Taking into Consideration

For some reason, I use to think if I could just get spiritual enough I’d be free from temptation, struggle and failure.  After all, I can resist anything but temptation.  Thankfully, God had patience for my ignorance.  There is no promise in scripture we will ever be free from temptation.  The temptation to sin will be with us as long as we live on this fallen planet but we don’t have to live as slaves to it, we’ve been set free.  That  fact is boldly proclaimed in scripture – in Christ  we are free from both the penalty and power of sin.  We do not have to struggle and live in failure because of what Christ has done for and to us.  Our part is to remember His incredible work.
 
Romans 6:11–14 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” 
 
How many times did Jesus have to die for sin?  He died once!  Through His perfect sacrifice He sealed us forever as the children of God.  In the same way we don’t go through a continual process of dying to sin.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  The King James uses the word, “reckon” (this is an accounting term).  We’ve got some accounting to do.  You don’t do the dying to sin but you’re commanded to consider it a completed act.  To reckon is to go through the accounts; it is to see ourselves the way God sees us.  We have been completely identified with Jesus.  He died to sin so we’ve died to sin.  We are called to consider what has happened to us because we are in Christ.  Your relationship to sin is exactly the same as Christ’s!  We are also to consider ourselves alive to God.  Sin has been dealt with and now our focus is the fact that we are alive to God.  Just as we used to respond to the impulse of sin we responding to the leading of the Spirit within us.  The secret to a holy life is believing God!  Dying to sin is God’s part – our part is considering it so.  We don’t become dead to sin through any act of our own but through the cross alone.  Notice very carefully that we aren’t called to consider sin dead but to consider ourselves dead to sin.  For the true believer, everything that is necessary has been done for us by God.  We need to learn to think of ourselves as those who have been delivered from sin’s realm. 
 
We battle sin from a position of victory!  We are freed from sin.  Sin and Satan are defeated foes.  They may not act like it but it doesn’t change the verdict.  Yes, we battle sin  – never from a position of weakness or defeat – but from the place of Christ’s strength and victory.   We deal with temptation by reminding ourselves what God says is true.  When we are tempted we must consider that sin’s tyranny has been broken over our lives and we can successfully resist it because we have God’s power.  We have confidence that even when we fail God’s grace is always sufficient.  Because we are now alive to God we don’t have to fear death.    
 
Don’t let sin control the way you live.  Remember, sin’s reign over you has been broken.  Our spirit is free from sin but we can make the choice to let sin rule in our physical body.  He says, don’t do it, it is contrary to who you are!  Sin does not have your best interest in mind.  Don’t allow any part of your body to be used in any unrighteous act.  It is unthinkable for those of us who have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ to live in a manner contrary to His righteousness.  Give yourselves completely to God.  We are not a people of sin and death but a people of life.  We are all about righteousness and life in Christ.  Sin has lost its power over us  and we must not give it any power.  Jesus paid too high of a price to remove sin from the throne of our lives just for us to live again like slaves.
 
Since you are no longer under law but grace.  We have to remember the purpose of the law was not to make us righteous but to show us how deeply enslaved to sin we were.  Every time we put ourselves or others under a law system the result will be the same; ever increasing sin.  We are under grace.  We are people liberated from sin’s domain and now have His indwelling life.  Anyone who goes back to the law for righteousness or sanctification will end up under sin’s reign.  The types of sin may change but sin will most certainly reign in that’s person life.  The way to freedom is grace;  and  it is grace alone that teaches us to deny all that’s contrary to who we are in Christ.  When grace reigns we walk in the freedom that is ours in Christ.  Will you take this into consideration?
 
Have an incredible week.  I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday.
 
You are loved!
 
Pastor Tim