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Romans 6:1-11 (NIV)

Oh to be completely dead to “sin” and fully “alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  When grace is at work in us we move from the land of sin and death to the land of life, grace, resurrection, hope, love, joy and…so much more!  I really like the imagery Eugene Peterson uses in The Message Translation, Romans 6:1-11.

Pauls uses Baptism in this passage, the sign of the New Covenant in Christ, as an image of dying to sin and being raised to new life.  Going down in the water depicts dying to sin and rising up out of the water is rising to new life in Jesus.

Although sin is a very real part of our lives, and therefore we include confession of sin in our worship services each week, the truth is also this, “We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word.”  Isn’t it good to know that the worst things are not the last things in life.  The most difficult things are not the final things for a follower of Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus are God’s tremendous No to death, sin, and suffering and God’s tremendous Yes to life, resurrection, and freedom from pain, tears, and suffering!

We are to die to sin more and more each and every day as the grace of God works within us to transform us.  We should not excuse our sins with an easily announced grace covers all.  Yet we know in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we are dead to sin and alive in God’s grace.

And so the challenge and the joy is to live in that grace; to let the wonderful, powerful grace of Jesus Christ live and abound in us.  Our lives become beautiful as Jesus’ love, grace, forgiveness, and strength live in us and flow through us to others.

May we be fully alive in Christ Jesus today!