The consequences for our spirit – Our Spirit is Sinless ROMANS 6 – Part 3
In the meantime your spirit has been freed from sin. It is literally sinless while our body continues to be enslaved to sin. And this in-between state of existence requires we adopt a new attitude and perspective.
Romans 6:8-11 (NKJV)
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon (consider) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now Paul is drawing an analogy between what was true for Christ and what is true for us. To get it in your heads right you have to understand what he is saying about Jesus first. Paul says, “We” have died with Christ. We know our spirit has died with Christ but our body has yet to die. Therefore, he says, if our spirit died with Christ we believe our body will live with Him too. Jesus had His own spirit condemned on the cross and shortly after that His body died as well. Then His body was raised from the dead never to die again. So Paul says that pattern in Christ will be our pattern as well. Therefore, death is no longer master over Him because after He died, well in other words before His death Jesus’ future here on Earth as a human being was to go to the cross. And death had that burden on Him and that weighed on Him all that time He lived on the Earth. He knew that was where He was headed, the cross. Once that was behind Him, death would never happen to Him again and death is no longer a master to Him in that sense. No longer does that burden weight Him down.
In verse 10 Paul says Christ’s death was a selfless act in service to all of us who needed that payment. So He went to the cross for us. Having put death behind Him, now His only purpose for existence in life, so to speak, is to serve God. He doesn’t have to service anymore, He’s done that. He doesn’t have to worry about death anymore, He’s done that. Now what it’s all about is what does God want Me to do from this point forward. That’s a way of looking at how Christ’s mission went. And Paul uses that picture to draw an analogy for us. In verse 11 Paul gets to his point…He says we are going to follow in those same footsteps. Just as Jesus died on the cross, His spirit first then His body. Well our spirit was put to death when we believed. And our body will die one day too. And just as His body was resurrected, so will we have a new body one day, raised into a new body to live on the Earth again. Just as death ceased being a master over Christ, death is no longer a concern for us either.
Therefore, just as Jesus could look forward to serving God the Father with no other worries, no other constraints or burdens, likewise we must adopt exactly that same attitude as well. Paul says, even so consider yourself – He understands that this is a matter of attention, of an attitude, of a perspective. You have to start to think like this. We must consider ourselves to be dead to sin also. Which means to start thinking in a new way. So when you speak of yourself, you are not speaking about your body, you’re speaking only about your spirit. You are not your body, because your body is going to die. Scripture says “you” (your spirit) never die. Your body does die so your body is not you.
Furthermore, your spirit being perfect and sinless like Christ, so “you” never sin. So when you sin it is not “you” sinning. But it is the part of you that is controlling you. Your sin originates in that part of you which is destined to die, that which is not you, that which is your body. Therefore Paul says, you’ve got a body about to die that’s the source of all your sin, but you don’t have to fear death because your spirit is already good with God. Death won’t bring you any judgment. So in that sense he is saying, death is behind you. Okay, we know physically it is still ahead of you. But worries of it, the burdens of it, the thoughts of it is behind you. Much like once Christ came from the grave, that part of His mission was done and He never has to think about it again because Christ never has to die twice. So we should think like that, is what Paul is saying. Think about the fact that death is no longer an enemy to you. No longer a master over you or has no meaning to you anymore. In fact you welcome it because it gets you from this in-between state that is so hard to deal with. So start thinking like you’re Christ which in this case means you have to start to serve God. That’s what dominates your thinking.
You could spend your new life serving useless causes like trying to earn your righteousness (i.e., doing good works). Why would you do that, you already have it. Why do you think you have to do good works to stay right with God? That’s a works base mentality that is not true. You already know you are right with God. Your spirit is already perfect. How much more can perfect be? Doing good works to please God for the sake of your righteousness is a waste of time. And of course serving the devil out of fear of death, as Hebrew says would be a waste of time…
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV)
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Obviously, Christians don’t need to work for salvation nor live in fear of the devil. But regrettably, many Christians still choose to live for another purpose rather than serving God. They live to serve their own dying body –
Romans 6:12-14 (NKJV)
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Paul says we should not allow the sin in our dying body rule over our perfect, eternal, sinless spirit. When we let our dying body decide our choices, we are obeying it’s lusts. This is completely backward to the reality of who we are in Christ. We’re letting that part of us that is going to die control that part of us that is going to live forever. We’re letting the part that is not us control us. We are presenting the members of our body to sin. Paul says, but instead present ourselves to God and our members as instruments for righteousness. To understand what Paul is saying, we need to understand terms he is using. When Paul uses the second person pronoun, “you“, plural or singular he is referring to your eternal sinless spirit. When Paul uses the term “sin”, he is describing the sinful nature of our physical body. And when he says the “members” of our body, he’s describing our life of service in the body. So the choices we have that Paul is describing is this:
- Either we (our spirit) presents (or dedicates) our life in this body to serving our sin nature leading to unrighteousness.
- Or we (our spirit) presents (or dedicates) our life in this body to serving God leading to righteousness.
Click below on other sections to learn more about the consequences of our salvation by Faith – Romans Chapter 6 series:
- Romans 6/Part 1 – Consequences for our Spirit – Righteousness
- Romans 6/Part 2 – Consequences for our Spirit – A New Spirit
- Romans 6/Part 4 – Consequences for our Spirit – Serving God
- Romans 6/Part 5 – Consequences for our Spirit – Being Obedient
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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