Scripture: Romans 6:12-23 (NIV)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If Paul ever met Darth Vader, these might well be the words he used to try to pull him from the Dark Side. Sin in your mortal body? Vader’s body, more machine than man, was and is a symbol of evil, of fear, of sin. Instrument of wickedness? Vader embodied that as well, both in his own tapping into the Dark Side as well as following the leading of his master, Emperor Palpatine.

Yet, even as seeped in sin and evil as Vader was, there was still hope of redemption. Paul speaks of getting out from under the rule of sin. Vader literally overthrew sin in his life, tossing the evil that was ruining his life down a reactor shaft. It cost him everything, but he got out from under the shackles of sin and into the freedom we talked about yesterday.

We are a sinful and evil people as well, but we don’t actually have to go to the lengths that Vader did to clear it out of our lives. Jesus did the heavy lifting, as it were, suffering and dying on the cross so that we could have the opportunity to get out from under sin and not have it separate us from God on a permanent basis.

That doesn’t mean we can sit back and relax, however. We have to do a little bit of the work as well, accepting Jesus’s sacrifice and living in a way that shows that His sacrifice means the world to us. If we just slide by, continuing to sin and hoping for forgiveness, it means that we are not truly His. We don’t keep sinning because He has extended His Grace. We accept it so that we can be freed from the dark armor of sin and live in freedom forevermore.

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