As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re talking about how Christ freed us from sin on the cross. In the salvation He purchased for us, is our identification with Him on the cross. Because of that, death and sin don’t rule us anymore.
The apostle makes it clear that we’re no longer slaves to sin. We can apply the death of Jesus Christ to our own bodies.
In my last post, I talked about how we sometimes fight against this work. In their experience, there are many believers who still act as slaves to sin. So this death over the flesh is something that must be sought after. It doesn’t just happen.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Paul now begins to talk about the implications of us dying with Christ. That’s why he uses the word, “if” in this passage. It requires an understanding of what has taken place in the spirit.
If we truly understand that we’ve died with Christ, then that should direct our faith toward living with Him. This means a common life together. His life and our life are melded together.
The reasoning is simple. In His death, He died to sin for all of us. Now Christ lives toward God. That’s the new direction that our lives should take on.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Here Paul tells us that in the same way we trusted Christ in baptism, we must count or literally take inventory of, conclude yourself to exist dead, in fact, to sin.
This goes right along with our baptism. In verse 3 of Romans chapter 6 we were baptized into His death. Now in verse 11, there’s something that Paul is hoping you’ll move into by faith. Paul describes this step to the Colossian church.
In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
This is what Paul is trying to describe to us – the putting off, or dying, of the sinful nature. According to Paul, this is a surgical procedure that can only be done by Christ.
It isn’t a work I can perform. It doesn’t matter how much will-power I put forth. Only Christ, Himself, can bring it to pass in my life. I must submit under the blade of the divine Surgeon.
There are two prerequisites to this surgery. The first is baptism and the second is faith in the power of God. This means that I can’t look to myself and how well I can obey God. It’s all about how much I trust His power working in my life. How much am I willing to surrender to Him?
It’s the same as in the natural world. If I don’t trust the surgeon in a medical procedure, then I will not allow them to put me under the anesthesia. I’ll only let someone I trust have that much power over my body. Do we trust Christ enough to consent to His life changing work in us?
That’s a choice we all have to make. If I want to see the victory of God over my sin nature, then I have to do it His way. It’s a decision I have to make on a daily basis. It’s the basis for a victorious life in Christ.
Question: How has counting yourself dead to sin changed your life?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi