The Rebuilt Life (Romans 6:1-23)
He is rebuilding us so that He can make Himself at home within us.
In the 1700’s, Augustus M. Toplady wrote the hymn Rock of Ages. Even though these lyrics are over 300 years old, they are still powerful today.
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.”
We are in need of a double cure. We need Jesus. We need Him to save us from our sins, and we also need Him to guide us in how to live lives that honor Him. It is easy for us to desire a Jesus that saves us from wrath, but it’s more difficult to desire a Jesus that takes the reigns of our lives and guides us in the ways we are called to live.
A few years ago, my dad and I were working on renovating an old, fixer-upper house. One day, we were tearing down some sheetrock in the kitchen. We had no idea what was behind those walls when all of a sudden hundreds of dead bugs started falling like rain upon me. It was filthy. After he had a good laugh, my dad dusted me off and we began to clean out the mess that was caked behind the walls of the kitchen. When the filth had been removed, my father rebuilt the walls better and stronger than they had ever been before.
C.S. Lewis writes in his book Mere Christianity, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
This is encouraging to us, brothers and sisters. What God is doing in you is no small thing. We have died to sin. We are free from its reign in our lives. There are times when we feel like we are still slaves to sin, and we lose sight of our Christ-given identity, but Christ wants to completely transform every fiber of our being.
The first official command of this passage is found in verse 11 when Paul writes, “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” With Christ, we lack nothing. We have everything we need. Christ is calling us to abundant life in Him, leaving behind all of the messes that used to define us.
Brothers and sisters, we have a Father who provides us with the double cure. He comes into the inner walls of our lives and scrapes out the mess that we hide from the outside world. But it doesn’t end there. He desires for us to allow Him to build us back up, better and stronger than we have ever been before. He is rebuilding us so that He can make Himself at home within us.