Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Romans 6:7-8, NASB
for he who has died is freed from sin;
Now if we have died with Christ,
we believe that we also shall live with Him.

"The knowledge that Christ and we with him in the likeness of His death, are dead to sin, is indispensable to our sanctification."
Andrew Murray (Like Christ, p. 76)

That indispensable knowledge is what keeps us from being hopeless. We are like Christ in His death: dead to sin.

"This passage is the foundation as well as the key to the possibility of a ‘walk in the Spirit.’"
Lewis Sperry Chafer (He That Is Spiritual, p. 154)

Knowing and understanding our sin dead in our identification with Christ frees us to walk in the Spirit. We no longer have to worry or be apprehensive to wondering and worrying about sinning. Count yourself dead to sin; believe it—because you are! Step out in faith. When Christ sees you He doesn’t see a child bound in sin, but alive and looking to the cross for confidence and assurance of faith. Sin is no longer master, but Christ!

"By faith, the believer reckons (counts) himself ‘dead unto sin’ (Rom. 6:3-14)."
Alexander R. Hay (New Testament Order for Church & Missionary, p. 310)

Our position of identification in being dead to sin is not something to strive for or learn, but only to accept it. Christ already did the work. Our sin, our old self is already dead. We don’t have to crucify ourselves.

"If the difference between ‘Christ dying for us,’ and ‘our dying with Him,’ has not been recognized, acknowledged, and applied, it may safely be affirmed that the self is still the dominating factor in the life."
J. Penn-Lewis (Memoir, p. 26)

When we don’t believe and don’t accept ‘our dying with Him’ we are saying no to the totality of the cross of Christ. We are in essence, and in fact, telling Jesus that His death may have saved us from our past sins and from eternal damnation, but that His death was not full enough to save us from the day to day struggle with sin. Self still rules that life, because pride stands in the way to fully accept Christ’s work for us. It may seem a humble attitude of "No, Lord, that’s too much for me. You’ve already given me so much," or "I can’t do it. The yoke of sin is too tight. Lord, I can’t take it off." Those excuses (which are also lies) spit in the face of our glorious Redeemer, Christ!

He didn’t simply die to save us from punishment for our sins, but He died to save us from death and sin! It is because of His death that sin has no mastery over us! The work on the cross and ‘our dying with Him’ are one in the same. They didn’t happen separately, they coexist. And, we can only truly live free when we accept by faith that Christ’s death paid the penalty for our sins and freed us from the power of sin, since sin is death and death no longer has power over Christ, sin also has no real power in us as believers. Our identification is not something we must strive for, but something we already possess as believers the second Christ is acknowledged as our Lord.

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