for justice and goodness in this world. 14 For sin is no longer a tyrant over you; indeed you are under grace and not the law.
One of my favorite books when I was little was Corduroy. As I rediscovered it as I read it to our children, I found that it still held all of the wonder and joy that it did for me as a child, and perhaps now I appreciate the deeper meaning in the story as well.
If you are not familiar, Corduroy tells the story of the bear of the same name. A bear that is stuck at the store for a long time because of a missing button, but who eventually is found and loved by a girl who saves up, buys him, brings him home, and loves him.
The power of the story is in it’s simplicity. While it is never said explicitly, it is clear to all of us that the love the girl has for Corduroy – even with his missing button – transforms the bear and his understanding of himself and his worth. Pretty deep for a story book!
This is the subject matter that Paul is discussing here in Romans 6, not teddy bears, but the critical question: What is it that defines you? Paul makes the case that before Jesus and the grace, love, and forgiveness that comes to us through Jesus, we are all defined by our sin. In fact, Paul says, we are slaves to that sin.
But when Jesus enters the picture, his love and grace transform us and give us a new way of understanding and defining ourselves. God’s love, shown to us in Jesus Christ, has transformed us from slaves of sin into free daughters and sons, adopted into the family of God by grace.
We have been freed from the chains of sin and death by the grace, love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, and God has claimed us as his own. Aware to this truth, do not let anything else define you any more, you are a beloved child of God.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer : Lord, remind us that we are not what we have or don’t have, what we have done or left undone, but we are first and foremost your daughters and sons. Amen.