Rom 6:1-11 What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Paul writes to the Roman Christians about sin. He begins the letter by inviting his readers to escape the consequences of sin through faith in Jesus (Justification). He now discusses life after forgiveness (Sanctification). He has moved from freedom from the penalty of sin, to freedom from the power of sin.Paul offers an invitation to live a forgiven life that is “no longer enslaved to sin”. He explains that this is possible when “we have been united with him” (suvmfutoi, sumphutoi). This union is not our achievement, but is the gift of God, gained through faith in Jesus. When I surrender my life to the way of Jesus, I discover that Jesus chooses to walk alongside me. Instead of me attempting to avoid the “potholes” of sin in the road, it is Jesus with me who enables me to spot them before I even get there.
Thought: Let us focus on growing our friendship with Jesus, and allow him to guide us away from the potholes of a sinful life.
The Sixth Sunday after EpiphanyThe Rewards of Ministry
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.84