You Can Count on Me
Everything in the Christian life depends upon what Christ has
done for us on the cross, and what He continues to do in and through us as He lives His
life in us. Not only has He died for us, but also through a mystical union of the believer
with Him we are in Christ, and He is in you.
The most important principle of sanctification is counting as true
what God Himself has already done for us. We are to count as true what is, according to
Gods Word, true.
The key to our progressive sanctification is in knowing that God has
taken us out of Adam and has joined us to Jesus Christ. We are no longer subject to the
reign of sin and death, but are now transferred to the kingdom of God.
The apostle Paul says our responsibility is to consider
[reckon] yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans
6:11). He uses an accounting term in the imperative tense. Be constantly counting upon the
fact that you are dead to sin, but also alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The word translated "reckon" or "consider" is a key
word in the apostle Paul's teaching on sanctification. He calls upon us
to "count, reckon, impute" on certain facts. It is an accounting word
that means to take into account, to calculate, to estimate. We are to
impute or "to put to one's account" certain facts. The idea "to reckon"
means "to put to ones account." It simply means to believe that
what God says in His Word is really true in your life.
Paul is admonishing the believer in Christ to recognize something
that is already an accomplished fact. Consider, and keep constantly
before you, this truth about who you are in Christ. We are commanded to
reckon as facts who we are in our relationship with Christ.
How tragic that most Christians do not know who
they are in Christ. They have no idea about their vital union in Christ.
They are to "count themselves "dead
in reference to "sin but alive to God." When did you die? When you put
your faith in Christ and were born again. Since they are dead to its power (Rom. 6:2), they ought to recognize
that fact and not continue in sin. Instead they are to realize they have new
Christ," and they share His resurrection life (Eph. 2:5-6; Col.
Our sins have been reckoned to Christ and punished in His death on
the cross. This is a fact that cannot be changed. His righteousness has been credited to
our account. This happened the moment we put our faith in Christ as our Savior. Jesus
actually died for our sins as our substitute. He suffered our transgressions (Isa.
53:5-6). The wages of sin is death, and Christ paid that debt in full. That is
a fact to be reckoned upon ever day of our lives. It is our responsibility to count upon
this fact and apply it to our daily lives.
Moreover, He not only died for our sins, but God has credited the
perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to our accounting ledger. His right standing in the
Fathers sight has been transferred to our account, and God now accounts us righteous
in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The critical point is that the born again Christian count as true
this great fact as God sees it. It is a completed transaction. God has acquitted us
forever. We must reckon as true what God has already done for us.
We are no longer subject to the reign of sin and death. We are now
under the power of the kingdom of God and His rule by grace.
The apostle Paul did not tell us to feel a certain
way, but to act on God's Word and claim these truths for ourselves. When
we count on these facts they result in actions and changes in our
behaviors. We act by faith on what we know to be the truth. The result
is a behavioral change.
Remember, Paul is using an accounting term. If I
give my employees a check and say there is money in the bank to cover
your check I expect them to go to the bank and cash their checks and
collect their money. If they do not they are not reckoning or counting
on the money being theirs in the bank. Reckoning is acting on the fact
that the money is there.
In these Scriptures God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us
that we are already dead to sin and alive unto God. He commands us to
act on this great truth. These facts are still true even if we do not
act on them. That is the tragedy in many believer's lives. They do not
act on the truths about their relationship with Christ.
We are dead to sin does not mean we are immune to sin. It
does not mean that sin as a force in me is dead. Sin is a force in me, even though its
effective power over the believer has been broken. We no longer have to be slaves of sin
(Romans 6:6). Sin does not have to dominate our bodies. We do not have to yield to it. We
now have a new power within and available to us at all times. We are to learn to think of
ourselves as individuals who have been delivered from the power of sin. It does not have
to rule over us. There is a sense in which we can be as holy as we want to be.
Sin has not been eradicated from the believer, but we are freed from
the bondage of sin. We were slaves whose bondage has been broken. We were slaves to our
sinful nature, who have now become new creatures in Christ. We are to count upon the fact
that we are dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ.
Sin is not dead in Christians. It is something that we have to deal
with daily because we are sinners. We do face temptation daily, but we do not have to
yield to it. Its power has been broken.
Sin has its hold on the believer through our bodies. Sin dwells
within. The new man in Christ is dead to sin meaning that the hold is on my body. I now
have a choice as to whether I will use my body to serve sin or God. Sin cannot dominate or
destroy what I have become in Christ. I can yield to sin, but the new person will abhor
sin and long for righteousness. This is why Paul admonishes the Christian, Therefore
do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts (Rom. 6:12).
We often do sin; therefore, Paul exhorts us to not yield our bodies
to sin because we do not have to. We have other options. We are pressing forward to new
goals because we no longer are satisfied by what the body of sin offers (Phil. 3:12-14; 2
Cor. 5:17-18). The sharing in this resurrection
life of Christ begins at the moment of regeneration, but it will continue as a believer
shares eternity with the Lord. Resurrection life is eternal in quality and everlasting in
Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as
instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the
dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God (Rom. 6:13). Sin does
not have to be master over the true Christian. For sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law but under grace (v. 14).
A life of holiness begins with a change in the way we think about
what Christ did for us. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to
God in Christ Jesus. Then we must always act on what we know to be the truth.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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