Pretend with me that you are a woman married to a worthless, old guy named Sinman. He always does nasty things and you hate him—you want to kill him. He abuses you, makes you do things you hate, and humiliates you in front of friends and enemies. Whenever you thought you were getting ahead in life, he struck you down.
One day Sinman dies (you may wish you had something to do with this, but fortunately someone else killed him for you). You have never enjoyed a funeral so much in your life. He now has lost all control over you and you are free to be the person you want to be. You are now free to marry the man you have had your eye on for a long time.
You marry Rightman. You love this guy to death. He gives you freedom to be yourself. He gives you a healthy self-identity. He starts making you look so good to your enemies and friends that they get jealous. You wake up each day full of joy. Each day brings hope and a feeling of satisfaction. You no longer hate life. You find meaning and purpose in each moment. Even pain and sadness now are happier than your best day with Sinman.
Sin died and you married the Righteous One
If you are a believer in Christ, that above scenario is not imaginary, but true. Your old self is Sinman. As long as your old self, your flesh is was alive, you were enslaved by it: “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released” (Romans 7:2). You are set free from the demands of Sinman when your flesh dies.
Most Christians mistakenly believe their flesh is alive. They went to Sinman’s funeral, but then wheeled him home in the casket and let him continue to haunt their lives. Yet in this concept, “if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man” (Romans 7:3). You were set free from the law of sin when your flesh died. The law did not die; you did.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You look over at your arm and say, “But my flesh is still alive, I see it right now.” Wrong. At least if you are a believer in Christ, you are wrong. If you do not believe in Jesus as your Savior, your flesh is still alive. But if you believe Jesus’ body died on the cross, “you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4). Your flesh died with Christ’s when you were baptized in His name (Romans 6:3-4). Now that your old self is dead, you are married to a new body—Christ’s. After being filled with the Spirit, you now live in resurrection flesh so you can bear fruit of righteousness.
If Jesus cannot sin, neither can you
During His earthly life, Jesus was tempted with sin in all points as we are, yet He did not sin. Now that He died, His resurrection nature cannot be tempted. Since He escaped this fleshly nature by His resurrection, you join Him in that by faith. When your old self (Sinman) died, you married your “new self” (Rightman)—the body of Christ. Before we came to Christ, that time “when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death” (Romans 7:5). Thank God that day is over, because “now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by” (Romans 7:6). You are free from sin.
This is not theory or philosophical reasoning. It is Scripture. You take it by faith. Yes, by faith, you know that Jesus died and rose again. By faith you believe you will die someday and rise again when He comes back. However, you may not have realized that by faith you have already died and rose again. You died with Christ on the Cross. You came to life again with Him. Now, you can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Married to the resurrection body
The gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection means so much to us because we live it. For too long, Christianity has made Jesus into just a story, as good as it is. We missed the point that His work was for us—He did not need to die and resurrect for His own sake. When we are born Into Christ, we take on His nature that cannot sin. You do not have to let sin run your actions, since “the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). Are you a child of God? Then, the person who “has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (I John 3:9).
Happy funeral! Out with that devilish old self! Congratulations! You now are married to, submitted to, and living with the body of Christ which has all power of sin. The life of faith in the resurrected Christ brings you victory over sin right now.
You are probably not convinced. Maybe now you are wondering what it takes to be born of God. Perhaps you are asking, “How do you stop yourself from sinning?” Or since you have sinned, are you wondering if you have the wrong faith experience? I will cover those thoughts in my next post.