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The Day I Died

God takes sin seriously. Sin is a terrible thing in the Christian’s 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! 

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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