Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dying to Sin

Spirit Mindedness begins with a fundamental change in the way that you live life or rather die to life.  It seems that the paradox within the Christian tradition is that one lives when one dies.  Romans 6 summarizes this kind of living (dying). 

What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.
Romans 6:1-4 (HCSB)

There is a problem of sin within the Church.  We like the idea of being saved in spite of our sins, but we do not take the next step of being saved out of our sin.  Jesus did not come so that we could continue to live the same sinful life with the assurance that we could make it to heaven.  One has to wonder if living in this way is even remotely close to a genuine faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.  You see living for Christ involves dying to the former way of life.  Which is what this passage deals with.  When we come to Christ we are "baptized into his death."  But more than that we are raised to a new life.  It is a life that is dependent on the Holy Spirit of God. 

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin's dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin's claims.
Romans 6:6-7 (HCSB)

One of the reasons that dying to the old self is so important is that it releases us from being enslaved to sin.  Sin is missing the mark that God has given us.  When we miss the mark then the Holy Spirit is grieved.  Sin hinders the Holy Spirit from working in your life.  In fact sin produces bad fruit in your life.  When sin is present then it is evidence that God is not in control of your life.  We have to die to sin.  

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God.
Romans 6:8-10 (HCSB)

Not only do we die to sin, but we are raised to live to God.  We are called to live our lives every moment to God and His righteousness.  When we live to God then we have hope of freedom from falling back into sin. 

How to die to Sin

Step 1:

So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11 (HCSB)

Step 2:

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. Romans 6:12-13 (HCSB)

Step 3:

But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.
Romans 6:13 (HCSB)

Step 4:  Meditate upon this truth until it becomes embedded in your mind:

For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:14 (HCSB)

A word of warning.  It is easy to consider this as a act of religious devotion or exercise of commitment.  This is not the case.  It is a work of the Holy Spirit in you.  It is trusting the Holy Spirit to accomplish this work in you.  The point is that you have to be willing to do it ("Consider yourselves...").  We will explore this further in the next few posts. 

Have a Blessed Day!