Path of Life or Path of Death
In this section, Paul is outlining the implications of the transformation that occurs when we surrender our lives to Jesus. Think about the question in verse 15, "Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?" If God's forgiveness covers all our sin, if He has new mercy for us every single day, then what is to keep us from continuing to do what we want and ask for forgiveness later? Paul's answer is simple: It is a matter of choosing the path that leads to life or the path that leads to death. When you accepted Christ, you were set free from the chains of sin and invited to walk in the ways of righteousness, to pursue holiness. This release from being a slave to sin is a gift to be cherished, it means something.
The Life of Abudance
Jesus did not set you free from sin for you to continue to choose sin, Jesus set you free from sin so that you would no longer be a slave to it. So that you would have better, so that you would have more. He set you free from being a slave to sin so that you would be led away from the path that leads to death. If we continue to say yes to the flesh, then we miss the fullness of all that Jesus died for us to walk in. Walking in the ways of righteousness is better, pursuing wholeness is better - it leads to a life that is characterized by joy, by fullness, by freedom, by abundance. It is not just about saying no to the things that our flesh desires, it is not about having 'rules to follow' or sacrificing things that we want - it is about being transformed and empowered to live an abundant life. It is about claiming the inheritance that Jesus died to give us, it is about saying yes to more, saying yes to better.
This is God's heart: that we would live and exchange the old life for the new one.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Here's something to try: Look at verse 15 - do you ever ponder this question? Do you still choose the ways of your old life in light of forgiveness? If so - ask God to reveal to you his heart for righteousness. Ask God to show you why choosing to live fully in your inheritance is better. Invite God to change your heart towards the choices that you make. Don't be afraid, you can't mess this up.
I also want you to ask God to reveal the places where He is asking you to say yes to more and you are settling for less.
God - examine me. Examine my heart. Reveal the ways that I am choosing less, the places that I am choosing to walk in my old ways and give me the courage to lay those habits, those choices, those thought patterns at your feet. And with your help, God would you enable me to exchange the less that I have held onto for more. Would you enable me to claim my inheritance, to walk in freedom, to walk in abundance? Thank you for leading us towards abundant life. Thank you for inviting us into more. I love you.
- Megan McGarrah