United with Me!

Note from JesusDear Disciple,

You have received grace. I died for you when you were “far from God… powerless… weak… wasting [y]our lives in sin” and “in the heat of combat [as enemies]” in your hearts toward the Father (Romans 5:6-10). (See yesterday’s note also.) Because of My sacrificial death, the Father’s love welled up into this great flood of grace.

So what do you do with that grace?

Do you keep sinning so that grace covers more and more sins? That was the kind of reasoning some in Paul’s day had about grace. What Paul wrote the Romans in today’s verses reminded them that something transformational happened in their lives when they were baptized because of their faith.

In today’s verses, Paul reminds you that in baptism you were “joined with” Me and “united with” Me in My death; you were “buried with” Me after your “old sinful selves were crucified with” Me. Because you have been “united with” Me in My death and burial through baptism, you “will also be raised to live as” I now live to honor the Father. Your faith in My death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-5) empowers your baptism to be a participation in these saving events from My life. You died with Me and “were set free from the power of sin” and now you are “alive to God through” My power over sin and death.

Not only have you received grace to be forgiven and cleansed from your sinful past, but you have also received grace to help you overcome the power of sin in your life. You are motivated not to sin because you recognize My sacrificial love and the cost of your redemption. But in addition to motivation, you have the power to “put to death” the sin in your life through the Holy Spirit.

In a few days, you will read what Paul says about the Holy Spirit’s power. I want you to know that the Holy Spirit’s presence gives you the power to overcome the pull of sin and the allure of your selfish and sinful desires:For if your life is just about satisfying the impulses of your sinful nature, then prepare to die. But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life.
(Romans 8:13)The Holy Spirit’s power helps you do what no law could ever do: to be transformed to be like Me (2 Corinthians 3:18) as the Spirit’s fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT) is formed into your new holy life. This new life is yours because of grace. This grace gives you forgiveness and cleansing from past sin. It also gives you the power through the Holy Spirit to live this new life. So Paul closes this powerful chapter on grace with these incredible words of promise:The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift — eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.Verses to LiveI want you to notice as you read these powerful words from My servant, the apostle Paul, that your baptism joins you to Me and unites you with Me and My saving work because of your faith. By faith, you are united with Me in your baptism. My life is now yours. My power over sin is available to you. My future is now your shared future. Paul later writes about this future with Me in his letter to the Colossians:For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, Who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
(Colossians 3:3-4 NLT)So don’t try to earn your salvation — something Paul talks about in the next chapter of Romans — because you have already received salvation by grace through faith. But as Paul emphasizes here, don’t disregard grace or the commitment you made when you were saved. In baptism, you died to sin, so don’t go and give yourself to that cruel task master. Live for your Father because you have tasted the sweetness of His grace!Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!

Forgive me for using casual language to compensate for your natural weakness of human understanding. I want to be perfectly clear. In the same way you gave your bodily members away as slaves to corrupt and lawless living and found yourselves deeper in your unruly lives, now devote your members as slaves to right and reconciled lives so you will find yourselves deeper in holy living.

[N]ow that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift — eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.
(Romans 6:1-15 NLT; Romans 6:19; Romans 6:22-23)Response in PrayerO Father, thank You for Your amazing grace. Thank You for the grace to not only be saved, but to also live life knowing that My future is tied to Jesus because I have been united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. Forgive me for my times of weakness when I turn back to sin. Thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit Who enables Your new life to take hold in my life. Thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit Who helps bring Your righteous character and gracious compassion into my life through His transforming power. I thank You in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

United with Me!
Source: Passion for Praise