So too you must count yourselves to be dead to sin, but living for God in Christ Jesus. Rom. 6:11
I have recently been reading though portions of Romans as I study up for something else and Romans 6 was cited as a reference. As I read verse 11, I was struck in my heart with conviction as the question rang through my head, "Do I really live as though I am dead to sin and alive to God in Christ?"
Sadly, I had to say no, not all the time, not in every circumstance. Some days maybe not even in most circumstances... The question of "Am I living for Jesus Christ" is huge and carries enormous implications for me and for you.
We often wonder why we have no power to carry out spiritual things. We wonder why our prayer life is flat lining, why our desire to read God's Word is steadily waning, and why our joy is incomplete. The answer is very clear and it is found in this passage; we are not living or believing as though we are dead to sin.
Before we can truly live as though we are dead to sin, we have to believe it. Why is it so hard to believe that because of Christ we don't have to live in bondage? Is it because our fleshly desires run so strong? Partly, yes. I would daresay all of us lived according to the desires of the flesh as children and many of us continued on into our teens and perhaps even adulthood indulging ourselves, even if we were Christians. We seem to think we cannot help ourselves, which is the exact opposite of what the Scripture says is true about us as we are in Christ.
We act out of our belief system. If we believe something is true then we will live as though it is true. If you believe it is impossible to live as though you are dead to sin, then the result will be you will live as though you are in bondage to sin!
I think the reason goes deeper than the belief system in some people. There are folks who really like their sin. There is a benefit of some sort in it for them and they don't want to give it up. Sometimes the payoff is only in the mind, as they reminisce and enjoy the memories of their sinful activities.
A third reason would be the knowledge that we are redeemed and safe within the loving arms of a gracious God. In some people it works against them! They become so confident in the grace in which they stand that they begin to take it for granted! Sin no longer looks as ugly, it is no longer as important that they confess and pray, the little critical disciplines of the Christian life slowly slip away. Suddenly they find they are struggling and constantly frustrated with life. In creeps the criticism and sarcasm bringing with it discontent and fear, worry and anxiety. None of this is living as though we are dead to sin.
Christians must first believe what the Bible says about itself; it is the very Word of God. If you believe this is true, then how can you doubt that you can count yourselves to be dead to sin, and live for God? Good question and one worth pondering deeply.