by André Piet
February 2nd, 2013

12 Let not Sin, then, be reigning
in your mortal body,
for you to be obeying its lusts.
14 For Sin shall not be lording it over you,
for you are not under law,
but under grace.

-Romans 6:12-14- (CV)

Only a relatively few people in the Netherlands, until this week, will have known the word "abdication". But since our Dutch monarch has announced that she will step down from the throne (= abdication), the word has been used, regularly, in the news. The above passage also speaks of "abdication". A few verses earlier (Rom.5:21), Paul explained that "sin reigns in death", i.e., all descendants of Adam are subject to death and thus miss their intended purpose (= they sin).

The message of God's Good-News is that there is new life since the time that Christ was raised from the dead (Rom.6:9.10). And all who are united with Him share in this "newness of life" (Rom.6:4). This is not merely a lofty ideal, but a given reality. SO reckons God and so should they who believe Him. Dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ Jesus (Rom.6:11)!

That sin no longer reigns, as absolute monarch, in our mortal bodies, explicitly means: no more struggling against sin, as is usually emphasized. Nowhere is a man more dominated by the sin, then when he fights against it! Not only the secular man, who does not take account of God, is governed by sin, but the religious man just as well. Indeed, he all the more! I may not covet… I may not covet… I may not covet. Sin becomes an obsession!

Verse 14 clearly shows that it is precisely under law, that sin has dominion over a man. On the other hand, under grace man learns that he is united with the risen Christ and is dead to sin. This is not a call to duties, but an announcement of joyful tidings!

And in that faith, we live the new life, untroubled, before and unto God.


Translation: Peter Feddema

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