Staying Dead – Part 1
The Christian life isn’t simply about doing the best you can and then trying to get all of your sins forgiven and go to heaven when you die. There is way more to it than that.
Sin doesn’t control where you go when you die, and sin doesn’t have to control what you do while you live. Paul explains that you can actually live free from the power of sin in your life.
Because I am in Christ, sin is not my master. I am dead to sin, but alive to Christ.
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:9–11
Now, this little word “count” was actually an accounting term. It really means to consider, accept, believe, factor in. We are going to use the word “declare.” You need to begin to declare that sin is not your master because in Christ the power of sin has been broken. Regardless of how you live and regardless of whether or not you have ever experienced this, the first step in applying these powerful truths is to believe this and declare it: “Sin is not my master.”
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Romans 6:12
Sin, the entity, only reigns over you and reigns in your life when you let it. Do not let it.
When you wrestle with sin, do you wrestle from the standpoint of being in Adam? Let me tell you how that sounds: I can't help it. Nobody is perfect. All men are alike. This is just natural. This is normal. This is what we do. This is who you used to be, and you will lose this fight every single time because you have identified with someone you are not.
It becomes a completely different kind of struggle when you struggle from the standpoint of identifying with who you are now that you have been placed in Christ. Now the struggle is more like this: “That is sin trying to rule me. That is sin trying to conquer me. That is sin still thinking it has power over me. That is sin trying to rule my life, and I know that in the shadow of sin is death, and I have had enough death in my life.” When you struggle—and we all do—when you are tempted and find yourself in that raging battle, you must choose which side of the equation you're going to identify with and which side of the equation you identify with has everything to do with the outcome.
As long as you identify with who you used to be, you will continue to behave the way you have always behaved. You have the potential and the power to say, “Sin, I am not going to let you rule and influence my life anymore.” So what do we do? We declare, “Sin is not my master. I may act like it is, but it is just not. And since sin is not my master, I have decided not to let sin rule me anymore.”