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How are you doing, halfway through Romans? I find it really challenging to preach this book, but nevertheless, we persist.
Commentary at Working Preacher is here.
Passage - Week - Middle - Paul - Arguments
Our passage this week drops into the middle of one of Paul’s arguments. It may be worth looking back to chapter 5, where it begins. In 5:20, Paul writes, “….but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more“. It’s not, maybe how I would have made my argument, but since that’s where he goes, he has to respond to the resulting claim that more sin is good business for grace, giving it lots of opportunity to shine.
“Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means!”
Part - Passage - Life - Dependent - Sin
And this gets us to the part of this passage I love. Continuing to live a life dependent on sin means you haven’t been transformed by grace. Paul’s not arguing that once you love Jesus you won’t make mistakes. He’s arguing you’ll be living under a new economy, a new realm, a new creation–one where the economy of sin and death has been replaced by life in Christ.
For Paul, when we are baptized, as Jesus was baptized, we join into his life, death, and resurrection. And if we are people who have been made victorious over death (as Jesus was) then our lives should reflect the new creation.
Image - Helpful - People - World - Sin
The image that’s helpful for me of people living under the old world (sin, death) when the new world is set before them comes from a scene at the end of CS Lewis’ the Last Battle, the final book of the Narnia series.
Aslan has destroyed the old Narnia and brought people to the new Narnia. War is no more. There is a banquet set before them. Clear skies and clean water in the rivers. And the dwarves, who have been...
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