Change: A Tough (but Good) Word
Written by Leland Ping on Feb 20, 2015
Without any doubt, one of the most challenging things for humans is “Change.” We are creatures of habit who like our patterns and things a certain way. Yet, while there are definite challenges that come with change, there are significant benefits to change. In his letter to the Romans, Paul talks a great deal about change when he uses the two little words, “No longer” to note the transition from the old man to the new man and the choice to be different now that we have identified ourselves with the Savior.
In Romans 6:6, we are told that, as a result of serving God, we are, “no longer... slaves of sin.” In our current Sunday morning Bible class (wherein we’re studying the book of Romans) we made the observation that the Holy Spirit is telling us that we will always be a slave.
We get to choose, however, whether our master is Satan or the Savior. We need to express our thanks to the Father that we can experience this glorious change that makes it so that we are freed from slavery to the ugliness of sin.
Paul goes on to say that, as a result of this freedom, we are, “no longer” under the dominion of death (Romans 6:9). Without any doubt, this is one of the inspired writer’s favorite analogies as he tries to com- municate to us the importance of knowing death’s power but, more importantly, the power of Christ over that death. While we will all experience physical death, we are much more concerned with the spiritual death that has far more serious consequences.
Much of what Paul writes to the Romans is designed to tear down the doctrine of the so-called Judaizing teachers who either demanded (or at minimum suggested) an adherence to the works-based law of their ancestors. In Romans 11:6, he wrote that if we are saved, “by grace, then it is no longer of works.” In short, God wanted earlier and modern followers to appreciate that there was nothing we could do to “merit” His saving grace by our works of obedience or personal profession of righteousness. Instead, through His love and mercy, we are afforded a place of justification in His righteous sight.