“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 NKJV).
The born-again believers are not expected to strive or struggle to die daily to sin, for they are already dead to sin once and for all through the body of Jesus Christ. At the New Birth, you were baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection by the Holy Spirit.
Paul amply presents this truth or reality in his epistles.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (NKJV).
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (NKJV).
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NKJV).
Your victory over sin depends on you knowing, understanding and believing the truth that your former sinful and corrupt self (the old man) had been crucified with Christ on the cross, and you are now a new creation, a new self, a new man in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if any one is in union with Christ, he is a new being! His old life has passed away; a new life has begun! (TCNT).
The death of your old self was not gradual, progressive, or incomplete. Rather, it was a ONCE FOR ALL, TOTAL, COMPLETE and PERFECT DEATH.
This truth is the primary key to a victorious life in Christ!
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. (NKJV).
There is certainly a huge difference between a man who has been confirmed dead and a man who is about to die or who is dying.
Therefore, the experience of a believer who truly knows, understands, and walks in the revelation knowledge of his perfect death and resurrection with Christ will not be the same as that of the believer who is striving to die daily.
Many born-again believers today are still struggling with sinful habits because they would not acknowledge, accept, believe and walk in the truth that they have died to sin once and for all through the body of Jesus Christ.
Until you know, understand, accept or believe that you have died to the Mosaic Law, you cannot serve God in the newness of the Spirit.
Paul aptly explains this truth.
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (NKJV).
It is only a man who is dead that is totally free from sin!
2 How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. (NKJV).
Therefore, any believer who is still striving or struggling to die daily to sin or to the law is not yet free from the dominion of sin and the law.
We all were born with a sinful, depraved, corrupt, stubborn and rebellious nature that can never subject to God (Rom. 8:7). We were irrevocably damaged and corrupted by sin to the extent that when God looked upon the earth all that He saw was total corruption (Gen. 6:12).
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (NKJV).
Sin was embedded and enthroned in our flesh from birth. Nothing can separate us from the sin dwelling in us except death. No religion, institution, reformation or rehabilitation can revamp, rehabilitate, rescue or deliver our flesh from sin except death.
Therefore, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ “in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3 NKJV); “in the image of the evil flesh (Rom. 8:3 BBE); in a body like that of sinful human nature (Rom. 8:3 WNT); in a body like the bodies we sinners have (Rom. 8:3 NLT); in the guise of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3 AMP).”
What did God accomplish by sending His Son to come in the likeness of our sinful and corrupt flesh?
The Scripture reveals:
“He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3 NKJV);
He gave his decision against sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3 BBE);
He pronounced sentence upon sin in human nature (Rom. 8:3 WNT);
He condemned sin in human nature (Rom. 8:3 GNT);
In that body (a body like the bodies we sinners have) God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins (Rom. 8:3 NLT);
God condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice”] (Rom. 8:3 AMP).
What is the spiritual implication of Christ dying on the cross in the likeness of our sinful flesh, on the account of our sin?
Sin was condemned in the flesh!
The power, dominion and control of sin is now totally broken and destroyed over all who put their faith in Christ Jesus and His substitutionary or sacrificial death on the cross.
The terrible and agonizing death that Jesus Christ died on the cross was the death that we needed to die to be free from the hold, dominion, and tyranny of sin. Jesus came in our sinful likeness so that He might be a perfect substitute for us and died in our stead.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (NKJV).
3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. (NLT). Praise God!
Therefore, anyone who puts his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work need not to die any death in order to be free from the dominion of sin because the death that Christ died was in his stead or place.
Christ’s death on the cross was not for the sake of His freedom from sin, for he was a sinless man. His death was totally for our sake, the slaves of sin. It was a once and for all death!
Christ’s one time death on the cross over 2000 years ago is sufficient to deliver all human race from the power and control of sin.
9 Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (NKJV).
Beloved, seeking, striving or struggling to die daily to sin is tantamount to despising and belittling Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross, and regarding it as insufficient for your total freedom or deliverance from sin.
That is a great insult to the Spirit of grace!
How then should believers deal with the daily temptations to sin?
Why did Paul say “I die daily”?
Find out in the second part of this piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ in the likeness of my sinful flesh to die in my place so that I can be free from the dominion of sin once and for all. I believe in Christ’s sacrifice for my sins and I declare today my perfect and perpetual freedom from the dominion of sin, in Jesus’ name. Amen.