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August 16, 2017, 6:58 AM

Dead to Sin. Alive to God.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:11-13).

God’s Word tells us that we can be “dead to sin.” Paul uses this phrase a dozen times in the sixth chapter of Romans. What does the Bible mean by such expressions? What does it mean to be dead to sin? This much is clear, dead folks are no longer troubled by the problems of the living. No stronger term of separation can be used. The Apostle asks, “How can we that are dead to sin, live in it any longer?” The question carries its own obvious answer. He that is dead to sin no longer lives in sin.

Can we read the sixth chapter of Romans thoughtfully and conclude that sinning is consistent with a profession of Christian faith? Surely God means to say to us that salvation through Christ somehow takes an individual out of the sin business. God’s full work of grace in our lives is designed to do away with sin – all sin in the soul. This is the clear truth that God’s Word teaches. But we can be truly dead to sin only when the inner source of sin has been removed, when the old carnal self is dead indeed.

Sinfulness and Christlikeness are mutually exclusive. God’s plan is to free us from sin and to make us Christlike. The destruction of the carnal mind is a decisive step in that process. Matthew Henry comments, “Death makes a mighty change; such a change doth sanctification make in the soul, it cuts off all correspondence with sin.” Dr. A. M. Hills adds: “A man that is dead is uninfluenced and unaffected by the affairs of this life. He is insensible to sounds and tastes and pleasures… The voices of condemnation or praise do not reach him. And a Christian can be so delivered from the propensity to be charmed by the world that he is as one dead. The thing that once stirred within him at the approach of temptation has been ‘crucified’ and ‘destroyed,’ and he is dead to all but holiness and usefulness and God.” This is what is means to die out to self, to be dead to sin.

Does it seem like an impossible goal? Nothing is impossible for those who walk with God. The Bible presents it as the true Christian ideal within reach of every child of God. But how? The only way a person can become dead to sin is to become alive to God. It is the power of God alone that can do this in us. What does it mean to be alive to God? Simply this, as A. F. Harper reminds us, “that I continue responsive to every intimation of God’s will for me.”

Let us pray: Enable us, O Lord, to walk before you in holiness and righteousness to your praise and glory. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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