Fundamentals Of Victorious Christian Living Part 24

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:9-12

Paul directed his readers to “recon” themselves “dead” to sin. The word “reckon” could also be translated “count”, “reason”, “decide”, or “conclude”.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

A Christian is identified as being “buried” and “raised up from the dead” with Christ. We are “dead” just as He is dead to sin because we are identified with Him and sealed in Him by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

Our sin nature was put to death in Christ Jesus. We are free from sin but must renew our minds to these truths to walk in that freedom.

Each one of us will have battles that must be fought to walk in the freedom provided to us through salvation. We will make mistakes but must keep pressing into God’s Word. As it begins to take root it will become easier and easier to walk in the freedom provided to us in Christ!

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5

We are supposed to think like Jesus! 

I shared the story of my battle with cancer earlier. How do you think Jesus would have responded to a diagnosis of having a malignant melanoma in His body? Would He have fallen apart and put His affairs in order preparing to die?

There are people who will tell you that walking by faith will eliminate the battles in our lives. We live in a fallen world. Symptoms will come. There may be times that our bills get behind. Coworkers may criticize us. Our reaction to these situations is determined by the time we are spending meditating in God’s Word on a daily basis.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:12

The word “therefore” links this verse to the previous statements Paul has made. We are in Christ and identified with His death, burial, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit has sealed us in Him (Ephesians 1:13) and “therefore” we must not allow sin to “reign” in our bodies.

Jesus only died for our sins once. He is not going back to the cross for any new sin mankind commits! His death was a singular event and we are identified as having died with Him. We do not have to die to sin every day!

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:21

Sin “reigns” over the lives of people who do not know Jesus. It “reigned” over the life of every Christian until the day they asked Jesus to save them. 

The sin nature dies at the moment a person asks Jesus to be their Savior. In the spirit they are identified with His death, burial, and resurrection. Grace should be “reigning” over the life of every Christian but does not because we lack revelation of these truths.

I used to fight depression and ran from meeting to meeting seeking deliverance. As these truths became revelation it dawned on me that I was depressed because I allowed myself to be depressed! The key to freedom was already given to me through grace but my ignorance of it had allowed depression to rule in my life!

The door was opened for cancer to take root in my life as a result of my lacking revelation knowledge of God’s healing power. This was something I had studied but I lacked revelation of its truth. Like many Christians my knowledge of healing was in my head and therefore grace was unable to “reign” over my physical body.

God has placed His power in the spirit of every Christian. He has provided His grace but we lack knowledge of our position in Christ Jesus and so we are dominated by sin and its resulting effects.

People justify the problems they struggle with as just being a part of the human experience. Our flesh enjoys being the center of attention and so it is easy to slip into a victim mentality. We talk about our symptoms with a subconscious desire to have people pity us. It is time for us to put our flesh under the Lordship of Jesus!

You have had things happen in your life that have not happened to me. I’ve faced things that you will not face. Each one of us has a choice to either allow circumstances to dominate us or to dominate the circumstance. 

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Deuteronomy 30:19

The choice of how we respond to life will always be ours!

There was a group of students that took a trip to Mexico while I was in Mexico. They returned with a story of some people they had met who lived in a landfill. These people lived in the garbage because society viewed them as worthless and so no business would hire them and there was no possible way for them to ever leave the landfill. They raised their children in the garbage and so the students had met fourth and fifth generation landfill dwellers.

The instructors leading the trip shared the truths we have been discussing with this group of people. They were unable to read and write but took the truths to heart. Our group left several battery powered tape players with bags of batteries and messages for the people to listen to. They tried to connect them with the local churches but none would have anything to do with the garbage dwellers so they left with a promise to return one day to the landfill.

One of the students was called to return to that landfill as a missionary. He did so the next year and was surprised at what he found. The people were still rejected by society but had discovered a way to convert the garbage into useful products that they were exporting to the US. They still lived in the landfill but their lives were improving.

The missionary taught the landfill dwellers to read and write. He provided each one a Bible and taught them from Romans 6. This missionary returned to our school just before I graduated. A church had been built in the landfill and his flock of garbage dwellers had also built homes! They made the choice to allow grace to reign in the midst of the garbage they lived in!

We can make excuses based on our economic status, the color of our skin, or lack of education. There will always be an excuse and our situation will never change as long as we use them. I am speaking from experience because I used to be a master of making excuses for my problems. This ended when my eyes were opened to the truths of my position in Christ and the Holy Spirit revealed to me that no one can hold me back if I do not allow them to!

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