As men, we are driven by a desire for power. Though the Bible doesn’t define power, the essence of power is the ability to change or affect something. Wealth, sex, and authority are the means we use to exercise and gain a sense of power. God’s Word teaches that we are governed by powers which we cannot control (Jer 10:23). The curse of Adam was that sin was given power over us, and we can no longer exert our will in line with the God that guides and directs the creation (Eph 2:1). The Law cannot save us from the power of sin because the righteousness of the Law has no power of its own (Rom 8:3). This means that any attempt to overcome the power of sin strictly through obedience to the commands of God leads to condemnation. Sin has real power, it takes the Law captive and leads to death. Romans 6 teaches that when Christ triumphed over death, he took back the power of sin, making it possible that we could once again will with God.
The power we have by the Gospel is contradictory to the power of the flesh. Our weaknesses are our strengths, we lead by serving, and we humble ourselves to be exalted. If our hope is that God will give us the desires of our flesh, we will be misled when things go according to plan. When we attribute our selfish gain to God, we are mastered by the power of sin. When we hold God accountable for the undesirable events of this world, we are similarly without reason to hope for deliverance. Money, pleasure, and influence are the currency of the power of sin over us. We are bond servants to Christ, and only by his provision do we have freedom from the power of sin. This access necessitates total dependence, for there is no other power that can overcome sin.
There is a simple, but difficult step toward the power over sin and death. It requires the abandonment of hope in temporal gain and the things of this world. Sin does not have eternal power for the believer. Our earthly circumstances do not necessarily give sin power if we are hoping only in the promises of the Lord. Christ has freed us from the power of sin, both now and eternally. As we genuinely desire power over the sin that controls us, let us submit to the God of power and authority who freely gives it by his Spirit, through his Son.