by Neil Anderson
Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus
Even though you are dead to sin, sin’s strong appeal may still cause you to struggle with feeling that you are more alive to sin than you are to Christ. But Romans 6:1-11 teaches us that what is true of the Lord Jesus Christ is true of us in terms of our relationship to sin and death. God the Father allowed His Son to “be sin” in order that all the sins of the world–past, present and future–would fall on Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). When He died on the cross, our sins were on Him. But when He rose from the grave, there was no sin on Him. When He ascended to the Father, there was no sin on Him. And today, as He sits at the Father’s right hand, there is no sin on Him. Since we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ, we too have died to sin.
Christ already died to sin, and because you are in Him, you have died to sin too. Sin is still strong and appealing, but your relationship with sin has ended. I’ve met many Christians who are still trying to die to sin, and their lives are miserable and fruitless as a result because they are struggling to do something that has already been done. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2).
Romans 6:11 summarizes what we are to believe about our relationship to sin because of our position in Christ. It doesn’t matter whether you feel dead to sin or not; you are to consider it so because it is so. People wrongly wonder, “What experience must I have in order for this to be true?” The only necessary experience is that of Christ on the cross, which has already happened. When we choose to believe what is true about ourselves and sin, and walk on the basis of what we believe, our right relationship with sin will work out in our experience. But as long as we put our experience before our belief, we will never fully know the freedom that Christ purchased for us on the cross.
Lord, teach me not always to believe what I feel about my relationship to sin, but to believe the truth that I am dead to it.