The Gospel According to Paul: Alive in Christ, present your life as instrument of righteousness. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, April 26, 2018
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness” (Romans 6:8–13, NET).
Because He Did, We Can
The fact that Jesus Christ is alive and well is the greatest testimony of His power to give us victory over all our sinful habits and our sinful nature. Paul said, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Since Christ is alive and ministering in heaven for all who have faith in Him, we know that all He has modeled and commanded us to follow is within our grasp.
What makes the difference? What makes the difference between those who are dead in sins and dead to sin? Notice the clues in our theme passage. There are a couple of conditions in verse 8. “If we died with Christ” is the first condition. “We believe…” is the second, although dependent upon the first.
Paul continues the thought by saying Jesus died to sin one time so we don’t need to die in our sins. Jesus died to sin one time so we can die to sin too. Because of Jesus’ death while wearing the guilt of those keep faith in Him, we can turn away from the death-causing habits that plague society. We, by faith in Christ, can become unresponsive to the claims that sinful inclinations have upon us.
This brings me to my next point: belief. Saving faith (or belief) in God is necessary for us to live victorious lives. Jesus did not stay dead. Once He carried all of the guilt, penalty, and shame of sin to the grave, and then miraculously awoke from the dead, death had no more dominion over Him. He has the keys to hell, death, and the grave, and thus the power to unlock power reserved for those who have saving faith in Him.
Promise of Power
This is why the power of His resurrection is essential to our salvation. We now have the privilege to present our minds, bodies, and lives as instruments of righteousness. We are no longer bound to the slavery a sinful lifestyle creates. When we encounter temptations, we can reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive unto righteousness.
We can claim the promise that, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Claim this promise by faith and you will be victorious in all things until Jesus comes.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?