SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:12-23, The Message
KEY S: Seriously (systematically/serially) I: Inviting the N: Not-good
12-14 Do not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives.
Don’t give it the time of day.
Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life.
Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.
15-18 So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. [By no means!] You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of socalled freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new [owner], one whose commands set you free to live openly in [God’s] freedom!
19 I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God— the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
20-21 As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
22-23 But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, [seen in] Jesus, our Master.
The Message (MSG), Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson