Beyond the Gospels: Romans 6

To read the Scripture for today’s devotional, click here: Romans 6 
There used to be a chant sometimes said at college basketball games:
“Foul, foul, if you should
But if you foul ‘em, foul ‘em good!”
The logical-although-misguided reasoning behind this chant was the penalty for a foul was going to be the same if it was a “little” foul or a “big” foul. So if one is going to get a foul called on them, it might as well be a big one, one that has dramatic results!
It is unfortunate when that kind of thinking is applied to being a Christian and sin. For some, the thought might be that if God forgives our sins when we ask for forgiveness, then we might as well go ahead and sin, having a good time in doing so, and then ask God for forgiveness later.
Paul, the author of Romans, argues strongly against this view. Here is The Message translation of Romans 6:1-2, “So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there?”
For Christians, baptism symbolizes the death of our old selves and the new birth of our new lives, lives that transcend the power of death. “…and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Paul wants to make it clear to the church in Rome that actions do matter. The old axiom “Actions speak louder than words” rings true. If we proclaim we are Christians, but then our actions indicate otherwise, our hypocrisy harms the Kingdom of God.
Instead of “Foul ‘em, foul ‘em, if you should,” we should live by:
“Love ‘em, love ‘em, yes we should.
When we love like Christ, we love them good.”
Dear God, please help us to overcome temptations to sin and to lead righteous lives. Let everything we say and all of our actions reflect your love and grace. Amen.

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