Freedom Series: Sin and Death

Sin and Death

When I started thinking about this series, one of the freedoms that stood out to me first was the Freedom from Sin and Death.  (If you missed yesterday’s post on Freedom from Burden, be sure to check it out, here…)  Prior to becoming a Disciple, I had a general idea of what that meant. But, after studying more and digging deeper into the Bible, I realized I knew very little.  And, I definitely was not thanking God enough for the amazing gift He gave to us…

Beginning in Sunday School, we are taught about Heaven, and the wonderful place it is.  We are taught that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, was crucified, and died for our sins.  Then, he rose from the dead and now is with his Father, God, in Heaven.  And, if we believe in Him, we can go there, too.

If you asked a random person on the street, I’d bet you’d get a similar recant of the information, without a lot of differences.

But, just because we know what happened doesn’t mean we know what it really means to us.

Sin leads to Death

If we sin, we die.

Not trying to be overly dramatic, here, but that’s just what happens.

For the wages of sin is death…                Romans 6:23

Granted, this isn’t necessarily an immediate death.  But, it is an eventual consequence for our actions.

Galatians 5 shows us what sins are – and what happens when we commit sins.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.        Galatians 5:19-21

So, now that we have a master list of what not to do, it’s all good, right?

I wish it were that easy for me.  (Check out my post on the Sliminess of Sin.  Pretty sure I should read it again, myself…) After all, there are many other reminders of what can happen if we keep disobeying and sinning.

Paul gives an example in 1 Corinthians –

…sin – the sting that causes death…         1 Corinthians 15:56

But, if we go back to our Sunday School story, we know that Jesus died and took away the sins of the world…

Yes, and Paul talked about how that affected us in Romans –

Before, sin ruled over all men and brought them to death, but now God’s kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                          Romans 5:21

But, there is even more to it.  Just because Jesus died for us, doesn’t give us an automatic ticket to Heaven.  We need to take some responsibility here, too.  Sin can still lead to death, so how do we stop sinning?

How do we get Freedom from Sin?

On our own, we can’t.  Sinning is in our nature.  (Sinful nature sound familiar??)  But, that doesn’t mean we are destined to follow it.

We need help.

Thankfully, God gave us exactly what we need.  (Of course, He did!) He gave us a way to turn away from our sin and not be under its control.

For the power of the life-giving Spirit – and this power is mine though Christ Jesus – has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.                 Romans 8:2

Once again, the Holy Spirit enters the picture to help us out.  As I wrote in God’s Peace, we need to allow ourselves to be governed by the Spirit.

Then, the real question is, how do we accept the gift of the Holy Spirit?  That leads into our gift of Freedom from Death…

How do we get Freedom from Death?

Now, the really good news!  (It just keeps getting better…)

The last half of Romans 6:23 reads –

but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                    Romans 6:23

So, we have this gift available to us all.  We can live with Jesus for all of eternity.  But, how?

For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered.  Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy.                   Romans 6:3-4 LAB

When Jesus was crucified and died, he was apart from God for three days until he was resurrected.  Our sin separated the Father and His Son.  Then, God raised Jesus from the dead, and he now is with Him forever in Heaven.

Our freedom comes from that act of ultimate sacrifice.

Just like God will take our Burdens if we give up our control over the situation, God will give us Freedom from Sin and Death if we give up control over our sinful natures.

So, in order to get rid of our sinful nature and get the gift of the Holy Spirit and gain Freedom from Sin and Death, we need to sacrifice ourselves and get baptized.

Then, we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and can get the help we so desperately need!

Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death.                 Romans 8:6

Now What?

To me, as a baptized disciple, I need to show God how grateful I am for this Freedom from Sin and Death.  Just like all freedoms given to us, it is so important not to take them for granted.

I need to focus on listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so I can further free myself from sin.  I certainly don’t want to take advantage of God’s graciousness and giving nature.

Nor do I want to just quickly recount the “story” learned in Sunday School and move on without really examining the meaning of the message.

That “story” is the foundation of my eternal life.  If I don’t do my part and study out what it means and what I need to do to accept God’s gift, in the end, I am not obeying and not giving up my sinful nature.

So, I encourage all of you to do the same.  Take advantage of this unbelievable Freedom from Sin and Death that God offers you.  Study it out.  Find out what that means in your life.  Follow Him so you can get the most wonderful gift of all – Living with Him for all Eternity in Heaven.

Sounds pretty wonderful to me.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think?  What have you found has helped you gain freedom from Sin and Death?  I would love to hear some verses you have found that have helped you in your studies.  I can’t wait to hear from all of you!

 

 

Come back tomorrow for another post in the Freedom Series – Freedom from Worldly Priorities.  It will be pretty freeing…

 

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