Monday, June 16, 2014

Alive to God, Dead to Sin

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:8-11)

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22-23)
The death Jesus died on the cross has become my death, and the life Jesus lives by the resurrection has become my life (Romans 6:8-10). This life of Christ that is now in me is eternal life, the life of the age to come, and it has already begun in me. Even now, in this present age, I am alive to God and dead to sin. And that is how I should always reckon myself (v. 11).

Further, believe it or not, I am no longer a slave to sin but have been set free from it. And now, in Christ, I have become a slave to God, wholly His servant, and alive to Him.

To be clear, this was not my doing but God’s. The work is fully His. The fruit of that work in me is sanctification (holiness) and the result is eternal life, the life of the age to come. It is this very life that changes me, because it is the life of Christ Himself. It is the gift of God that I have in Christ, through faith in Him.

Now, also to be clear, when I speak about no longer being a slave to sin, I mean that sin no longer has any right or power or authority over me. For not only has the penalty of sin been paid but also the power of sin has been broken by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. This does not mean that I am no longer able to sin, however, but it does means that I am now able to not sin.
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:13-14)
Being dead to sin means that I am no longer bound to yield myself as an instrument of unrighteousness. I am now alive to God and can now yield myself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. Sin no longer has “dominion” (Greek, kyrieuo) over me. That is, sin is no longer “lord” (kyrios) over me. God has delivered me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13), and now Christ has dominion over me. Through Him I am now dead to sin and alive to God. And that changes everything.