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Monday, July 18, 2016

The Freedom of the Cross

In review of Romans 6:6 it says, “We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us”

Bottom Line:
We know that our old selves were nailed to the cross with Jesus. This was done, so that we would no longer be slaves of sin.

What this means to me:
I know that my old sinful self was crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power over my life. I am no longer a slave to sin.

Today’s verse from Romans 6:6 says, “We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us” (NCV). But what does “our sinful selves would have no power over us” mean? I’ve learned that It means that my natural inherent inclination is to do the wrong thing.

My natural inclination when I’m hurt is to hurt back. My natural inclination when someone says something bad against me is say something bad against them and hold on to it and never forgive. And, all of the things that I’m naturally inclined to do actually make it worse.

But I can break that bondage to bitterness, that bondage to guilt, that bondage to resentment, that bondage to worry. I can keep from becoming slaves to the past and hurtful memories. I can choose to forgive.

The cross has the power to free me from grudges and grief and resentment. There is no other way to let go of these emotions weighing me down than the cross. Jesus on the cross broke the power of sin and death and bondage in my life.

What follows is a suggested prayer I got from Rick Warren to use when I need to forgive a person whose offense has planted a seed of bitterness in me:

“Father, only you understand how much I’ve been hurt by this person. I don’t want to carry the pain for another second. I don’t want to be a bitter person. But I need your grace and the power of the cross to release my hurt and to forgive those who’ve hurt me. This is the turning point. First, I need to experience your forgiveness. You know all the ways I’ve hurt others, and I’m so sorry for my sins. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I accept your grace and forgiveness, and I need it daily. Today I’m turning to you, and I’m choosing to forgive the way you have forgiven me. Every time the memory comes back, I’ll forgive that person again until the pain is gone. Heal my heart with your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”