Do you ever get sick and tired of the repeating the same sins over and over again? Ever feel like you try, and try and try, but you just can’t stop doing that thing you know you shouldn’t? Ever feel frustrated and hopeless by the patterns of sin you see in yourself? If you’re like me at all you answered ‘yes’ to each of these questions. Sin is frustrating and habitual sin can be down right depressing. It’s in these low moments that we’re tempted to believe that sin is our master. We start to think that we’ll always be this way, that it’s who we are, and we’ll never win – but the goods news for believers is that we’ve already won!
Read Paul’s words in Romans 6:1-7,
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Paul tells us that those who’ve died with Christ are free from the tyranny of sin. You and I as believers are no longer under sin’s authority and dominion. Our old self has been ‘crucified’ with Christ. It’s already happened. It’s permanently finished. Our sinful nature was put to death just as decisively as Christ died on the cross. We shouldn’t assume that because crucifixion is a slow and painful process that Paul means to say our own mortification of sin is a slow and toilsome. It’s not. Our old nature is dead. Because of Christ’s victory over sin and death we are dead to sin and made alive in Christ.
In Psalm 103:12 we read, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has [God] removed our transgressions from us.”
You see our sinful nature can’t be removed and present at the same time. That wouldn’t make sense. Our old nature can’t exist with our new nature. If you believe in Christ, you have been accepted as though you were perfect – because Christ is and his righteousness has been given to you. Your sin became His and He took the punishment in your place.
At this point you might be asking, “If this is all true, then why do I still continue to sin?” – A worthy question. Sin certainly still exists for the believer, but at the core of our being we are different. Sinclair Ferguson says that sin has gone from “a citizen with full rights to that of an illegal alien with no rights.”
Yes, sin still attacks and harasses us, but only from the outside. It no longer originates from inside of us. It is an alien intruder, no longer who we are. This is incredibly significant! We are not therefore slaves to sin. If we continue to believe that sin defines us, it will negatively affect how we view ourselves and how we deal with sin. Our union with Christ gives us the strength and power to fight the attacks of sin on our heart. It will never again be our master. We have been given new life. Have hope! The battle is ongoing, but victory is certain!