“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11
Today’s verse is fundamental to our spiritual well-being. But because few Christians understand how to live each day dead to sin, they experience one spiritual defeat after another. For the saint, victory over sin is as integral a part of God’s eternal purpose as salvation is for the sinner. So in Romans 6 the apostle Paul gives us the pathway to victory over sin.
Conquering sin starts with the Cross. Romans 6:6-7 says, “that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Paul not only understood that Jesus died for his sins, he also appropriated the work of the Cross into his life by dying to himself. To put it succinctly, “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).
Paul regarded Jesus dying for his sins as Paul dying to his personal sin. Jesus’ death made it possible for us to die to sin and self—to say, “No” when tempted. As we identify with His death for our sin, we are united in His life of victory over sin. You see, it’s impossible to have the power of the resurrection without the price of the Cross (vv3-5).
So, what keeps us from living in this reality? Pride and apathy. Pride always stands in the way of dying to self. It tries to conquer habitual sin by looking inward for answers; to our own intellect or willpower. Apathy, on the other hand, lacks resolve. If we don’t see the urgency in dealing with our sin, then eventually we won’t feel the necessity to deal with it at all.
Throughout the Bible God declares that victory over sin is not just a possibility for His children, but a necessity. Biblical truth moves from head knowledge to heart experience when we act upon it. So what personal sin has left you feeling spiritually defeated? It’s time to deal with it. Dying to self includes being unresponsive to sin. And as you identify with the death of Christ you’ll experience the life of Christ—“dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”