Today's Foundations Devotional: Reckoning ourselves dead to sin but alive to God
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that
as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too
might walk in newness of life.
For the believer to enter into this full purpose of Christ’s atonement, two conditions must be fulfilled. These two conditions are stated by Paul, in their logical order, in Romans 6.
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 (Rom. 6:6).
Our old man being crucified with Christ was a definite, historical event that occurred at a given moment in past time.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:11).
Here the introductory word ‘likewise’ points out the correspondence between the experience of Christ and the experience of the believer. The meaning is: “Just as Christ died, so reckon that you also died with Him.” More briefly, “Christ’s death was your death.”
Here, then, are the two conditions for being dead to sin and living to righteousness and to God: 1) knowing, 2) reckoning. First, we must know what God’s Word teaches about the central purpose of Christ’s death. Second, we must reckon God’s Word to be true in our own particular case; we must apply this truth of God’s Word by faith to our own condition. The experience can be ours only when, and only as long as, we thus know and reckon as true what God’s Word teaches about the purpose of Christ’s atonement.
Concerning this central purpose of Christ’s atonement – “that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” – we may make two statements which can scarcely be challenged: 1) There is no truth of greater practical importance in the whole New Testament. 2) There is no truth about which greater ignorance, indifference or unbelief prevail among professing Christians.
The root of this miserable condition lies in the word ‘ignorance’. With good reason we may apply to this situation the words of the Lord in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
The primary requirement stated by Paul for entering into the central purpose of Christ’s atonement is “knowing this.” If God’s people do not know this truth, they cannot believe it; if they do not believe it, they cannot experience it. Therefore, the first great need is to bring this truth before the Church and to keep it continually before the Church in the clearest and most emphatic way.
Father, thank You for revealing to me, day by day, more of the truth that my
old man was crucified with Christ and that I am dead for sin and sickness in Him.
And where I do not yet experience that in my daily life, I confess that my
‘old man’ no longer lives, but Your life is in me! Amen.