LentBlog Day 14: The Devil Did NOT Make You Do It.

Romans 6:5-14.

It’s one of the lamest excuses for disobeying God ever: “The Devil made me do it.” It has several variations from “I just couldn’t help myself” to “It’s __________’s fault.”

And this passage from Romans 6 blows it away with both barrels (Shotgun reference courtesy of Duck Dynasty’s season premiere tonight.) If this passage is true, then it’s possible for God to do a work in our lives so that sin will have no dominion over us. Sin (or the desire to sin…) does not have to rule our lives. We are not in a position where we sin in thought word and deed every day. Sin, like love, is relational. When we’re in relationship with Jesus, sin loses its grip and we begin to live towards God instead of just away from sinful behavior.

The key, perhaps, is being in Christ… look how many times “with Christ” or “in Christ” appear in this passage. It’s almost as if we have to pull up close to Jesus so much that we’re in him. Again note the relational language here. We have to die with him, then trust to be raised with him. None of this happens on our own. It’s always “with” or “in” Christ.Image

This passage is one of the keys to the Nazarene Doctrine of Holiness– the idea here again is not that sin is a thing that needs to be removed or eradicated from my life, never to be seen or heard from again. It’s that sin doesn’t have to rule us.

So, no. The devil did not make you do it. You chose to. The Good News is that through the power of the resurrection, God can change your desires so your first thought is to do what pleases God. A big part of Lent is opening space for got to make that change in us.

Blessings,

Mark

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