The Apostle Paul, in Romans 6, says that we who have put our faith in Christ Jesus have been united with Christ in His death on the cross and have been raised with Him to a new life. Now, as a result, we have been made alive to God so that we can live the “Christ-life”. But sometimes I find that we Christians misunderstand what Paul meant by our death to sin.
Here are some lines of those who miss Paul’s meaning on this point – “Nothing can be more unresponsive than a person who is dead.” “Imagine someone trying to evoke a reaction from a corpse! It can be caressed, commanded, or kicked and no response will come, for the simple reason that it is dead to all such stimuli.” “God reckons the believer to be dead to the promptings of sin.”
Many of the authors that promote these views mean well, but they do not promote what really took place at our salvation, which is found in Romans 6:6 and 6:11. These authors believe that we are dead to sin in a way that we no longer respond to sin, like a corpse that doesn’t respond to the tickling and kicking.
Notice these verses:
Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Are we dead or not? YES, but in past tense, with continuous future consequences. There was a legal, judicial judgment on us, and we (our old life in Adam) has been already judged and condemned in our union with Christ in his death. We are to daily and often reckon this to be true. We must consider this when temptation comes. The victory is already won! All we must do is claim in it and rest in it.
Let Paul have the last word on the reality of the war within, and the call to fight the sin in us, by the power of the indwelling Spirit. Add one of these verses to your meditations today.
Romans 6:12-14, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 8:13-14, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”