Tidings for Tuesday

God forbid! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? Romans 6:2

I met a man one time who believed, or claimed to believe, that because he was saved, he was no longer capable of committing any sins. He insisted that he was living in sinless perfection. And he quoted today’s text as the proof. I was not with this man very many minutes until I learned that he was either mistaken or lying. I suspect he was lying, because he was careless about breaking some of the other commandments, too. In fact, I seriously doubt that this man was ever saved. An honest look at ourselves will quickly reveal that even the most devout and dedicated Christian is not only capable of sinning but it incapable of not sinning. True, we are saved and will never face God’s eternal judgment for our sins. But just because our souls have been redeemed does not mean that our bodies have been. And they won’t be until our Lord comes for us. These unredeemed bodies are under constant attack from the world, the flesh, and the devil. So, if we still sin, how can we be dead to sin, as our text declares that we are?

The first, and best, way that we are dead to sin is in God’s declaration that we are justified. Despite the enemy’s accusations, our sins are forever hidden from God because of the Blood of the Lamb. The glorious truth and reality of God’s salvation causes our hearts to rise in worship and thankfulness every time that we think upon it. And the more we think upon it, the more we will thank and worship our Saviour.

The second way that we are dead to sin is the reality that we are no longer required to sin like we did in our unconverted lives. Before, we were slaves in bondage to sin, obeying sin’s dictates, and even worse, loving the sin. And we were powerless against temptation. But we are not powerless now! The Holy Spirit lives within us, and He is God Omnipotent. As we allow Him to empower us, we are able to not only resist sin but also to serve and worship our Lord. We couldn’t do that before.

A third way in which we are dead to sin is the loss of our appetite for the fruits of the flesh. If we recall how Noah released a raven from the ark, we will remember that the raven did not return. It found plenty of food to satisfy its appetite for that which God had judged and destroyed. But the dove that Noah released must return again; there was nothing for its clean appetite until the planet brought forth new life. As Christians find our nourishment in the Word of God, we lose our taste for the sins of the flesh.

We are also dead to sin in that the works of the flesh no longer have a claim on us. Before salvation, the wages we were earning was death, because our employment was sin. That is no longer our emloyment, or at least it should not be. We have entered into the service of the best of Masters, One Whose yoke is easy and Whose burden is light (Matthew 11:30). We are now capable of serving Him. In His service there is victory and joy, and the assurance of a just recompense.

As Christians, the sin nature remains with us. But thanks to our Saviour, it no longer reigns over us. – Jim MacIntosh

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