“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, esv).
Are you weary of sinning yet?
When Paul wrote Romans 6:11 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he did not say sin is weakened in us. Nor did he say we’re distanced from it or that we’ve grown cold toward it. He said we’re dead to it!
The phrase “consider yourself dead to sin” is also translated “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (nkjv) and “count yourselves dead to sin” (niv). No matter the translation, this verse is the absolute centerpiece of Christian victory in the whole of the New Testament. More and faster transformation can happen in your heart when you are willing to take this verse seriously than through any other verse in the entire Bible.
“In Christ, the power of sin is broken and defeated.”
The incredible, transforming power here is that the potency of sin is broken in your life. Now you have a choice. Before you were in Christ you had no choice; you were a slave to sin. In Christ, you may still choose to be a slave, but you don’t have to be. You can choose to do what is pleasing to the Lord. Say it out loud by faith: “Sin does not have power over me! I am in Christ and I am dead to the power of sin.”
I know what you might be thinking. If I’m dead to sin, why do I feel so alive to it? Dead is the last word most of us would use to describe our experience with sin. Forgiven, maybe. Or cleansed—even changing. But dead?
First consider what dead to sin does not mean. It doesn’t mean sinless perfection or that our old nature is gone. And it doesn’t mean we’ve merely identified theoretically with the death of Christ.
It means that because Christ died in our place, we are dead to the power of sin. It’s as if we used to live in an apartment with an awful landlord who would burst in whenever he wanted, but now we’ve moved to a new apartment with a new landlord. We have new locks; we owe the former landlord nothing. He can’t get into our new apartment unless we open the door and invite him in.
Unfortunately, some Christians still open that door and listen to the old landlord. But he’s no longer in control. In Christ, the power of sin is broken and defeated. Sin is not in charge. You have a new Master.
For life change to happen, you must apply the power of your identification with Christ at the specific point of temptation. In that moment, you must exercise your faith and consider yourself dead to sin by believing it in your heart and speaking it out.
Whether you feel dead to it or not doesn’t matter. If you exercise your faith, you will experience victory. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, “I’m dead to that.” Your behavior, speech, attitudes—whatever you are working on—will be increasingly changed.
God is not content to simply forgive you. He wants to change you! The day you came to Christ the power of sin was broken in your life. Isn’t it time you start living like it?
Dear Father in heaven, thank You for the powerful truth that I am dead to sin because of my personal faith in Jesus Christ. His death was sufficient for You to forgive me. I believe that through His power, sin’s power is broken in me. Please bring that truth to mind every time sin rears its ugly head. Give me faith to believe I can choose against sin and courage to speak the words, “I am dead to that.” I claim my victory in Jesus’ name. Amen.