Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
In the 14th century two brothers fought for the right to rule over what is now Belgium. The older brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus” which in Latin meant “fat” because he was horribly obese. After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother, Edward, won and assumed the role of Duke over his lands. Instead of killing Crassus, Edward had a room in his castle built around him with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised that Crassus could regain his land and his title any time he wanted to. All he had to do was leave the room. The obstacle was not the door or the windows, but Crassus himself. He was so overweight that even though the door was normal sized he couldn’t fit through it! All he needed to do was diet down to a smaller size then walk out a free man however Edward kept sending all of Crassus’ favorite foods to his room and in the end Crassus’ appetite won over his desire to be free.
In Romans 6 Paul is addressing a false belief that sinful living is not something to avoid because it brings more of God’s grace into our lives. In verse 13 we read, “do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life.” Those “members” that Paul mentions here are those physical parts of us that need careful monitoring. The ears, nose, feet, hands, eyes, etc., can either be used for sin or for serving Him.
This is illustrated in the life of David. When he was young God used his hands to slay the giant for His sake. Later in David’s life sin would use his eyes for wickedness when he pursued Bathsheeba. Freedom in Christ is ours if we want it, but we need to tame our members and use our instruments for His purpose and not our own.
Someone once put it this way, “If grace doesn’t change your life, it won’t save your soul.” In other words, if the gift of Christ doesn’t change how we walk then we can’t expect grace to cover any sin we commit against Him. We have access to many blessings of a spiritual and physical nature but only if we are among the faithful. If we’re not, we are trapped in a prison of our own making.