Aug 1 – Overcoming Sin and Death

Can we live a righteous life? That is the core question for anybody trying to overcome addictive behavior. The apostle Paul says, “Yes,” and explains how in Romans 6:1-14. We have to be united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. The early church understood salvation to mean union with God. “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (vs. 5). The death of Christ dealt with our need to be forgiven, but the resurrection ensures our new life in Christ and that is what we need to overcome the power of sin and death. “For the one who has died has been set free from sin” (vs. 7).

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1,2). The apostle uses the word law to imply an incontrovertible fact. You cannot do away with the law of sin and death. But you can overcome those laws by a greater law, which is “the law of the Spirit of life.” Humanly we cannot fly, because the law of gravity keeps us earth-bound. We can overcome it temporarily when we use our limited resources to jump, but we always return to earth. However, we can fly in an airplane, because it has the power to overcome the laws of gravity. Should you be tempted to think that the law of gravity is no longer an issue, then flip the switch at 20,000 feet, and you will crash and burn.

When we are born again, we have died with Christ, but we still retain old flesh patterns. Now we have a choice, we can walk according to the flesh, or we can walk according to the Spirit. If we walk by the Spirit we will not carry out the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). “So you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11). Considering it so, doesn’t make it so. You consider it so (continue to believe), because it is so. Death is the end of a relationship, but not existence. Sin is still appealing, and physical death is still imminent. Physical death has no sting, because we have eternal life in Christ. When sin makes its appeal, we can say no. “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but grace” (vs. 14). Tomorrow I will explain the entrapment of sin.

Dr. Neil

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