“I HAD NO CHOICE!!!”
Take some time to think about all the times you have made that excuse to justify the mistakes or failures in the past. The truth of the matter is, that most of the time we do indeed have a choice but we chose incorrectly and the reason is because we either didn’t want to make the more difficult right choice or we are refusing to own up to the mistakes that we made so we make an excuse to hide from the punishment that is coming our way. But as it states in 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casts out fear,” when we receive the love of God fully, the fear of punishment is gone because of the perfect love of Jesus has given us the opportunity of being forgiven for eternity. The crazy thing about being forgiven by God for all eternity because of love is that we too have the power to forgive others unconditionally as well.
In the beginning of today’s passage, Paul throws out hypothetical responses that his readers may have in regards to grace and flat out stomps on the ground the foolishness of such questions in regards to a twisted view of grace.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Paul is stating that if we died to our former sinful selves so that we can be born again as Christians because of Jesus, than we must live in a new and completely different way than before. The grace of being forgiven doesn’t simply get rid of sin in our lives but gives us a completely new life in Jesus so that the forgiveness serves as a bridge to living out the forgiven (holy) life in Christ. So at the end of today’s passage, Paul gives a resounding set of exhortations for the new life we are able to live in Christ by underlying the concept that it will be up to us and our choices as to what path we will take.
Let us not let sin reign in our mortal bodies
Do not obey sin
Do not present yourselves to sin but to God
There is a saying that if we don’t want to slip than don’t walk where it's slippery! Sin has a pattern in our lives. To help combat sin through the power of the Holy Spirit may begin by identifying the situations, circumstances, or environments that tempt us to sin. If we know that if we hang out with certain people or go to certain places where we will be tempted to sin, than a sign of spiritual maturity is not going to those places and fighting temptation but not even presenting ourselves with the situation to sin! We present ourselves the opportunity to sin when we should just not even go there to begin with! Paul is saying that if we are so inclined to present ourselves to sin, the counter to that is setting our circumstances in such a way as to present ourselves to God who will then continue to lead us in freedom.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE! What Jesus does on the cross and resurrection is finally give you the opportunity to choose God over sin and to have that be a posture for eternity. What powerful choices do you have to make today to live out the forgiven life you already have in Jesus?