Dead With Christ | The Institute for Creation Research
Dead With Christ

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1,2).

In the first eleven verses of the sixth chapter of Romans, there are no less than nine references to the believer’s death in Christ, all of them expressed in a tense indicating action completed in the past. This is not just a spiritual doctrine; it has significant practical consequences in the Christian life.

By the grace of God, since He died for sin, we have—in principle—died to sin. At the same time, since Christ rose from the dead, we have also received the new life of Christ as our life. Thus, although a believer can still commit acts of sin after he has been saved, he cannot live any longer therein! “For sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). The saving grace of God in Christ effectively enables the believer to die to sin and live for Christ. God’s commands become God’s enablings, so there is neither need nor justification to live a defeated Christian life. “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Romans 6:8).

The key is simply to realize that this doctrine is a practical and energizing reality in daily life. As the apostle says: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). He does not say, “try to die to sin,” but, literally, “realize you have died to sin!” Furthermore, he urges, we should realize we are truly “alive unto God.” When a Christian really recognizes the tremendous resources he has in Christ, then he does, indeed, seek to yield himself unto God, as one who is “alive from the dead” and his “members as instruments [literally ‘weapons’] of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13). God’s grace has “abounded” toward us, not to enable us now to sin with impunity, but to deliver us from bondage to sinful thoughts and actions in our lives. HMM

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