Scripture: Romans chapter 6
It’s wonderful to know facts, but theology must make its way from the head to the heart, and then we must practice it. How is victory in the Christian’s life to be experienced? The link between theology and practice is faith.
Let’s review two important words:
>justification – a one-time happening at salvation—our standing before God is fixed.
>sanctification—a continuing work of God that progressively matures the Christian to become more like the Son of God.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
Life in Christ demands and enables separation from the world—so one aspect of sanctification is dying more and more to sin; living separated from evil. Once we were dead IN sin; now we must be dead TO sin, because of our relationship with the Lord. THERE CAN BE NO LIFE WITHOUT DEATH! Christ had to die and we have to die to our old self.
Sanctification is living in the reality of what we have in Christ. That reality is—just as we have been united together in the likeness of His death, we are also united in the likeness of His resurrection. (Rom. 6:5) Verse 6 goes on to say, “Knowing this (more than just head knowledge) that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with and that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
Here is the result of our union with Christ—“..he who has died has become set free from sin.” V. 7 This is where the faith issue comes in. It’s a FACT that we died with Christ; so then we believe that we will live with Him. Christ is the object of our justifying faith and so He must be the object of our sanctifying faith. FAITH LAYS HOLD OF CHRIST. Knowing the truth and believing the truth lead to doing the truth.
The Christian has to do his part in realizing victory. We can’t be passive in sanctification. We need to cooperate with God as we continually die to sin and live to righteousness. I Cor. 15:3 says: “…I die daily.” This is twofold:
- Refuse to submit to sin
- Yield (submit) to God
This is a ”dying” experience! Paul declared, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” V. 14. With this in mind we should consciously direct our thinking to the cross of Christ and what He accomplished for us.
Do you remember how God told the people to go into the Promised Land and possess it? It’s because He had driven out the enemy from before them. God had won the victory—but they had to cross the Jordan River (a picture of death) and had to fight the enemy in a deadly battle. By faith in God’s promise, they had victory.
Christ has already achieved our victory over sin but sin doesn’t disappear from us just because we are saved. Defeat is sure if we attempt to fight the battle ourselves. However, as we enter the conflict claiming Christ’s victory and doing our part in it, sin and Satan must flee from us!
BRING OUT THE BALLOONS—IT’S A VICTORY CELEBRATION!
PRAISE THE LORD!