The Day I Died
God takes sin seriously. Sin is a terrible thing in the
Christians life. That is why God did not overlook sin, but dealt with it in one
complete stroke of judgment by sending Christ to die for us on the cross.
Now that we have been saved by grace can we live any way we so
please? Can we sin it up now that our fire insurance has been paid in full?
The apostle Paul responded to that arrogant attitude saying,
How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:2).
We died to sin. “Died” is in aorist past tense,
indicating a once for all death in a judicial sense. We legally died
(vv. 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 18). It refers to a single action that has
taken place and has been completed in the past.
The idea of our death to sin is basic in this great chapter, and is
essential to the sanctification of all believers.
We died to sin. When did you die?
The apostle Paul does not say we are going to die to sin, or we are
presently dying to sin. He does not say we are continually to die to sin. The apostle has
in mind a completed past action.
We have died to sin is already true of us if we have
entered into a vital union with Christ. Charles Hodge notes, it refers to a specific
act in our past history.
The apostle Paul tells us there is a watershed, a
before Christ and after he came into our lives. Before Christ describes
the old man, the old self, what I was like before
my conversion. The after Christ came in describes the new man, the new self,
what my life has been like after I was
made a new creation in Christ. The before Christ ended with the judicial death of
the old self. I was a sinner. I deserved to die. I did die. I received my
righteousness in my
Substitute with whom I have become one. It describes my resurrection. My
old life is finished, and a new life to God has begun.
Our continuing in sin is unthinkable says Paul because God by His
grace took us from the position of being in Adam and transferred us into the kingdom of
Christ. It is something God has already done. It is not something we do, or have done, but
something God has done to us. We have been joined to Jesus Christ. The old life ended in
that transaction, and a new life has begun at the same time.
In Romans 6:1-11 the apostle Paul compares our dying to sin to how
Christ died to sin. Although He had never experienced personal sin, He died to sin by
suffering its penalty on the cross. The wages of sin is death. He died as our
substitute. He was punished for our sin in our place once for all on the cross. Jesus died
to sin once for all. His relationship to sin is finished forever. By dying in our place on
the cross He put an end to its claim upon us once for all. Jesus died. That will never
happen again. It will never be repeated. It is a completed action in the past. Paul makes
this emphatically clear in verses 9-10, knowing that Christ, having been raised from
the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He
died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Moreover, Paul tells us that our old life of sin in Adam is over. We
died. Just as Christ can never go back and die again, we can never go back to the old life
in Adam. That part of our lives died. The
result of our vital union with Christ in His death and resurrection is that our old life
in Adam is past, over with, and we now have a new life in Christ.
Our life is divided into two parts at the point in which we believed
on Christ and were born again. At a specific act in past history we accepted Christ as our
Savior and we became new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
Can you point to a time in your life and see the
change before and after Christ separated by the new birth? When we put
our faith in Christ as our Savior and were born again the old self died
through union with Christ and was buried. The penalty of our sins was
paid in full by Christ's atoning death. At the same time the believer
rose again from death, a new person, to live a new life in Christ. We
were crucified with Christ and rose with Him to new life.
We died to the life of sin. God counts the utterly perfect
righteousness of the risen Christ as ours. He sees us risen in Him. We live a new life in
Christ. The old one died, and it was buried.
Does your life have a dividing line marked Christ?
O for a thousand tongues to sing. . ." the triumph of His
grace in a thousand different languages!
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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