What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Here Paul starts with a question. Do we get to sin more because God’s grace covers us? Is the freedom given through the abundance of God’s grace in Christ a free ticket to indulge in every sinful activity under the sun? Paul has an emphatic no! Them asks if we are new in Christ and died with him, how are we still living in sin? Do we not understand? Those who proclaim to be Christ followers through the example of baptism proclaim a new life. One that died to sin and is raised to walk in this new life.
The word or concept of counterfeit has been coming up a lot in my life lately. Most of the time, it is a preacher, sermon, or a Cristian-based book discussing the idea of something being counterfeit. What does it mean to be counterfeit? Merriam-Webster dictionary says counterfeit is made to imitate something else with intent to deceive or insincere. Have you ever had something in your life that you thought was authentic only to find out later it was a counterfeit? Or did you purchase an item knowing full well that it was an imitation?
Years ago, I worked with a guy that used to buy boxes of “Oakley” sunglass and sell them to the guys he worked with. He never tried selling them to us at the price of Oakley sunglasses; it was always much lower. They looked like the real thing, but I knew they weren’t. I broke a pair or two just putting them on. The item was from a distance; I could look like I could afford hundreds of dollars in sunglasses. The reality was they were twenty-dollar knockoffs that were cheaply made. But I knew that when I bought them.
Where is the counterfeit in your life? Do you know that it is counterfeit, or do you walk around believing that whatever it is authentic? How can you tell the difference between the two? What do you use to measure what is real in your life? What if you are the thing that is being counterfeit? Does depending on where you are, make a difference in how you are perceived? Is there a church version of you, a work version, a party version, or any version of you that has the intent to deceive or be an imitation of the real you?
We live in a culture of death, but as Christ-followers, the wrong things are dying. Instead of dying to sin, we kill that still small voice of God. When we should be dying to ourselves, we indulge in what the world has to offer. We find ourselves immersed in political views, sides of opinions, and dealing with distractions of every kind. Instead must be focused on a life of freedom in Christ. If we are made new in Christ, we are free from this world’s pressures. We should find our “want to” of loving our neighbor instead of tiptoeing around what can and can’t be said.
Are we in Christ? Or are we slaves to sin and bondage, living in fear of men and this world? I think we all want to live free. To sever others. I want us to encounter God regularly and be stirred in our souls to be Christ-like. But our distractedness, we miss out on that stirring and turn to those fleshy things that help us deal with the pain of life. We will encounter hard things. Life is not promised to be easy. What will it take for us as believers to take that step toward a holy and just God? To die daily for things I want in my flesh and strain for the Kingdom of God. We can do it! But will we do it?
Father, we are sinful people who get wrapped up in our kingdoms and neglect Yours. And your loving kindness always leads up to repentance. It is an absolute miracle that you are always there waiting for us no matter how often we choose sin over holiness. Let us never get to thinking more sin equals more grace from you. Let us find the will and want to choose You over everything. To bring you glory in everything we do. Amen.