”When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!”
Romans 6:20-21, NIV
The word sin has become a very offensive word in today’s amoral society. The very idea that there can be a God, who has shown us what is right and wrong, flies in the face of our secular world which has largely decided it knows better. As a result, Christians who want the freedom to live their lives according to God’s Word are becoming more and more marginalised. We cannot ignore the reality that in spite of generations of Christian history, this is the world we are now living in.
But the fact that the world is ignoring God, does not change anything about Him! And people may not like the word sin, but sin is still sin. When your conscience has been dulled by the non-stop voice of secularism, it’s so easy to go with the flow and live a self-seeking and self-centred life, without any restrictions or controls, not realising where it’s all leading. What you want to do – you do. And if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, why not?
When a person becomes a Christian, however, everything changes. With Christ within, it can seem as though the work of the Holy Spirit in the inner man is acting like that “control of righteousness” which Paul talks about in our Scripture for today. When Barney, our black Labrador, was young. It was essential to train him on a lead. The lead acted like a “control of righteousness”, keeping him out of all sorts of trouble.
As Christians we should welcome the Holy Spirit’s “control of righteousness” on our lives. It will make us constantly sensitive to those things that are outside the plans and purposes of God for our lives and keep us from sinning. Later on in this chapter Paul sums up the consequences of ignoring God with uncompromising clarity, in a message which the world doesn’t want to hear, when he says “the wages of sin is death.”
How grateful I am for that “control of righteousness”. It has kept me from sinning on many occasions. Oh how precious it is to be loved so much by the Lord that He cares for us in this very practical way. Jesus died to set us free from having to receive the wages of sin. Let us not hanker after an unrestricted life, but welcome the hand of God on our lives, keeping us safe in Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You love each one of us so much that the Holy Spirit wants to be a control of righteousness in our lives. Help me to always welcome His gentle tug on the reins of my life, so that I will not wander off the path You have laid out for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.