“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
— Romans 6:11 (NRSV)
Try this for a self-image: “As if, to sin, you were dead; disconnected from it.”
This is an image that Paul wishes to sow lastingly into our hearts and minds by the fact we are saved from our sins by having been baptised into Christ’s death—buried with him—to be raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in order that we would walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4).
Having been baptised as a symbol of our salvation, having been born to new life, we have every instrument of motive to be disposed to holiness such that, to sin, we are dead.
Being dead to sin is having no relationship with it, whatsoever, as far as our will is concerned.
And though we know we sin and are saved by grace, which makes all the difference, we do not wallow in our sin, but instead we turn from it as if we were unrecognised by it and we would not recognise it—as to be so foreign to sin as a concept. We are to venture in holiness. And such a venture could never take us in the direction of self-righteousness. Humility should govern the process and take us to each spiritual milestone along the journey.
Being Truly Dead to Sin
This is a difficult thing to achieve, and we could not achieve it without the situational blessing of grace over our lives, in order to be attracted to holiness, where the allure of sin would dissipate. It’s a thing only God could achieve for us, by our faith to trust.
Important signposts on the journey to being dead to our sin are becoming:
1. Less interested in the temptations of the flesh, even to the point of simply no longer being tempted by sins that may have plagued us. Many would admit, for this to take place, it would be a miracle of God’s grace.
2. More sincerely won to the joyous bliss of living on the path of God; ably resourced and equipped, more and more, to live like Christ, exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit more and more.
3. Less interested in the sins of others in the way that it might affect faith; be less judgmental; less distracted; more focused on Christ himself.
As a Christian, it isn’t enough to know we are saved by grace. We need to be actively surrendered to the Lord Jesus, such that we would be more and more dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. We were saved to become active disciples of our Lord.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.