we know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. for one who has died has been set free from sin. [romans 6:6-7]
if you are in Christ–you are dead.
perhaps you have heard the term “dead man walking” to refer to someone who is on death row–they are alive–yes–but their imminent and sure death means that they know their end is coming, they are assured that their earthly punishment will be final.
paul tells us that we are also dead men and women walking, but with a far more eternal and hope-filled meaning.
“we know our old self was crucified with him”
our death to our old nature has already happened, we are on the other side of it! yes, we will still experience a physical death unless Christ returns first, but the victory is won–this is why we echo paul in saying:
for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [phillipians 1:23]
our physical death is gain, because then we will see Christ! o! let us live each day in the victory that Christ has bought for us in crucifixion!
“in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
“the body of sin” has at least two meanings here–certainly it means ‘the entirety of sin for all believers for all time’ that his death was sufficient to bring all of that sin to nothing, so that we Christians might be free of it–this is the crushing of satan’s head that was promised in genesis 3. it also can mean our personal involvement, the fleshness of our personal sin that used to reign in our mortal bodies. both of these meanings are great encouragement to us–all sin for all believers as well as my personal sin has been brought to nothing, it no longer has the power to enslave me!
“for one who has died has been set free from sin.”
an amazing truth for the believer–like me, paul still battles with the thoughts of himself as a miserable sinning wretch, but then must capture that thought as a reason to worship:
wretched man that I am! who will deliver me from this body of death? thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! [romans 7:24-25a]
who sets us free from sin? Jesus Christ our Lord! every time you feel low–every time you feel wretched and defeated, look to the one who has set you free–you have not earned it–he chose you to die with him so that you might be raised with him!
let me see myself as dead man with nowhere else to turn–i did not save myself, but you looked at me and called my name and like lazarus, called me out of the stinking, wretched, festering grave. i am yours. let me live each day in awe, worship and victory, pointing others to your son Jesus Christ, who can make them alive!