Today's Verse

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. — Romans 6:12 NIV

Devotion

According to the Apostle Paul, you're dead. If you're a Christian, then your old self, your sinful self, is dead. It was crucified with Christ. (Galatians 2:20) As Paul puts it, "don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death." (Romans 6:3-4) Although the old sinful self may rise from the dead from time to time and try to take over again, it can never completely succeed in that endeavor. It no longer has the power to do it. It's death on the cross with Christ has made sure of that.

Given the death of your old sinful self, you should consider yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11) You should never, therefore, consider yourself to be a lost cause when it comes to sin and you should never speak of yourself as if you were a lost cause. Instead, you should consider yourself to be the handiwork of God that is getting better day by day and you should speak of yourself in those terms. (Ephesians 2:10) Your faith in Christ demands this. Your faith in Christ demands that you believe all this has actually been accomplished in your life.

That brings us to our verse for today. If you're old sinful self is dead and if you consider yourself dead to sin but alive to God, then you should not let "sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires." True, the old sinful self may still be a problem. True, you may still have struggles with it (Galatians 5:16-17), but you have the wherewithal to win the struggles in the long run. You're alive to God through Christ and the new you, the righteous you (II Corinthians 5:21), does not have to let itself be pushed around by the old you anymore.

Don't get discouraged if it takes time. Don't give up. After all, these are struggles that you, and every other Christian, will be fighting until your death, or until Jesus returns. Trust in God and rely on His Spirit for help. Take comfort in this thought:

Although you may not be where you want to be, you're no longer where you used to be.