A little more than 17 years ago I was given a pretty pricey gift. I was given a car by my parents. I had been driving my current car at that point to the total of over 250,000 miles. Quite a few miles. In fact, it was starting to have some issues and I wasn’t sure how many more miles I could get out of it. At some point it was going to stop running and I didn’t know when. The problem was I couldn’t afford a different car. We had four small children, Kim was going to college, we had recently made a ministry change which came with expenses, and my salary as a minister at that point was not able to pay for any additional expenses. So, without me asking, my parents decided to take things into their hands and bought me a new car. Needless to say, it was wonderful to go from driving a car that had 250,000 miles on it to driving a car with a few hundred of miles on it. Not only was the worry of it dying on me gone, but this car got better gas mileage. Now, I will be honest and say it was hard for me to accept that gift. I, like so many people, like to think I can take care of myself. Therefore, to accept such a gracious gift was hard on my pride, even though it was greatly appreciated. But I still could have said no. But having said yes, I did experience a great blessing. If I were to have asked you shortly after receiving the new car if I should return it to my parents and go back to driving my 250,000 mile car what would you say? You would say, “Absolutely not. Enjoy the new car.” You would tell me to be thankful for such a wonderful gift and to make the most of it.
In Romans 6:1-11, Paul is speaking about a gift that his readers had received. They had received the gift of new life through their faith in Jesus Christ. Sin had caused a great need and God in his grace met their need. But some were tempted to keep on sinning believing that it would be good so that grace could continue to abound in their lives. However, Paul had a clear answer to those wondering if they should go on sinning. In Romans 6:2 Paul said,
Romans 6:2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Paul knew it was crazy for someone to have been set free from sin to still walk in it. When my parents gave me the new car I still had my old one. No doubt if I had chosen to leave the new car parked and drive the old one instead you would have thought me crazy. You would ask why would you not drive the new car? I could have said, “I’m used to the way the old car drives” or given other excuses but any excuse would have sounded silly. For those who are believers yet choose to continue to live in sin, that choice is just as crazy. God has provided the ultimate gift. The gift of eternal life and the new life it brings. We would be silly to refuse his gift in the first place but even more crazy would be to fail to walk in the new life he has given. One of the best things I did after getting my new car was giving my old one away. I wasn’t tempted to drive it that way. The best thing a believer can do is put the sin of your old life out of your life and walk in the new life that God provided. As Paul said,
Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
For those of us who are believers let’s walk in the new life that God has provided. There is no need to walk in our old life any longer and it would be silly for us to do so.