“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:6-7 (ESV)
Looking back over the past six years, we notice that when July 4 is the date on our calendar, each year we have considered the truth found in John 8:31. This year we focus on Romans 6:7. Freedom is a word dear to most of us. Nobody wants slavery? We want freedom and some have more than others. But here we learn a way to be free and it’s equally available to all people. Our circumstances can block our freedom. The country, or the political powers that rule us, can’t take this freedom from us. You see, we are slaves to sin because we are born that way. No matter how hard we try to be good, we fall short of being good enough. But when we in faith believe the promise of eternal life from God, our body of sin that has us in bondage is put to death and we are born into God’s family. We gain freedom from sin. We are no longer guilty but Christ has paid the wages for our sin. This freedom matters and makes an eternal difference. We can have it wherever we are whatever circumstances of our life.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God…” Galatians 2:20 (NASB)
The Apostle Paul made this statement, “I do not nullify the grace of God…” in a confrontation with those who wanted to compel new Gentile Christians to follow the Jewish Law. Paul argued that if righteousness and salvation were possible through obeying the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Being ‘good enough’ will never save anyone. We are declared righteous by what Christ did for us on the cross. Once was a young boy who was on a raft in the middle of a deep lake with his father. His father was diving off the raft to move it to shore, on one dive, the boy lost his balance and fell into the water. In a panic he tried to swim up but couldn’t. He was too far under water to reach the surface. As the boy went down a second time his father grabbed his arm and pulled him up and back onto the raft. There was nothing the boy could’ve done in that circumstance to avoid drowning. His salvation depended fully on his father. The boy added nothing – he didn’t nullify what his father’s did. That is the same with the grace from God that saves us.