If we 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 … sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace
Many people like to think that death is the cessation of life. Certain Jewish scholars and some Christian teachers teach this. It may seem logical to some and even desirable, but it is not what Scripture teaches. In Matthew 22, Jesus says: have you not read what was spoken unto you by God, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, I am the God of Isaac, and I am the God of Jacob. God is not God of the dead, but of the living. Matt.22:32
Death is not the cessation of life but is more accurately translated ’separation’. When my father died in 2010, he did not cease to exist.. his life did not cease to ‘be.. but his spirit and soul separated from his body. Paul tells us: to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord, and this principal of death or separation, started in Eden, when Adam was told: in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The day Adam disobeyed God was the day he was separated from God.
The day that Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he died spiritually. He was ‘separated’ spiritually from his Creator, even though his physical body lived until he was 930 years old. Because of this one man’s sin all humanity is born into the world separated from God. The natural man is very much physically alive, but born dead in trespasses and sins. The unbeliever (the natural man) is ‘dead’ – spiritually separated from God.
Misunderstanding the meaning of the word “death” has a direct impact on our understanding of Romans 6. In verse 17 we are told that the natural man is dead. The unsaved man is dead – separated from God. This verse tells us that the unbeliever’s relationship to sin is slavery. This passage tells us that all men are born dead in trespasses and sins – separated from God and a slave to sin.
In verse 20 Paul reminds these Roman believers that before they believed in Jesus, they were also slaves to sin. The physical or mental act of sinning is the fruit of sin, but the inner sin nature, that was passed on to us from Adam is the root of sin. But the good news is that this slave relationship to sin is broken the moment we trust in Jesus: so that we would no longer be enslaved to the sin-nature.
Our enslavement to sin ceased forever when we first believed – our union to sin was severed. But although our connection to the sin nature has been severed, its influence is still alive and remains throughout our lifetime. Paul asks the question:- How shall we, who died to sin live any longer therein.. or how shall we who were separated to sin live any longer therein?” This verb is: 1) the aorist tense 2) the passive voice and 3) the indicative mood which means: 1) it is an action and not a process. 2) it was done to you and nothing you did and 3) it is a literal state of reality – now.
The wonderful truth is that there is nothing we have to do to separate ourselves from the sin nature. We were separated from our sin nature the moment we trusted Christ. Amazingly our sin nature died (from eternity past) when Christ died on Calvary’s cross. Do I understand this? No – because I don’t have God’s understanding, wisdom, or knowledge. Do I accept this? Yes – because this is in God’s eternal word, which is unchanging, faithful, and true.
Paul tells us that sin came from one man and is passed on to all men: for all men sinned. But he also tells us that that the gift of saving grace and eternal life also came from one Man: our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul then answers his own question – if grace comes as a result of sin.. should we keep on sinning, so God can show us even more grace? God forbid, is his emphatic reply, how shall we, that died to sin, live any longer in it.
Paul tells us that we who are believers in Christ, “died to sin.” He tells us that sin is not a present state but a past event. Death to sin is a fact of our Christian life and took place at Calvary’s cross. We died to the sin nature when Christ died on the cross. Christ’s death broke the power of sin in our lives and severed our relationship to sin – we “died to sin”. This is not to say that the sin nature is dead but that we are separated from its power over us. It says WE—- DIED—– TO—— SIN.
When Christ died on the cross, He broke the power of sin in our lives and severed our relationship to our sin-nature. Oh, the influence of the sin nature remains but our connection to the sin nature is severed. Before we believed we were servants to the sin-nature, which means we were separated from God. But after we were saved we became servants to God – which means we were separated from the power of sin in our lives. We may permit sin to influence us – but in Christ, we have received the power to overcome sin. The sin-nature (the flesh) is severed from a believer, but that flesh, (the severed sin nature) remains alongside our new spirit and engages in an ongoing battle for supremacy within.
The flesh is in conflict against the spirit and must be kept: in the place of death, and Paul then explains how to keep the sin-nature (the flesh) in the place of death.
FIRST – gain knowledge. Paul tells us that all believers should know about our sin-nature and learn how to relate to our sin-nature. We should understand how a believer functions and gain an understanding of how to keep that sin-nature in the place of death.
SECOND – mix knowledge with faith Romans 6.11. He simply says apply faith to what you know. Believe it. This isn’t to be a superficial understanding but fixed in the core of your being. It is fixing God’s truth in your heart as well as your head. No matter what you feel – apply faith. No matter what your circumstances – trust God’s word.
THIRD – act on this truth when inner conflict hits Romans 6.12. Yes, act on the truth of God’s word. Make a positive response to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, and make a negative response to the inner voice of the fleshly sin nature.
Let us mix the truth of God’s word with faith – faith in His word – faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary.. and you will be free in this life to apply God’s word in your life.
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