Imagine a softball or baseball player who is struggling to hit: they tend to strike out or hit weak grounders, and they can’t seem to get their average above .200. Then their eye doctor prescribes a new pair of contact lenses, and this player suddenly realizes they’re now able to see the ball way better. In fact, in practice they start spraying line drives all over the field. But when the next game comes, they decide, “I’m not going to wear these new contact lenses. Since I’ve always played games without them, I’ll just keep doing what I’m used to doing.”
If you were their coach, you would tell them that this doesn’t make any sense. You’d ask, “Why would you choose something that undermines the opportunity for you to be transformed as a hitter?” Yet we may be making these types of choices in what matters far more: how we live each day, undermining the opportunity to experience the fruit of a transformed life. But because of the resurrection of Jesus, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Consider what Romans 6:1-4 tells us: “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
Romans 6 reminds us of the incredible truth that is symbolized in baptism: when we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we’re united with him in what his death on the cross accomplished. The penalty for our sin has been paid in full, and we’ve been set free from enslavement to sin. We’re also united with Christ in what his resurrection accomplished: we’re given new and eternal life. We share in the resurrection life of Jesus!
Here’s the implication: we now live out this new life, reflecting the life of Jesus in and through us. This gets played out in our daily choices. As Romans 6 puts it, why would we keep making the same sin choices we used to make? That’s no longer who we are. We died to sin, meaning not only that we no longer face the eternal penalty for our sin (Jesus took that penalty for us on the cross), but also that we no longer have to be subject to sin’s dominating power in our life (Jesus conquered the power of sin through his resurrection).
Because we’re united by faith to the resurrected Christ, by his power and grace we can choose to follow Jesus and his ways day by day. We’re still tempted to sin, but we no longer have to choose sin. Because we share in Jesus’ resurrection life, we have the power to choose to do what is right for the glory of God. We can daily choose words and actions that honor Jesus in every arena, including our coaching. And as we no longer choose our former sinful ways and instead choose what aligns with our new life in Jesus, we’ll find that Jesus delivers on his promise to give us life to the full (John 10:10)!
Failing to consider how Jesus’ resurrection impacts everyday life is like a player choosing not to wear the contact lenses that would completely transform them as a hitter. Instead, embrace the truth that when we place our faith in Christ, we’re united to his resurrection life. He enables us to live for him rather than continuing in previous sinful ways. Coach, may Jesus’ resurrection impact your everyday life and coaching!
For reflection: In what ways have you continued to choose sin rather than living out the new life you have in Christ? Confess these sins to the Lord, receive his forgiveness and grace, and ask him to help you live out the new, resurrection life he’s given you in all areas of life.