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Today's Devotion (Monday, May 29)

Day By Day By Grace - Bob Hoekstra (DBD)

Obedience under the New Covenant of Grace

"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)"
Obedience is a vital issue for every believer. Throughout the Scriptures we see that God's desire is for His children to walk in obedience. Moses wrote of this truth. "You shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today" (Deuteronomy 27:10). Samuel confirmed this truth. "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22). Likewise, the Apostle Peter declared that God's children are to live "as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts" (1 Peter 1:14).

Our lives are to be under the rule (the dominion) of God's will revealed in His word. When we are disobedient to God's will, sin is dominating our lives. The Lord certainly wants us to get out from under the domination of sin and to live obediently. The only path for such liberation is the grace of God. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (Romans 6:14). Man might think that the law could free us from the dominating influence of sin. If we had laws with radical standards and severe consequences, surely man would not go on sinning. Of course, this approach does not work. No standards are as lofty as the holy law of God. No consequences are more severe than violating God's law. Yet, men still are dominated by sin. Grace is God's remedy.

A reactionary apprehension can develop against God's liberating remedy of grace. Some think that proclaiming grace as the solution will only encourage people to sin all the more and even wrongly assume that this will unleash more grace. The opposite is actually true. When God's children embrace the wonder of what His grace provides (an effective rescue from sin through our identification with the death and resurrection of Christ), we see the folly of continuing in sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:1-4). By God's grace at work, growing in this new life means growing in obedience.
"Lord God of liberating grace, I want to grow in obedience. I long to be increasingly free from the influence of sin. Lord, I know that my best effort to be holy will not be sufficient. Strengthen me by Your grace to walk in Your will, in Jesus' name, Amen."