Romans 6:20-21 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.
Paul reminds us of life we lived in the past. Do we need a reminder? Aren’t we new creäture and our past life is gone and our new life is here? Why bother looking back? Why does Paul turn our attention to our previous life when ‘we did what we felt like doing, ignoring God?’
The very word salvation implies crisis, darkness, sin, the devil, and death. Are you saved? But from what? Unless we have a clear view of what we are saved from, being saved, don’t have much meaning or value.
So is John Newton’s hymn, ‘Amazing Grace.’ Unless one sees I was once blind and wretched, then God’s grace is no longer amazing.
In our pursuit of joy, happiness, and optimism, we sometimes shy away from our past. In our concern for ‘self-torture’ or ‘reasonless guilt,’ we altogether remove all thoughts of our life of sin and its memories; and live as if we weren’t sinners. And there then is a danger of making God’s grace cheap and only seeing the half the picture.
As painful and shameful it is, we ought to remember that things we’ve done and lived in the past were those that we aren’t proud of now. We must squarely look at the life of sin we’ve lived, not to wallow in guilt, but to know that life wasn’t worth it. To thank God for what He saved us from.
So we acknowledge; What did I get out that life of sin? Nothing but a dead-end. This is a crucial practice, especially for us Christians who seek holiness in the life of sanctification.
Father God, let us wash our robes, daily in the blood of Christ. But let us never forget that you saved us and our salvation is secure. That’s because you took us out of darkness, into your glorious light. Let us remember how dark that darkness was, so we can see the brightest light you’ve brought us to, Jesus Christ, in whose name we prayed.