“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus,” Romans 6:11.
I was reminded this week that much of the professing church still lives under a mentality of the Law – focusing on sin, then more sin, then more sin. We measure our relationship to God on the basis of how much sin we’ve identified in our lives and confessed. This is not the Gospel, the Gospel contains a clear statement and assurance of justification and a clear call to death and resurrection with Jesus Christ in and through His Cross – a death that includes death to sin and life in Christ. The Gospel includes that great transition from the First Man to the Second Man, from the First Adam to the Last Adam. We once were in Adam, we are now in Christ.
The Gospel frees us from a perpetual reminder of sin, from an obsession with sin, from a preoccupation with ourselves – it frees us through the Cross to be identified with Jesus Christ and to be crucified to sin, the flesh, and to be free from the Law. The Law brings condemnation, it is the ministry of death – why would we want to perpetually preach death to the negation of life in Christ?
Like the ancient Israelites in the Wilderness, we are more comfortable living as slaves in Egypt than as the children of Abraham. We may preach justification by faith, but then we turn around and negate that message by reinstituting the Law and sin management – and the vicious cycle continues throughout life.
I heard a brother, a pastor for many years, say this week that the more sin he confesses to God the closer he is to God. So much for the Gospel of life in Christ, so much for freedom to live in Christ by the life and power of Christ, so much for considering ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. So much for living based on what Christ has done and on who Jesus Christ is. How is it that we continue to live in bondage to sin and to ourselves?
Our Father and Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit desire intimate relationship with us; they desire that we live in unity with them and with one another. Jesus calls us brothers and sisters and He calls us friends. We are the sons and daughters of the living God. Jesus says that the Trinity lives in those who are in relationship with Him (John chapters 13 – 17).