Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 6:6-11 (NLT)
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Reflection: Romans 6:6-11 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
United to Christ and enslaved to God (6:1–23)
God’s grace not only forgives sins, but also delivers us from sinning. For grace does more than justify: it also sanctifies. It unites us to Christ (1– 14), and it initiates us into a new slavery to righteousness (15– 23).
a. United to Christ – understanding our baptism (1–14)
(vs 6-7) Our former self was crucified with Christ in order that we might be freed from sin’s slavery.
The New Testament speaks of crucifixion in relation to holiness in two distinct ways. The first is our death to sin through identification with Christ; the second is our death to self through imitation of Christ. On the one hand, we have been crucified with Christ. But on the other we have crucified (decisively repudiated ) our sinful nature with all its desires, so that every day we renew this attitude by taking up our cross and following Christ to crucifixion.
We deserved to die for our sins. And in fact we did die, though not in our own person, but in the person of Jesus Christ our substitute, who died in our place, and with whom we have been united by faith and baptism. And by union with the same Christ we have risen again. So the old life of sin is finished, because we died to it, and the new life of justified sinners has begun. Our death and resurrection with Christ render it inconceivable that we should go back. It is in this sense that our sinful self has been deprived of power and we have been set free.
(vs 8-10) Both the death and the resurrection of Jesus were decisive events: he died to sin once for all, but he lives continuously unto God.
The guarantee of the continuing nature of our new life, beginning now and lasting for ever, is to be found in Christ’s resurrection…. Death no longer has mastery over him (9b). Having been delivered from its tyranny, he has passed beyond its jurisdiction for ever. As the glorified Lord himself declares: ‘I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!’
Our Christian discipleship, which, by our union with Christ, begins with a once-for-all death to sin… continues with an unending life of service to God.
(vs 11) We must realize that we are now what Christ is, namely ‘dead to sin but alive to God’.
The major secret of holy living is in the mind. It is in knowing (6) that our former self was crucified with Christ, in knowing (3) that baptism into Christ is baptism into his death and resurrection, and in considering (11, RSV) that through Christ we are dead to sin and alive to God.
We are to recall, to ponder, to grasp, to register these truths until they are so integral to our mindset that a return to the old life is unthinkable…. For our union with Jesus Christ has severed us from the old life and committed us to the new. Our baptism stands between the two like a door between two rooms, closing on the one and opening into the other. We have died, and we have risen. How can we possibly live again in what we have died to?
Come Alive (Dry Bones)
Through the eyes of men it seems / There’s so much we have lost / As we look down the road / Where all the prodigals have walked / And one by one / The enemy has whispered lies / And led them off as slaves
But we know that you are God / Yours is the victory / We know there is more to come / That we may not yet see / So with the faith you’ve given us / We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah
As we call out to dry bones / Come alive, come alive / And we call out to dead hearts / Come alive, come alive / Up out of the ashes / Let us see an army rise / We call out to dry bones, come alive
Oh God of endless mercy / God of unrelenting love / Rescue every daughter / Bring us back the wayward son / By your spirit breathe upon them / And show that you alone can save / You alone can save
As we call out to dry bones / Come alive, come alive / And we call out to dead hearts / Come alive, come alive / Come up out of the ashes / Let us see an army rise / We call out to dry bones come alive
So breathe, oh breath of God / Now breathe, oh breath of God / Breathe, oh breath of God / Now breathe / Breathe, oh breath of God / Now breathe, oh breath of God / Breathe, oh breath of God, now breathe
As we call out to dry bones / Come alive, come alive / And we call out to dead hearts / Come alive, come alive / Come up out of the ashes / Let us see an army rise / We call out to dry bones come alive, yeah / We call out to dry bones, come alive
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen