Pauls Footsteps #313

Footsteps #313  V11 echoes v5 and his previous discussion on the watery grave of baptism. V5 was not speaking about the future resurrection at the end of time, but rather our present experience. Christians are not only dead to sin but “alive to God in Christ Jesus.” 

As Christians, we have something new and different about us. Once we had no interest in Bible study, but now we hear the voice of God in it. We enjoy its study. Once we believed that apologising for our faults and serving others indicated weakness, but now we want to be in a good relationship with and be a blessing to others. What has made the difference? God has changed us. Having become alive to Him, we are new creatures. We have new horizons and new goals. We are no longer satisfied with the “stuff” of this world. Of course, looking back, we realise that possessing things never really satisfied us anyway. But we tried to keep up the illusion. Christians however, have been freed from illusionary living. We realise that beautiful homes and fancy cars will someday be gone; that diversionary entertainment will eventually pass away. Like Abraham, knowing ourselves to be only pilgrims here, we look forward to “a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). Being alive to God makes a difference in our life. 

V12 is very realistic in the sense that on the one hand, it holds in tension that Christians do not need to let sin reign in (or control) their lives because of Christ’s victory. But on the other hand, it raises the issue that even born-again Christians still find themselves tempted by the twitches of the flesh. His exhortation assumes that sin is still there and that we are not to let it have its old place of superiority. Sin has no power to control a believer unless the believer chooses to “obey its lusts”. Peter makes a similar appeal in 1 Peter 2:9-11. 

Christians become citizens of God’s kingdom the moment they come to Christ. At that very time, they turn into aliens and strangers to Satan’s realm of sin and death. But, Paul tells us in v12, sin is still a force even though it is no longer supreme. It remains but does not reign.

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