Leaving the Past for the Future: Radical Grace From the Book of Romans (8:12-14)

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Grace, Radical Grace From the Book of Romans

“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” (Rom 8:12-14, MSG)

So many of us are haunted by the past. “If only . . .” Becomes our motto. We are continually haunted by our wrong decisions and mistakes, and often, by unforgiveness. It doesn’t have to be this way:

“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive-right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross.” (Col 2:13-14, MSG)

Why worry about the past, when our slate has been wiped completely clean? Instead of lingering on the past, let’s do something positive for once. After all, the past is just that. . . The past! What counts is now! We have been forgiven completely through the sacrifice of Christ, and that’s the terrific news: no longer are we condemned, for we have been set free: “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.” (Rom 8:1-2, MSG)!

If we insist on holding on to the past, we will miss the blessing of having been set free. Our Father can only offer, it’s our choice if we want to accept His grace or not. After all, “There are things to do and places to go.” A life filled with adrenaline awaits us. All we need to do is follow the guidance of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit.

In 1963, Nelson Mandela was put in prison. He was charged of sabotaging the government, which held to the policy of apartheid, treating people differently according to their race. In truth, Nelson Mandela was fighting that apartheid, as it was evil. It held one race above the other! Shouldn’t everyone be treated equally?

Nelson Mandela lingered in prison for over 27 years. Most people would end up bitter in such circumstances. Half his life was spent in prison, after all, and for what? For not supporting the government when it was wrong? When Nelson was finally freed, however, he genuinely forgave those who had imprisoned him, and Nelson eventually became the president of South Africa.

Doesn’t this remind us of Joseph in Egypt? From being a prisoner, he received the most powerful position possible. Even then, Nelson always encouraged people to forgive each other, no matter what. After all, forgiveness is part of God’s plan. This is what we are supposed to do!

Instead of regretting the past, Nelson had “Things to do and places to go”, which shaped South Africa into a much better place than ever before.

Do we still want to sit in our comfy chairs and live in the past? After all, we, too, have “Things to do and places to go”!

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)


Leaving the Past for the Future: Radical Grace From the Book of Romans (8:12-14)