CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Resisting Sin; Reckoning Righteousness
By Jerry Adams
Do you struggle in your fight against sin? Let me suggest several concepts that will help. The fact that you are struggling against sin is an indication that you have been born again and have received the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. Unsaved people are dominated by sin and in general embrace it. While we are in this mortal body the struggle against sin will not cease nor will it get easy. I suggest a deep study of Romans, especially chapters 5-8, and 1 Corinthians, especially chapters 2 and 15.
Another item is that it is the flesh, our carnal body, that is the source of sin. Paul affirms this in Romans 7:18: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." He emphasizes this again in 7:25: "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." For that reason our carnal body has been condemned to death. This is what Paul states in Romans 6:6: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin." We receive this truth by faith and because we firmly believe that it is true we "reckon" this truth, and we do not allow sin to have dominion over us. Because of the work of salvation that Jesus Christ has accomplished for us and in us we now have the ability to say NO to sin. This is what Paul states, in Romans 6:7-14:
For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.Let me emphasize the words "reign," "reckon" and "yield." Reign means to be king, to exercise kingly power — to control. We are not to concede authority to sin to allow it to have its control over us. We can say NO. Reckon is an accounting term. It is the same as exactly equals in math. In this case it means a≡b. An accountant totals the debits and credits and when the books are balanced the credits exactly equal the debits. In this context, the debits are our sin and the credit is Christ's righteousness. His death equals our death. His resurrection equals our resurrection. His righteousness equals our righteousness. We understand this and receive it by faith. We can't do anything to make this happen except believe. That's the statement in Ephesians 2:8-10.
The word "yield" means to bring into one's fellowship or intimacy. Paul gives a good example of what this means in the context of adultery. In 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 he writes:
Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, said he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.The effect of every other sin is the same. So we apply the truth stated in Romans 6: "Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace." So we have the ability to say NO to sin and to say YES and yield to God.
If we wonder about the practical ways we are to do this Paul understands our frustration. Romans 7:24-25 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Then in chapter 8 and the remainder of the epistle he gives both doctrinal and practical application. If you fill up your life with the Word of God, love for God and your fellow believer you will accomplish God's will.
Image Credit: cpastrick; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Sin-Evil
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Published on 1-23-17