Excerpts from Romans 6…
We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, 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. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Watchman Nee is quickly becoming one of my favorite biblical expositors. His book Sit, Walk, Stand revolutionized my understanding of what it was to be in Christ. Now I’m going through The Normal Christian Life and it’s opening my eyes to what abiding in Christ really encompasses. As a Christian, it is easy to take to extremes about what “the life” is all about.
1. Now that I am a Christian, I must follow new rules. Do this, and Do not do that. I cannot enjoy what I used to. I must be pious and rigid so that I do not disappoint God and muddy His reputation. People are watching.
2. Now that I am a Christian, I am completely covered by God’s grace; therefore I may do whatever I wish because I am forgiven and made clean every day. I can sin and sin and sin and it won’t make a difference. I have my ticket to heaven.
Both of these have elements of truth, but neither is true righteousness. Paul explains in the verses above: “We are dead to sin, how can we live in it any longer?” This death, as Nee explains, did not take place at our experience of salvation, the moment we said “yes’ to Christ. It happened at the Cross, the day that Christ died. We were crucified with Him, died with Him, were buried with Him. All of these things happened at Calvary, long before our fleshly bodies came into being.
…so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
What does this mean? This means that we were legally freed from sin-slavery before we ever even had the experience of it on earth. This is a concept we will elaborate on in future posts, but for know begin to think on the fact of your death.
You are dead to sin because you were crucified with Christ. It has already happened and your death is an established fact. In our next post, we will talk about being alive in Christ and in what positions that places us. But first grasp your death. Dead to sin, no longer mastered by it, no longer at its beck and call, completely able and allowed to refuse its desires.
This does not mean temptations will not arise, tests will not come, or battles will not be fought. It means that you are in Christ and He is in you. Light and darkness cannot coexist, because light drives out the darkness. Jesus is the great light, so as you remember His presence, you remember the death of darkness within you and the freedom which that produces. You are dead.