1b Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The final liturgical passage for this week wraps up the theme of trusting in God quite nicely. The first passage from Genesis was about trusting God to be faithful to God’s promises. The Psalm discussed trusting the Lord with our very life against those would seek to take it. The passage from Matthew mentioned trusting God with our relationships as well as being faithful during times we know will be difficult. This final passage, from Romans, looks at a fourth aspect of trusting in God: entrusting God with our eternal lives.
This passage reminds us what it really means to say we’re giving everything over to God. It isn’t enough to keep living the way that we used to live, thinking that we’ve got an unlimited supply of “Get Out of Jail Free” cards. When we entrust ourselves to God, we do so with the knowledge and the anticipation that we will be changed in the process and made better, stronger, a more perfect reflection of the God we claim to serve. I like this to the way steel is made. Steel isn’t an element; it comes from iron ore that has been melted down to remove impurities. The iron is changed in the process, reshaped into something immensely more durable and useful.
What are the impurities that we hold onto for fear of losing “who we are”? When we cling to these things, to the past, we risk losing out on becoming something greater, a forgiven and utterly changed person, molded in the image of God.