Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me
A true Christian is the one who allow Christ to live in him. A life with Christ begins when the old nature is dead to sin, flesh and the world, and a new life is resurrected to righteousness through the power of Holy Spirit. We may have Christian names or traditions, but all this boasting is not valid in the sight of God unless and until we are dead to sin and born again in the spirit. Christian life starts with death- Yes! Dead to sin. People of the world are living to die, but a child of God is dying to live. Let us go more deep into the subject and examine ourselves to see whether we are dead to sin. If not, know the truth and believe and accept Lord Jesus in your life today.
Mathew, Mark. Luke and John present Christ events in historical way but Paul represents Christ and Gospel in the book of Romans in a theological way. The book of Romans teaches us about redemption, reconciliation propitiation, justification. It is the real intention of Gospel. From Chapter 1 to 7, he writes the Gospel. He closes this portion in the 8th chapter, which begins as, ‘Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ who walk according to the Spirit and not according to flesh. ‘Amen!
For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—has been clearly seen and understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. But although they knew God, some did not glorify Him as God. They made the image of immortal God into mortal creature or bird and animals and were slave to sin, while some (Jews) who received the oracles of God was also under the bondage of sin. So Paul concludes in Romans 3:22 & 23, that ‘there is no difference – whether a Jew or a gentile-‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. So Chapter 3 concludes with ‘all men are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God’. After this, Paul directly connects to the grace of God, and says in v. 24 that ‘all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’
So a believing sinner is justified through the blood of Jesus, because God has laid all our sins on Jesus, and by doing so, he demonstrated his righteous justice. He established this because He is a just God and justifies all who believe in the Son of God. There is condemnation for sin, and we cannot justify our sins to God through any of our own works. But the one who believes in the Son is freely justified. Now I urge you beloved, if you have not received Christ Jesus as your personal savior, accept that you are a sinner, confess your sins, believe Him and accept Him now .You will be saved from the condemnation. He is just to blot out all transgression and justify you freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.
Now those who believe the Son, has got access by faith, into the grace in which we stand, and hope for the glory of God, from which was previously fallen short of. So now since we are justified through faith, and have made peace with God through Christ Jesus, we must reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and we should no longer live in it. We now live a new life with Him, who redeemed us… Now by no means, we shall go on sinning. We cannot live in it, since we have died to it. We are buried with Christ into death, and just like Christ was resurrected from death, we too have resurrected from our old man into the newness of life. Now the old self is crucified with Him, that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, but has been set free from sin by His grace. So it is no more the old man who lives in us, but we are new creation and Christ lives in us, because only He can live a true Christian life. This is a faithful saying, ‘since Christ resurrected from death, death has no dominion over Him.’ So we, who have crucified our old self with Him, will be also raised into new self through the power of Holy Spirit.’
Christian life begins from death. 2 Timothy 2:11-13, ‘It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. ‘This verse proves that we shall live with him only if we are dead to sin with Christ. If death to sin is not certain, Christian life is uncertain No one can live a Christian life if he is not dead to sin. If one fails to die to sin with Christ, then he has failed completely. Christ can only live in us when we are dead to sin. Christian life is the freedom of sinless life …So anyone who has died to sin has been set free from sin. If we are not dead, we are still slaves to sin and the sin give death as wages to its slaves. Now we are no more slaves to sin that lead to death, but we are slaves to obedience that leads to righteousness. We have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness. Since we are slaves to righteousness, we must practice it because righteousness of God leads to holiness which in turn leads to eternal life.
• How can we can reckon ourselves dead to sin?
Let me share the basic principle of New Covenant here.
2 Corinthian 5:14, ‘For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.’ Christ loved us while we were still sinners. It is nothing else but the love of Christ that compels us. When this everlasting love is sowed in one’s heart, he will surrender and repent from all his sinful ways. He then will be convinced that it is no longer he who lives, but it is Christ who is lives in him.
John 1: 12 and 13, ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those believe in His name; who were born, not of blood ,nor of the will of the flesh, not of the will of man, but of God. ‘Here two things are clear. 1st- Those who believe and receive Christ Jesus into their hearts have received the privilege to be His Child. 2ndly – He who got the privilege is born of God. How can we be born of God? John 3:5, ‘unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ Here, water signifies the word of God (Ezekiel 36:25-27). ‘Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. When the word of God is sprinkled into our stony hearts, and when the Spirit of God overshadows us, then there is a transformation inside us that leads to born again experience and Christ is born in us.So we conclude here that whoever is born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4) and whoever is born of God is dead to sin (1 John 3:9) because he is a new creation (2 Cori 5:17-21).
Now whoever believes this truth is given water baptism. This has to be taken with understanding of the real message about dying to sin and being born of God. Just taking a dip in water will not take you to heaven.
• The changes in a person who is dead to sin
Philippians 3:7-8, ‘but what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’
1) Change in Perception: Paul wrote that the things which were gain to him were now loss for Christ. His perception had changed, just like a child’s perception changes when he is born from his mother’s womb into this world. A person who is dead to sin and born in spirit gets a new vision about everything.
2) Change in choice: A person who is dead to sin will not choose anything that will go against the will of God. Choosing of friends, relationships, books, Internet sites etc will be done according to God’s will. He will keep away the friends of his old sinful life. When the bible says that a person who is in Christ is a new creation, it means to say there will be not a single old thing in his new life. It is like throwing away all the old things when you move into a new house. He will not present himself as an instrument of unrighteousness. Since sin has no dominion over him, he presents his members as righteousness to God.
• Things to which we should die!
We know that we are dead to sin but let’s go deeper into this subject.
Galatians 2:20, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’
1) Flesh: We must crucify our flesh: (Galatians 5:24) There is nothing good in the flesh that can please God (Read Romans 7:17 and Romans 8:8). Carnal mind is enmity with God and those who do not crucify their flesh set their mind on flesh. No one can present himself as pleasing and living sacrifice to God, unless and until he crucifies his flesh, because a true worshipper will worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, and not in flesh.
2) World: We must be crucified to the World: Galatians 6:14, ‘But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.’ Now I used to think that world is something related to house or car or anything of that kind. But God changed my foolish thoughts through a man of God. World is a not a car or a house. It is the system ruled by Satan, and this system has denied our Lord…So world is defined as the system that denies Lord Jesus and His children. This world has a ruler and he is Satan, (John 14:30) and the ruler of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Even though Satan and his minions are not working in the frontline, it is the money that dominates this Satan’s system. That’s why Jesus said that no one can serve two masters….No one can serve both mammon and God. In other words. No one can serve God and Satan. Money is a good servant but a terrible master. Jesus told us to use money, but not to serve money. Every Child of God must crucify himself to this system (World) who denies our Lord.
Let us examine ourselves, if we claim that we are born again. Are we dead to sin? Is our flesh crucified? Does the world hate us? If not, start from beginning ….repent and confess your sins so that our Lord will pour his mercy and grace and will restore you. He will strengthen you to stand firm in his grace till the end. Amen
God bless you