Thursday March 26, 2020
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.Romans 6:1-5 (The Message)
Five years ago, I adopted Ally, the first dog that I have had as an adult. When I was searching for a dog, I wanted the dog to be at least a year old, housebroken, and well-mannered, but Ally was a 4-month old puppy who was not housebroken, had a past that affected her disposition, and who was full of energy.
At the beginning, Ally would have many accidents in the apartment, and even in her crate! It took a little over a month to train her that going outside was the way to go, and even longer to train her that her crate was not a Porta Potty. But once she was housebroken and crate-trained, life was a lot easier! My canine companion and I had more time for other training, more time for snuggles, and I spent significantly less money on carpet cleaner, paper towels and shampoo!
BUT, she still had accidents every now and again, and even now, while she doesn’t have accidents nearly as much as before, if she is scared, or stressed, she might have an accident.
Ally is a good dog who is truly house-broken; her existence is no longer defined by not knowing where to go, or refusing to go where she needs to. But she still has accidents. These accidents don’t make her non-housebroken though – they are just accidents, and I know that.
Imagine though if Ally became housebroken, and then started making a habit of having accidents in the house to the point where I no longer could consider her housebroken anymore. I would then ask myself – maybe I wasn’t stern enough, maybe I was too forgiving, etc..
But the bottom line is that if Ally is truly housebroken, she won’t return to being non-housebroken if she is healthy. She may have accidents here and there, but the accidents wouldn’t define her existence.
When we accepted that Jesus came to earth to live a sinless life, perform miracles, teach us how to live, die on a cross for our sins, rose again, and when we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord and savior, we become changed.
For some of us, we can think of a day, a season, or a year, for when that may have happened, for some of us, that may have happened over a period of many years; Its just something that we grew up knowing, accepting, and believing.
After we reach that point, whenever it is, if we truly believe, we have ‘accidents’/sins that happen and that we do, but we are no longer defined by those things.
Because we seek to be daily surrendered to Jesus, we ask for forgiveness when we do something wrong, and our lives are defined by Christ’s forgiveness of us, our identity as Children of God, and they are not defined by our mistakes.