Sitting with the Shepherd
"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts." (Romans 6:11-12 NKJV)
Just as death does not have dominion over Christ Jesus because the grave couldn't hold Him, likewise sin no longer has power over born again believers. The Roman government, which at the time of Jesus' death was the most powerful human institution, nor could all of the powers of darkness, led by Satan himself, hold Jesus in the grave. In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul prayed that the saints would know "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places," (Ephesians 1:19-20 NKJV) Likewise when we know and understand that we have that same power living in us, we no longer have to give in to sin.
When the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the United States, some rejoiced in their new found freedom. But others remained slaves because they didn't believe that it was true. They were deceived and remained in bondage. The same thing is true for some born again believers today. They understand they have been delivered by faith from the penalty of sin, and don't understand by faith that they have been delivered from the power of sin. They have been deceived into believing that this is positional truth. But this scripture doesn't refer to a future deliverance because it calls upon us to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. We won't have mortal bodies in heaven! So this freedom is ours NOW.
"Freedom from sin's ruling power is the immediate privilege of every believer. It is the essential condition or starting point of true service, as well as of real progress. Such service and growth are as possible for the young convert as for the mature believer. Therefore freedom from sin's dominion is a blessing we may claim by faith, just as we accept pardon."
Evan H. Hopkins (2009-10-26). The Law Of Liberty In The Spiritual Life (Kindle Locations 136-138). High Definition Insight. Kindle Edition.
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. Most believers know that Christ has given us victory over the penalty of sin. What else do we have victory over today?
2. What does it mean when we are called to live in resurrection power?
3. How is faith necessary to harness this resurrection power in our lives?
My Father in heaven, my God You have given me new life in Christ, abundant life including victory over the power and the penalty of sin. Thank you that we, as believers are all freed in Christ. Grant us the faith on a daily basis to walk in that freedom and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. May our lives be a living testimony of Your powerful grace on earth as it is in heaven. Amen