SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jewish believers, who had lived under a strict law for thousands of years, were now learning what grace was and was not. As a result, some people thought it was ok to keep sinning after becoming a follower of Jesus. Paul emphatically answers no. Yes, God's grace is big, but we are to offer ourselves to God instead of sin.
- He uses the example of baptism to explain how it works. Baptism is when a person is lowered under water and then raised out of it. This is a symbol of dying with Christ and being raised to new life in him. Death and sin had no hold on Jesus. And when we give our lives to God, sin no longer holds us.
- If we love Jesus, we cannot let sin rule our lives. Sin reaps death, but following God reaps eternal life.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We are all slaves. Yep, that's right. Just like the Bob Dylan songs says, it doesn't matter who you are but "you're gonna have to serve somebody." You can either serve sin which leads to destruction death or serve God. The choice is yours.
- Baptism is for people who have put their faith in Jesus and want to live with and for God. It is a beginning point, not an ending point. Have you been baptized? If you believe in Jesus, you need to be. To learn more about baptism, listen to the message we did on it here. We will be doing baptisms at Verve in the next few weeks; if you're interested, let us know.
- What is your attitude about sin? Is it something you do when you feel like it? Do you even think about it? Do you avoid sin, but miss the things you used to do? We need to have the right perspective on sin. It is an unloving action toward God, ourselves, and other people. It is a choice to go against God's plan for my life. It is a decision to distance myself from intimacy with God and/or people. That's why we need to say no to sin, and instead live according to God's plan of love for our lives.