Romans 6:1-11 The Message (MSG)
6 1-3 So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
Sin is insidious. It has a gradual and cumulative effect. It lurks and prods and waits for its chance to claim us, shame us, and name us as failures. Our sin clings to us and weighs us down and seeks to divide us from God, each other and even from ourselves.
But, thanks be to God, because of what God has done in Christ Jesus we can be dead to sin and alive to God. In Eugene Peterson’s translation of Paul’s letter to the Romans, he makes it abundantly clear: in our Baptism into Christ Jesus, we are not bound by the past, by the failures, by the shaming of sin. We are made alive in Christ Jesus as we are born into him.
Our Advent attitude for this week is readiness. Are you ready to die to your old way of being and be re-born into the new life of Jesus Christ? That’s what Jesus did, and still does. Are you ready?