I’m doing something today that I very seldom do – stay home from church. I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible sore throat. I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s kind of wiping me out. As a result, I’m home taking this opportunity to think through some things related to our study in the book of Joshua.
We’ve seen that we have died with Christ and risen with Him. The Scripture even goes so far as to say that we are raised with Him and seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ. The problem is that while this may be true, we still face the struggles of living here. The Israelites had been freed from their bondage in
In the same way we need to believe God and respond obediently. If we have died with Christ and risen with Him, what are the implications of that? What is it exactly that we have to believe and obey related to this truth?
There are three areas I want us to look at. We’ll cover the first one today and the others in succeeding posts. The first truth then is that in dying with Christ, we have died to sin. Look at this passage in Romans 6:5-12. I won’t quote the whole thing here. I assume you have a Bible you can look it up in. Verse 6 says that “our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
The thing then that we are to believe is that if we are a Christian, that is if we have received Christ and are trusting Him alone for our salvation, our old man died with Christ on the cross. It may not often feel that way, but don’t let your feelings get in the way of the truth. No matter how you feel and how strong the temptations are, the truth is the old self has been crucified.
The passage goes on to explain how we are to apply this. Verse 9 says “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.”
When Christ died He died to sin. Christ never sinned, but Scripture tells us that He was tempted in all points like we are. Those temptations were real and vigorous and yet He defeated them. His death brought an end to the temptation to sin. Now that He is alive from the dead, His focus is toward God.
Now the passage says in verse 11, “Likewise you also…” Here comes the challenge for us to obediently apply the truth. “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The word reckon doesn’t mean “pretend”. It means “count it so”. The truth is we died with Christ and so we are to reckon or count it so, to believe it to be true and to act accordingly. More important than just believing it in our head, we need to work it out in our lives because having died with Christ we are to reckon ourselves dead unto sin. That means when those temptations come, we are to act as though we are already on the other side of the resurrection. We are to see ourselves as alive to God. Our focus is to be God-ward.The concluding result in verse 12 is, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts and do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness.” Do you see how belief and obedience go together. If we truly believe that we died with Christ, then we too died to sin and are now alive to God. As a result we will not allow sin to reign. If we do, we are not only being disobedient, but we are sinning against what is true.