Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 6:1-14 in The Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Sometimes in life we need clarification. In high school, when the musical group TLC came out with their hit song, “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls,” I thought they were singing, ”Don’t go Jason Watermark.” I played the song endlessly and sang the wrong lyrics unashamedly in front of my friends over and over until one day one a friend finally called me out.
“Those are not the words!” All my friends started laughing and pointing out how my version made no sense. “Who is Jason Watermark?” “Where is he going?” It dawned on me that I had been so convinced of the correctness of the incorrect lyrics that it didn’t matter if the phrase had no real logical meaning. Stopping to think it through, what I was singing from the top of my lungs didn’t make any sense. I needed clarification.
Paul provides a clarification in Chapter 6. In the previous chapter, he wrote that wherever sin “increased,” grace “increased all the more.” Some might take this to mean that if we are saved by grace and not by living right, then we can continue to live immoral lives.
Paul’s point is clear. No! By no means!
The capability of God’s grace is great enough to reconcile any depth of sin, but the ability of that very grace does not leave us where it found us. One cannot simply accept the capability of God’s grace and come away unscathed by its ability to change one’s life! If God’s grace is saving us, then it most certainly is also changing us.
God’s grace does not give us an excuse to keep living in our brokenness. It doesn’t give us permission to continue under the abusive yoke of sin. No, God’s grace empowers us to live an abundant life in Jesus!
Recalibrate: What part of life is God’s grace challenging you to change?
Respond: Ask the Holy Spirit where you need grace to meet you in your life and where you need to be led.
Research: Read Moral Formation According to Paul by James W. Thompson.
Remember: “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14, ESV).
Iki Taimi is the lead pastor at Gardena Genesis Community Church—a congregation that he planted in the Southern California Conference (SCC). He has a deep passion for young adults and creative ministries and serves as the SCC’s chairperson for Young Adult and Senior Youth Ministries and co-founded the secular collegiate ministry C3. He is married to Melanie and they have two beautiful children, Mikayla and Lio. Iki loves people, food, and Jesus.
Play a game of tag with your little one. Our grandbaby is under one and can’t walk yet, so I pick her up and chase our dog around the house. If your little one can run, take turns chasing each other. When you catch them, swing them around saying “I’ve got you.” Know that God has got you and your child. In Jesus’ name, you are free to live and love, confident that God has you in the beginning and in the end.
With your family and/or friends, play a game of tag. For this game, you need to choose a space to play, a person to tag, and a “be free” person. Set a timer for how long each round lasts. The tagger’s role is to tag anyone they can and then the tagged kid must freeze in the position they were tagged. The “be free” person’s role is to set the tagged people free by tagging them and saying “be free.” When the time runs out, whomever is still frozen becomes a tagger or a “be free” person. When your game is finished, talk about how each of you played. Did you just run all over the place or did you tease the tagger or did you stay close to the be free person? Can you explain why? Know that Jesus died to set us free.
When Adam ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden, what kind of excuses did Adam make to justify himself? What did Eve say to convince Adam? I’m sure we’ve all made excuses to sin. Their lack of trust in God led them to move from an equal, happy environment to a distorted, evil one. Why do you think God allowed two people’s actions to determine everyone’s fate? It can seem like we were doomed from the beginning. Consider how your choices have affected those around you, for good or for bad. Take some time to thank God for His everlasting grace.