Romans 6:11-12 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.“
Biblically, death is factual and metaphorically used to describe a separation.
When our physical bodies die, that is precisely what happens.
But to consider ourselves dead as God desires here in this passage, we are to forsake any and all dreams, destinations, and desires of our own and live as God would have us to live. In Romans 12, we see:
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
First, there must be a sacrifice; a death. Then, the transformation can take place.
Many try to accomplish this in the flesh, and we fall woefully short. As Abraham offered up Isaac, we can assume that Isaac, the younger, could have overpowered his father, not wanting to die. Yet, Isaac allowed Abraham to bind him and was placed on the altar of sacrifice willingly.
We are to do the same.
Paul fought with the same desires as we do. In Romans 7 we read:
Romans 7:22-25 “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
So, the key to all this: being dead unto sin and alive unto Christ, is bringing my body into subjection to the will of God every time it rises up to want carnal, sinful things.
We are all tempted. Each of us has a sin that we are prone to. Hebrews calls it our ‘besetting sin.’
Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
When we can identify that which tempts us and set up barriers and barricades against it, we can be more successful at this thing called the Christian life. Being dead to sin means hurtful things said about us will not affect us.
A preacher had longed to have a famous evangelist come to his church to hold meetings. He finally secured a date and was so excited when the day came to pick the evangelist up from the airport.
On the drive to the church, the pastor began excitedly telling all he knew about this man. Inadvertently, he began to tell a story about the evangelist that put him in a bad light. Recognizing his mistake, the pastor apologized profusely.
The evangelist responded, “No apology needed. It’s hard to offend a dead man.”
This account should serve to help us all be dead to ourselves and alive unto Jesus Christ. Think of it, if the whole of the body of Christ were dead, there would be no division, no gossip, no infighting, and all could be available to do the work of the church.
This passage in Acts reflects such a time.
Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Thirteen more times, the phrase “one accord” is mentioned in this book. All reflect God’s ability to do mighty works when His people were of one mind, one heart, and one spirit.
Romans 6 is a powerful and potent chapter because of this truth. But the performance of it becomes more cumbersome than we think. That is why we hear from the apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 15:31 “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
Every day, every hour, and every moment we must consider the smallest decisions in light of this truth.
Am I choosing what I want, or what God would choose for me?
The constant communication needed for us to carry out this command demands we pray without ceasing. It is not a solitary, on our knees type of praying. It is more a continuance of a conversation we start at the beginning of our day and never really hang up.
Set your heart to die to self and ask Christ to live His life through you. That way, in following the Holy Spirit’s leadership, we can see fruit God brings that we could never do in the flesh.