A New Location

How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
–Romans 6:2

As a pastor, whenever I have accepted a call to a new position, I have had to relocate. It would be difficult for me to serve as pastor at First Baptist Dallas if I still lived 140 miles away in Wichita Falls, Texas, and kept my old office there at our previous church. A new employer comes with a new location. It is the same way when God becomes our master. His grace gives us a new location in which we serve and live and please Him. Our new address, if you will, is found in Ephesians 2:4-6: “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

The best way to illustrate our new location after we receive grace is to go back to the story of Jesus’s greatest miracle: the raising of Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus arrived, his friend Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. Jesus asked to be taken to the place where Lazarus was buried, and He ordered that the stone of the sepulcher be moved. John 11:43-44 says, “He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.” In Jesus’s day, a corpse would be wrapped in about a hundred pounds of cloth mixed with spices to help preserve the body from decay. That is what Lazarus was wrapped up in. Jesus said, “Unbind him, and let him go” (v. 44). They removed the wrappings, and Lazarus was free.

Now, do you imagine that after Jesus left, Lazarus wrapped himself up again in those grave clothes and snuck back into the tomb? Of course not. Grave clothes are for the dead. Cemeteries are for corpses. They are not for people who are alive.

What does this have to do with obeying God? Paul asked in Romans 6:2, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” If sin is put to death and has no power over our lives, why would we choose to live in it anyway? Choosing to live in sin makes no more sense than going out to the local cemetery, digging a hole, and jumping in. Getting wrapped up in immorality, gossip, lying, and bitterness makes no more sense than wrapping ourselves in stenchy grave clothes that are meant for the dead. That is what Paul was saying: If you are truly saved, why in the world would you want to go back to that old way of living? God has called us to a new location.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Laying Down The Law Without Giving Up Grace” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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