This is a vital truth that we need to understand because so many struggle through life battling all kinds of temptations and addictions when Christ has made it possible to have victory over the sinful flesh nature that we were all born with.
The Apostle Paul tells us in God’s word, “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.” Because of Christ’s death and resurrection all believers are now dead to sin, free from sin, and alive unto God. We do not have to be in subjection to our old sin nature. When we receive Jesus as Savior we become grafted into His very life and we relinquish the life of sin. “Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans (6:6) ” The believer now is to regard his body as dead and no longer as an instrument through which sin can work. Salvation does not depend upon feelings, but upon fact. The fact is our old sin nature has been crucified, therefore every believer should respond to sin as though they were a dead person. Our old sin nature has been crucified, but not annihilated. Only as we walk in the Spirit can we overcome the devastating affects of our sin nature. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) The believer is free from the penalty of sin immediately upon salvation and free from the power of sin through sanctification (daily being set apart unto Christ) and identification with Christ as citizens of Heaven.
A diplomat from a foreign country is immune from prosecution under this country’s laws. This is not to allow them to willfully commit crimes, but they are not under the authority of our laws so that they can fully and freely carry out the interests of their country. They are under the authority of the laws of their country where they are citizens. They are sanctified and identified as diplomats free from prosecution. We as believers likewise belong to another kingdom in a spiritual sense. We are sanctified (set apart) unto the Lord Jesus Christ. We are spiritual citizens of a new Heavenly kingdom. We are immune from the jurisdiction or penalty of our old sin nature. The believer will never be judged for their sins. The bottom line is that we can be free from the bondage of our sin nature through the power of the resurrected Savior abiding within our lives in the person of the Holy Spirit. As Paul indicted in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” Each believer needs to sign the death certificate to their old sin nature. We as believers must understand that we belong to Christ and we must choose to identify with Christ. We must choose to forfeit all claims of our fleshly nature, forfeit all of our personal ambitions, motivations and desires that say I have a right to myself. As believers we have no claims to ourselves because we are bought with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and we serve the resurrected Savior.
For those who refuse to submit their lives to the control of the resurrected savior will only be imitators of the life of Christ. They will never know the power of the Holy Spirit working in them and through them to emulate the character of Jesus Christ. It is the goal of God for us to be both justified by the death of Christ as well as sanctified and identified with the life of Christ because God wants us to be like His Son Jesus Christ. We are to be ambassadors for Christ.
The only way we can identify with Christ is to know Him as our savior. When we turn to Christ and receive him as savior a transformation takes place, it is no longer me who lives and rules my life, but it is Christ who lives in me. My individuality remains, but my motivations for living are radically changed. I have the same human body as I did before I invited Christ into my life, but the old sinful nature has no more right to control me. Therefore, every person who has received the resurrected Christ as their personal savior has all the power needed to overcome addictions, feelings of inferiority, or any other sinful impediment of the flesh and can live a victorious Christian life through the power of the resurrected Savior.
Pastor, Randy Mason www.libertybaptistofmarshalltown.com
Liberty Baptist Church