Have you noticed that no matter how well you feel that you handled life yesterday, today always brings new and greater struggles? Here’s the bad news: that struggle which is renewed every morning will continue until you die or the Lord comes back for you. Here’s the good news: God means the struggle for your growth and therefore each new day’s struggle is an opportunity to become more like Christ, to fulfill our ultimate purpose.
Every day you have the choice whether to live for Christ or live for self. Paul chose to die to self – daily – and to put on the whole armor of God. Like baptism – the old man dies and is resurrected in the light and likeness of Christ. We each must die daily keeping the flesh under control and in submission to Christ.
*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 (v. 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 18). It refers to a single action that has taken place and has been completed in the past.
Paul really liked the dramatic. His writings are full of feelings that he poured out for us. This falls in with “Pray without ceasing.” Literally, it’s hard to grasp. But if you think of how your spirit responds to the world, some days you may feel like you are dying endlessly, and other days you may feel full of prayer. I don’t think there’s a definitive way to explain more fully what Paul means. He was speaking from his heart, and it is up to us to see how we resonate with his words.
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.”
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 tyme 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 tyme 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?