SOAP Study - July 1, 2020

    07.01.20 | by Rocky Shack


    Romans 6:15-23

    15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

    19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

    20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    This verse from Paul has always been powerful to me because it is a question. It demands for me to respond with my own answer. Yes, the answer will be provided for me, but the question makes it personal to me. What benefit did the past Rocky have at the time doing the things that the present Rocky would be ashamed to admit that he was a part of? What good came from it? What was the past me after? It makes me come to grips with what I know now. That verse makes me think about the people who had more experience at this life thing and what they were trying to let me know. They had been where I was. They may not have been 16 with cellphones, but there were common battles and temptations that they experienced, too. They may have passed or failed their test, but there were trying to pay it forward to the next generation.


    I didn’t see it then, but I see it now. God cares about you. God cares about how we live not simply for the sake of rules but for the sake of the consequences it can have on our relationship with God, the way we treat others and our own dignity. I have lived and, in some ways, I am still living in the consequences of the way I previously did. There were people of peace—both believer and nonbeliever—trying to spare me from the pain and frustration of those consequences. I am ashamed on my past sins because I am now unashamed of the Gospel. Now that I know just how much the LORD loved me even while I was living as God’s enemy, I am ashamed that it took this long. But, the LORD is still there with arms wide open ready to receive those who are being awakened to God’s love. There is no shame in willfully coming into God’s grace. God invites it and has been inviting you. This love is for us!


    Rather than dwelling on the past sins and carrying the shame around that is supposed to be on Jesus’ cross, I should be owning my past because the LORD died for that Rocky knowing that God’s love can keep moving me toward a new Rocky. This new version can at times get frustrated that it took so long to wise up, but we all must pay it forward to the next generation. Yes, I have been 18 but not your 18. No, I have not been 55 or better. But, my testimony is timeless. In my pain and shame of the past and in my present living, there can be a testimony to someone who does not yet know that our God is not a god of shame. Our God is the one who hopes in all things. God is the one who was hoping that I would see God for who God really is and stop running from God’s invitation to be with God. Give people your transformed self with the good, the bad and the ugly, so they know they can be transformed, too.


    LORD, help me to see my past as a reminder of how great your grace is! By your Good Spirit, you can keep changing me till that old man of Rocky is not who I see in the mirror. Move me forward not backwards! Keep me from making my mistakes of the past! Keep me on target right now, so my future and the future of my family will look like what your will is for us. Let me be unashamed of how you have loved me!