Live New Lives

By Scarlett Stough

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.
Romans 6:4 NLT

We are told in the letter to the Romans we are free to follow God, no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:5-7). The wages of sin is still death; but because of Jesus' atonement for us, we are no longer under the sentence of death (Romans 6:23). As Paul wrote, this does not mean we are free to break God's laws (Romans 6:1-4). His word to us is for our good. If we ignore it and refuse to do what God says to do, how are we living a new life?

How do we go about living this new life?

We start with repentance (turning to God’s way), receiving baptism which is immersion in water, symbolizing our death to our old way of life and rising to live a new life, and receiving and living by the Holy Spirit. We also need instruction by reading and applying the Holy Scriptures. Anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time at all has heard this before. It doesn't hurt to hear it repeated again, and again, and again lest we forget.

The letter to the Romans, which is meant to be read by all Christians during every generation, doesn't leave us without practical application instruction. We are reminded the Greatest Commandment is to love God and also, to love our neighbor. How do we do that?--by reading and applying this amazing, ancient, and still relevant letter addressed to "all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints" (Romans 1:7). Are you loved by God? Are you called to be a saint? Then this letter is written to you.

We are released from the sentence of death, but not so we can continue to live in the way that leads to death. Law cannot give life; only God gives life. Law or Instruction or Word of God teaches us what not to do as in: it is not love to murder or steal or break our marriage vows; it is love to relieve the hunger of those who need food instead of stealing what little they have—just as an example.

Paul's letters are often misunderstood (2 Peter 3:14-18). All of Scripture must be read carefully. We can all make the mistake of reading our bias into any writing. Paul was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, taught by Jesus. The Word (or Law) of God teaches us how to live good lives, Jesus is our Way to life, and the Holy Spirit is our Guide so we can grow into the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Each day we must choose—live a holy life pleasing to God or conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:1-2).

Volume 17 Issue 02 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation |

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