Christ died once, Paul tells us, and in so doing, He broke the power of sin. Christ lives now, forever, to the glory of God. But that’s not the end of the story; indeed, it’s only the beginning for us, as believers.
“Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11, KJVWe don’t use the word “reckon” much in ordinary speech, but it’s a good strong word. In the days before GPS, “dead reckoning” enabled navigators to know exactly where they were as they took great ships around the globe. They staked their lives and the lives of everyone else on board on calculations based upon facts they knew to be true.
Even so, Paul tells us, we can base our lives on the fact that we are dead to sin, we are alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Like the ship’s navigator in the midst of a dark stormy night, knowing that he’s right where he needs to be and will make harbor in the morning; even so, we can bank on the fact that the power which sin once had over us is broken, and that we enjoy new life in a right relationship with God.
Sin, that great deceiver, will do it’s utmost to tempt us, to try to show us that we are still under its sway. But we can stand rock solid on the word of God, that we are dead to sin; then, we must turn to God, in whom we are very much alive through Christ Jesus.
It may help to picture a dead person, buried in a peacefully in a cemetery. All around him, the swirl of taxes and politics and strife is in full swing; but he is dead to all that. He is equally unaffected by temptations and disasters, by pleasures and by the daily grind. The life he once knew now has no power over him.
But we must never forget the other half; we are alive to God through Jesus Christ. And, like human life, this new life starts with a birth. We have life, but we must grow up in that life. As we turn to Jesus in every situation, and find Him directing, correcting, encouraging us, we grow into mature children of God.