I have a friend who confessed to me that she is plagued by the periodic struggle to control emotional outbursts, often expressing anger at others. My friend recognizes how unreasonable and hurtful these outbursts are. While she confesses these outbursts are sinful and regrets them deeply, she can’t seem to stop. My friend asks “Why can’t I stop hurting others this way? Why do these emotions control me at times? Why doesn’t God stop me from giving into to it?
Again here is the Bible text:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace?
I hear what you are saying, and I understand where you are coming from friend. I have been plagued with emotional sin as well. Read Romans 6:1-14 and we will go from there.
The fact is, as a Christian, you died to sin when you were baptized and received salvation. Sin here is singular, meaning it is not your emotional outbursts in themselves, but rather the state of authority, mastery, or reign of unrighteousness. So, when you died to sin, you were separated from and set free from your relationship with unrighteousness as your master. You have an old self, which is how you used to be before you were saved. You were once living under the authority of sin and unrighteousness. However, with your old self dead, the relationship with sin as your master has been severed because it takes two individuals to be in a relationship. If one has passed away, there is only one left; thus, no relationship.
When you were baptized, you were baptized with Christ. This made you new spiritually. Your old self passed away (with Christ) from the authority of sin, and your new self was raised (with Christ and his resurrection) without the relationship with sin as your master. You have been spiritually renewed and have a new relationship under the authority of grace with Christ by the glory of the Father. You have been given a new way to live. This new way to live starts fresh every day and is under a new authority and new relationship. This is not just a resuscitation; it is a new form of life without your emotional sin. All this means you have a new identity in Christ in His resurrection, and the start of new spiritual life.
This work of God at your salvation in your identity with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection separates you from sin’s power and gives you a new quality of life.
So, at this point, you made the commitment of faith to be baptized and pledge your allegiance to Christ and He has given you a new life and new authority of grace. There are still things you can do on your end to stop putting yourself back in the old relationship with sin as your authority though. In fact, there are three key things in the passage in you can apply to your situation to stop giving into your emotions and hurting others.
First you must know, acknowledge, and believe that God’s word is true and a change has really occurred that unites you with Christ. This is not just abstract talk or me feeding you rainbows and butterflies. This is reality. Sin and your emotions are no longer your master. God’s grace has set you free from that bondage, and is your ultimate authority now.
The second thing you are to do is reckon your life and make the conscious decision that your life is not run by the mastery of sin and your emotions. In this context, reckon means to set your direction towards God and righteousness. You are to count yourself dead to sin but alive to God. Since you are dead to its power, you should recognize that fact and not continue in your emotional outbursts. Instead, you need to realize you have new life and identity in Christ.
Lastly, your attitude that you have died to sin must be translated into action. You need to present your emotions, your mouth, and your tongue to God to be used for deeds of righteousness. Scripture commands you to not let sin reign as it did before your salvation. When sin reigns in your life and body, you obey its evil desires. Sin enslaves, making you subject to your own evil and desires. Sin manifests itself through your emotions, mouth, and tongue. So instead of offering your emotions, mouth, and tongue to sin, as instruments of wickedness, you should offer them to God as instruments of righteousness. In another passage Paul commands you to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices…to God” (Romans 12:1)
In conclusion by God’s design, sin and emotions are not supposed to be your master. You are no longer under sin, but under grace. Because of grace, it is possible to defeat your sin of emotional outbursts. All you need to do is follow Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired instructions. Once more, those are to know a change has occurred and you are united with Christ, reckon your life and make a conscious decision that your life is not run by the mastery of sin, and present your emotions, mouth, and tongue to God to be used for deeds of righteousness.