The Illusion of Control (and an Announcement!)

One of the most frustrating lessons Crohn’s has taught us has been learning to accept what you can’t control. I have spent most of my adult life believing I controlled way more than I did, and submitting to the control of a disease was not my idea of a good time. I wanted to keep living my life the way we had before that diagnosis. I wanted to take vacations, eat the same foods, keep up the same social schedule. But we couldn’t. In our house, we call this the Illusion of Control.

We had to change the way we lived.

As Paul writes Romans 6, it’s as if he can start to see the objections pop up. If grace increased because sin increased (Romans 5:20), can’t we live anyway we want? If we are under grace, can’t we live the way we always have?

In this chapter, Paul shows us reality. There are only two options: sin is in control or grace is in control. Either way you aren’t! The truth is that we control way less than we think we do.

He compares our Christian life to baptism:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

In entering the water, it symbolizes death and burial. When you come out of the water, it symbolizes that you now have a new life.

He goes on to say that Jesus didn’t keep dying, sacrificing Himself over and over, neither do we do the same. When we give our life to Christ as our Savior, it’s done. Finished. Never again do we live under the control of sin. Now we live under grace (Romans 6:14)

Because of that, we change the way we live.

We do as Hebrews 2:1 says: we turn our minds to Christ. We remember what we have learned. Sure, we are covered by grace. Yes, our sins are forgiven. But we are no longer slaves to sin. Now we are slaves under grace.

Sin only leads to more sin which eventually leads to shame and death (Romans 6:19,21, 23). Sin costs you. Grace gives.

Under grace:

  • New life (no longer dead)
  • United with Christ (no longer separated from Him)
  • Freedom from sin (it has no dominion over you)
  • Leads to righteousness (big churchy word that means God sees you without blemish)
  • Leads to sanctification (big churchy word that means to become more like Jesus)
  • Bears fruit
  • Eternal Life
  • Forgiveness

How we live is an investment. Fighting against our sin nature, remembering Whose we are, choosing to become more like Him instead of giving into sin is an investment into becoming more like Jesus (similar to how exercising and eating well are an investment in your health).

It’s not easy, and we aren’t perfect. But God promises to walk alongside us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). When we mess us, He is always there with forgiveness and steadfast love.

Click here to watch this week’s video

Romans 6 Thumb

Or listen to the audio here:

For this Week:

  • Read Romans 7, focusing on Romans 7:4-7, 21-25
  • Gather with some girlfriends and talk about what you read.
    • Discover: What three truths did you learn from this passage?
    • Discuss: What is the difference “working under the law” and “serving under the Spirit”? What does this freedom mean for our life?
    • Share: The vv. 14-24 describe a war that wages within us, a war between what we know we should do and what we actually do – does your sin distress you? Does it wage war in your soul? How does Jesus rescue us in this war?
  • Memorize Romans 7:6
  • Come back next week for Video 7 (which will conclude Part 1 of Romans).


Enjoy the Word Logo Long

I am thrilled to be part of an online Bible Conference called Enjoy the Word 2018. God has grown my passion for His Word for the last couple of years. It has breathed new life into my every day. For the first time in my life, I truly enjoy the Bible. And look at these amazing women involved! They are some of my favorite Bible teachers.

2018 Conference Speakers

Here’s what I love about this conference:

  • No Packing bags, making sure everyone at home can survive without you for three days, dealing with airports, parking, or getting there early to save a great seat. It’s all online!
  • You have access to these videos for LIFE! You can watch when it’s convenient for you and as many times as you want.
  • You can wear your pajamas!
  • These women have a heart and passion to see women not only read God’s Word, but enjoy it.

If you register before March 20, you can save $20! Click here for all the details and to register.

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