Consider Yourself Alive in Christ—Romans 6:11
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11)
Romans 6 is a beautiful expose of how Jesus broke the power of sin over our lives. Through studying this passage we can see how completely free we are from our old nature. This of course took place in our born again spirit. So the trouble comes when we experience sins residual effects, left over from of our previous nature still operating in our lives. It can cause a little confusion unless we understand how to operate in our freedom. It is easy to get stuck and frustrated with what we see in the natural realm unless we know how to overcome it. Paul gives us the key to unlocking this freedom in our physical bodies in today's passage.
Paul masterfully teaches us that in the same way that Jesus is dead to sin, consider yourself after the same manner. Consider yourself completely freed and delivered from sin. Your emancipation happen the moment you were born again. So now just consider it complete. That is step one, settling this in your heart once for all . Make a decision to believe God. Put His word and His seed into your heart and let it grow.
Secondly, do not focus on being dead to sin, just consider it done. There's a difference. If I focus on being dead to sin, then I am focusing on self and where I am failing in those areas. If I focus on the areas that the lingering effects of the old nature are still apparent, then I am actually strengthen it's power against me. However, If I am considering it done, then when I see the something that resembles my old sin nature operating in my life, I can disregard it as contrary to who I really am and subsequently not affording it any power over me. It is broken unless I give it power, but renewing my mind to the fact that it is done away with strengthens me to operate in faith.
Lastly the most important step to overcoming sin in our natural bodies is to focus on being alive with Christ. This is key, you cannot be swayed by something you have no investment in. If we focus on living in Christ then everything flows out of that. Jesus said in Matthew, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" ( Matthew 6:21 ) He knew that a house divide cannot stand. If we focus on God and what pleases him, then our lives become an extension of that. Change does not come by a decision or work, change comes from the heart. Jesus said in Luke 6:45, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." ( Luke 6:45 ) In our heart [spirit] is where the good things of Christ reside. So by focusing on the Lord, those things will spill out into our lives and change will come quickly. The effects of our previous nature will disappear because our lives will solely reflect who we are inwardly in our spirits. So focus on Christ and being alive with Him. Focus on what pleases Him and you will experience outward change with absolutely no work. Today, may this bless you as you seek the Lord and experience newness of life overflowing from your born again spirit. Amen!
Original article published October 18, 2009.