Bethany Lutheran Church, Bigfork, MT


December 2018

By Pastor Christopher Miller

Dear Friends in Christ,

Before reading this, please read Romans 6:1-14.

So you may remember the question that you had in your head after last month's article. (If you don't, it's OK.) Paul just got done telling us that as sin increases, God's grace increases all the more. So, here's the question: should we just keep sinning so we can get more grace? Paul brings out a great phrase to answer this: By no means! In answering the question, Paul actually gives us two key points of our life of faith.

The first is baptism. It's usually the part of this passage that we focus on the most, and rightly so. We focus here because Paul is saying that baptism actually does something. Baptism isn't just a symbol or an idea. Baptism is actually doing something; namely, joining us to the death and resurrection of Christ. This joining crucifies our old self, the self that is in bondage to sin and cannot free itself. In dying that death, our old sinful self no longer has power, and the only thing left to do is resurrect us to the new life given to us in Jesus Christ.

The second part, however, we sometimes miss. Paul uses this as a reason to not sin. "Offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument for righteousness." Luther once said, "the Old Adam has be drowned in baptism, but he's a really good swimmer." We still carry around this body of death, and sin still comes up in our lives. But it's not our Master; Jesus is. Sin is our master when we are under the law, but not when we are under grace.

That brings up another question, that Paul will take on in our passage for next month.

In Christ's Hope,                  Pastor Christopher Miller


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