Don’t Touch My Sunburn!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, April 25, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

  Ok, we have all had that moment when we go outside or go on vacation, and we stay in the sun too long.  Sooner or later everyone learns the searing pain it is to have a lobster red sunburn.  And some of us have those “caring” friends, or family members, who like to pat us on the back – right on our sunburn – just because they know it will hurt. In my lifetime I have found two solutions to a bad sunburn – the gooey blue aloe gel, and apple cider vinegar. If I can avoid smelling like a pickle, I use the blue gooey goodness of aloe and menthol gel.  But sometimes only vinegar will remove the pain and soreness of sunburn enough to get to sleep at night.

  Now, what would you think of someone who enjoyed the blue gooey goodness or the feeling of vinegar’s soothing (and pickley smelling) coolness, that they went out and repetitively got sunburns just so they could use them?  Apart from wondering what their future skin surgeries or epidermal melanomas might look like, we might call them sadistic or even crazy, right? And yet, when it comes to our sinful behaviors and God’s grace, we can find ourselves doing just that.

  Look at Romans 6:1-7.  Paul, the writer of the book of Romans, raises this same question almost sarcastically when he starts chapter six.  If God has revealed our sin and made us aware of grace, should we keep sinning so that we experience more grace?

  Paul emphatically answers his own question with a “NO.”  Then he makes a connection that I know I forget on a daily basis, and I am sure many of you do too.  He explains that if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, if we have been baptized as a follower of Jesus, we were baptized into His death and our old way of living buried with Him in the grave.  Why is this important?  Because if we have been connected to His death – which was meant to satisfy and unravel the results of our sin and separation from God – then we have also died to sin.  Jesus was our substitute in death, and when we are baptized in Him we are connected and receive that substitution.  And His substitution was complete – meaning he paid it ALL for us – it is as if we already died for our sin and the separation from God is cancelled through that death.

  THIS IS AWESOME, because it ALSO means that when Jesus rose to life again, WE are DIRECTLY connected to that LIFE!  His life becomes our life and we are freed from the penalty of sin and death, in order to live fully alive through JESUS.  Paul says in verse 4 that we get to “walk in the newness of (His) life” as if it were our own.

  Read Romans 6:1-7 again.  As you do, reflect on what it means for your old way of living to be fully buried and dead with Jesus.  Think of how God’s grace is meant to join us with Jesus so fully that we are no longer slaves to sin.

  Are you living free, as one whose old way of living is fully buried with Jesus?  Where are you running after sunburns, and then trying to survive another day with blue goo and vinegar? How could you change the way you look at your sin, see it as dead to you?  Can you look at it the same way as you do running after sunburns?

  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your old way of living is dead and you are free.  Ask God to change the way you see things, shift your desires, and help you to walk in the newness of Christ’s life.  It may take time as He unwinds the tentacles of temptation and helps you endure those who want to smack your sunburn.  Be patient, but be confident – He HAS and HE WILL ensure that your old life is substituted for Jesus’ new life in you.

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