Friday, November 15, 2013

Victory in Christ - Part 3

This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ.  Part 1 can be found here.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Since we died with Christ, we shall also live with Him. It's important to realize that not only will we live with Him sometime in the future, but we live with Him now. Galatians 2:20 says, “20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Here are a couple of other key passages:

Colossians 3:3, 4 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Christ is our life.)

Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

So Christ's life and our life are intertwined already. He is our life. We live by His strength and power. He is at work in us, living out His life in us.

Next he shows us that since Christ died and rose again, He will not die again. Death no longer has any way of overpowering Him. When He died, He died to sin once for all. Now we know that Jesus didn't sin, but the Bible does tell us that He was tempted in every way like we are yet without succumbing to sin's pull (Hebrews 4:15). So since He died, He died to sin, but now having been raised from the dead He lives to God. He is not living in the environment where sin is surrounding Him on every side with its pull. Rather, He is living focused on God and what God has for Him. Now verse 11 gives us an important step in understanding how to have victory. We are to reckon or count ourselves also to be dead to sin. This is not mind over matter, it is a matter of believing the truth that we died with Christ and have been raised with Him. Since these things are true, we are to believe and live like and have a mind-set of having died to the sin-centered focus and are now alive to a God-centered focus. This is to be an active mind-set. We are to count it as true moment by moment. When tempted, we are to remind ourselves that this sin has no power over us and that we have died to it. It belongs to our old life.

Principle 4: Based on the truth we should reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. 

Part 4 can be found here. 

No comments: