By Brooke Holt
“Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14 (NRSV)
If anyone experienced life transformation through Jesus Christ, it was the Apostle Paul. He went from fervent persecutor of the church to an even more fervent disciple of Jesus Christ. Paul’s transformation occurred after he encountered the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. After that experience, Paul could do nothing less than proclaim the Gospel. How could someone transition from being a well-respected leader of the Jews intent upon the destruction of the church to someone rejected and persecuted by those same Jews and others while remaining zealously committed to building the church of Jesus Christ?
Glory captivated Paul (then Saul) and led to his life conversion. Paul then experienced, not only the overwhelming glory of God, but also the grace of Jesus Christ. That grace set Paul free from sin, guilt, shame, and condemnation. Though Paul had persecuted and even killed Christians, the grace of Jesus Christ set him free from the bondage of his sin. Paul’s driving passion became proclaiming the Gospel and building the church for he knew when others experienced the glory and the grace of Jesus Christ, they, too, would be radically changed. Paul knew Jesus longed to set people free from sin, death, and all the powers of darkness.
Paul writes about this kind of freedom and transformation in his letter to the Romans. Paul admonishes them to receive this gift of grace and then to live in freedom. Through the blood of Jesus, they were no longer bound to sin. Instead of living as instruments of wickedness, they could become instruments of righteousness.
How did Paul say they could become an instrument of righteousness? Place themselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and allow him to have full dominion over each one's life. Two forces operate in this world – Satan and God. Paul admonished his readers to embrace the dominion of the Lord and to move out of sin and evil so that they could enjoy the freedom of God’s grace.
These two forces still operate in the world today – Satan and God. Just as Paul admonished the church in Rome, he encourages you today – don’t present yourself to Satan and become an instrument for his evil in this world. Instead, submit yourself to Jesus Christ and allow him to make you an instrument of righteousness. The grace of Jesus Christ will transform you just as it did Paul and everyone who entrusts themselves to his saving grace.
Who has dominion in your life today – the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, or Jesus who came that you may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). In Satan, you will be an instrument of wickedness. But if you surrender to Jesus, despite anything and everything you have done or not done, you will be an instrument of righteousness. Choose wisely! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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