My pastor was out of town yesterday, so I got to preach! My sermon—“Where do you live?—was taken from Paul’s words in Romans 6:2: “How can we who died to sin still LIVE in it,” meaning, since we died with Christ to the kingdom of sin and death (Romans 6:1-12), why would we want to continue living as though we were still alive to it. Rather, Paul calls us to live (walk) in the newness of life [in Christ].
This scripture brought to my mind the story of the lame man lying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years in his crippled condition. Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5). Jesus was giving the man a choice: to continue the rest of his life lying by the pool OR to get up and walk away from his past!
When you’ve been living in the same place (and the same way) for 38 years, it takes a mountain of faith to believe you really can “walk differently” (Eph. 4:17). You may 'feel' hopeless because of past mistakes and failures. It takes faith to believe Jesus and say: "Lord, I believe; and I will arise from this place, and walk with you for the rest of my life.” Our choice is the same as Jesus offered the lame man: we can either live in the shadow of past failures or walk in the newness of life in Christ. No matter how long you have been schlepping around your pool of Bethesda, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life there.