For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
I’ll never forget my first official job. I was a soda jerk. Working at a local cafe, my job was to serve food and dip ice cream. I’ll never forget the experience because of the person I worked for. Generally, the owner was a nice man who had a desire for excellence, which made him very strict regarding the rules of how you behaved on the job. For instance, we were not allowed to greet customers with the phrase, “you guys.” We could say, “you all,” but “you guys” was too colloquial.
As long as I worked at that restaurant, it was my responsibility to abide by the rules of the restaurant. Once I left, however, I could behave however my little heart desired. Here’s the funny thing, though: I always felt awkward saying “you guys” after working there. Deep down I kept wanting to say “you all” because it had been a part of my thinking for so long – even though I was now set free to talk however I wanted.
Sometimes when we become followers of Jesus, we forget that the old ways about us don’t control us anymore. Whereas before we had no power to overcome sin and had to submit to its power over us (just like I had to submit to my boss), now we have power to say “no’ and to change our way of thinking. In fact, we have been set free from the law of sin and death – we no longer are slaves to it. That’s great news! Jesus didn’t just die so we could be forgiven; he died so we could be set free from sin’s grip in our lives! That means, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can say “no” when temptation comes.
So the next time you’re tempted to live by the ways of your old master, just remember that you can say “no” to sin and death. Invite God to give you strength to live in a way that’s pleasing to him. For more on this, you may find the sermon, “One Hedge at a Time” to be helpful.
Father, thank You that Jesus died to set us free from the power of sin and death in our lives. Thank You that we don’t have to submit to our old way of doing things but that we can now say “no” to temptation. Give us wisdom to live in a way that’s pleasing to You, and help us to remember that we no longer have to give in when temptation rears its ugly head.