Being a Work in Progress

For one who has died has been set free from sin. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:7, 12-13 ESV)

In the entire chapter of Romans 6, Paul explained how Christians were once bound by sin and essentially destined for death being separated from God. For the unbelievers, that does not sound so bad because they accept death and nothing more. To many of them, there is no God or life beyond earth, and essentially no consequence of hell. That is a very dangerous notion because they are betting that they are right when they can actually be wrong. The odds of either outcome is fifty percent.

For believers, there is a 100% certainty that they will be raised up in Christ and have eternal life. There is no wavering when it comes to God keeping his promises, and we have been reassured when Jesus was raised back to life. We just need to have faith in him to be receivers of his promise.

With that faith, there is a process of being made new again where we need to be sanctified, which is to be purified from sin. Before the work of Christ, we were bound by the law and destined for hell. We would have to keep up with the rituals of atonement for every sin we committed. But when Jesus came along and offered himself as our sacrifice, the process of atonement was made easier for us. Now we no longer have to make animal sacrifices; we just need to believe in him.

All of that sounds pretty crazy to unbelievers, but we shouldn’t let their opinions discourage us. There is real power in the gospel and we don’t have to be ashamed of it. Sin’s ability to kill us off has been taken away by the blood of Christ, and we are now able to run away from it and head towards God. We have freedom because we don’t have to worry about atoning for every single sin we commit. All has been forgiven through Christ.

Yes, we will sin, but Paul is exhorting us to not intentionally do it. Instead, he instructs us to present ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness. When we do that, Jesus will oversee our sanctification. That is why we often say, “We are a work in progress.” We understand that we are not perfect, but we are being transformed through Jesus as long as we are walking with him in faith. Now that is great news because one day he will stand and welcome us home. And that, my friend, will be a glorious day!

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