“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. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” – Romans 6: 6-7
Now here is a glorious truth. The power of sin and, indeed, our slavery to indwelling sin, has been broken at the cross. Not for some. Not for those only who are of noble birth and ethical training. The most foul and loathsome sinner who comes to Christ by faith has their “old man” crucified with the Lord Jesus. That old nature has been united with Christ Jesus in His death in order that the body of sin be done away with, and in order that we should no longer be slaves to sin. This is not conjecture, it is fact. This is not future, it is present. Salvation is an accomplished deed and when it is applied by God’s Spirit to those who place their faith in Christ, the consequences of that death to sin are seen in the life of every newly born-again saint. The changes are seen immediately. That regenerated heart bears fruit outwardly and that fruit increases with time. The glorious truth of this passage is that we who were once slaves to sin are, by Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, made alive unto righteousness. And this transformation continues through the entire course of the saint’s life.
Do you object to this thought, dear Christian? Has your experience been one where sin, too often, held sway over you and now you find yourself discouraged? Dear child of God, the battle against sin in the flesh is a fierce one, it is no easy battle. Our victory over besetting sins can require ruthless measures. Our Lord Jesus said, “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell,” Matthew 5:30. But the fierceness of the battle and the difficulty of achieving the victory must never cause us to doubt the promises of God. We are no longer the slave of that besetting sin of ours. Though Satan whispers that we are, WE ARE NOT!
So what are we to do? Trust God! Reckon ourselves to be what we are. As we are told in verse 11 of this chapter, “Reckon yourself to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is taking up the promise of God by faith and acting upon it. We trust God to be truthful. God tells us that He has broken sins mastery over us and we believe it because, indeed, He has. He may not have eliminated our access to that sin and He may not have eliminated all desire for that sin. As long as we live in these corrupt bodies there will be fleshly passions that must be resisted. But truly, He has eliminated its mastery over us and therefore we can be dead to that sin. And it can be put away. Nay, it will be put away. It will be put away for good, even forever. That is God’s promise and that is the nature of the redemption that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So take courage dear Christian, and let’s be on with it. Let us take up the battle against those besetting sins as those who are guaranteed to win. We will gain the victory. That is the promise we have from our merciful Heavenly Father.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (and so, overcome) – 1 Corinthians 10:13.