Our Sin Debt Is Paid
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Paul has been emphasizing the fact a new believer dies to sin at conversion. This means its dictatorial tyranny over us is broken. Henceforth, it can only taunt and tempt us. The verses of our text continue this vital theme.
Romans 67 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Freed from sin refers to being released from sins jurisdiction. Being dead to sin, a believer owes it no more debts. The debt of sin has been paid by our substitute.
Sin can no more condemn us, or bring a legal claim against us. In Christ, we died to sin, and it is impossible to collect anything from a dead person. If people die, they are beyond a courts jurisdiction. No charge can be brought against the dead.
In our old self, we were lost, unregenerate, in rebellion, condemned, and enslaved. But now these are all gone, crucified. The everlasting consequences of sin can never be brought against us again.
There should be no doubt whatsoever in our mind regarding our eternal security. We are hidden in Christ. Hell can never find us. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, invaded the declining Roman Empire and rampaged through Italy. Invincible, he sacked the city of Rome in 410 A.D. As he continued his conquests southward, Alaric became ill and died. This presented his followers with a dilemma. What would they do with the body of their great leader It would be impossible to carry it over the Italian plain and across the snowy Alps to their homeland. But neither could they leave it to the mockery and desecration of the peoples he had conquered. The Goths decided to bury their king in a grave no hands could ever reach. They chose to bury him in the bed of the river Busento. Slaves diverted the stream from its channel, and dug a grave for Alaric in the dry riverbed. The body was placed in a deep rocky tomb the waters were returned to their normal channel and to hide forever the secret of this strange sepulcher, the slaves were put to death. Even so, we are buried with Christ. Sin cannot tyrannize us. Hell cannot find us.
Romans 68 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live
Since we share in Christs death, we also share His life–a life eternal and spiritual. Salvation allows intimate communion with Jesus. We live with Him and know all will be well. But remember, death to sin must precede life with God.
We either die to sin or die for sin. Our only hope for salvation is to rivet self to the death of Jesus. We must look at our sin and flee from it to the Savior at Calvary.
Not a single grain of comfort exists in Gods universe for those who obstinately cling to their sins. God is angry with the wicked every day (PS 711).
Bunyan, in his lostness, said a voice seemed to speak in his heart, Wilt thou leave thy sins, and go to Heaven, or wilt thou have thy sins, and go to Hell People want their sins, and Heaven too, but this is impossible. We must forsake sin to share life with God. It is a life well worth sharing, as the next two verses indicate.
Romans 69 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no
more Death hath no more dominion over Him.
The life of Jesus is perpetual, everlasting. He will never die again. We have the glorious privilege of sharing in a life that will never pass away.
Romans 610 For in that He died, He died unto sin once But in that He liveth,
He liveth unto God.
He died to sin once. It cannot come back to haunt Him again. Christ had to deal with sin only once. His victory over it was overwhelming and complete. It is wonderful to share in a life that has defeated the power of sin.
At Calvary there was the agonizing cry of separation, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me Jesus bore our debt alone, but now and forever enjoys the Father. It is glorious to share a life characterized by unbroken communion with God.
In the next verses Paul tells us how we should respond to our death to sin.
Romans 611a Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,
We must accept what Gods word says about us. We must consider ourselves to be what we really are. Believers must understand what they actually are internally.
Consistent victory over sin can be ours only when we cling to the truth that sins power is broken in our lives. Without this underlying confidence of victory, our Christian living will be, at best, mediocre.
I realize evil constantly assaults us. We all constantly face temptation. To say sin is a defeated foe almost appears foolish, but in believers it is true.
We must accept what Gods word says. It may sound impossible, illogical, and contrary to our experience, but must be accepted by faith. Though it seems opposite to what we feel, we have to believe it because the Bible teaches it.
This reasoning should not surprise us. The essentials of our life before God are accepted by faith we believe the Bible is true by faith we believe Christ bore our sins by faith we are saved by grace through faith we reckon us dead to sin by faith.
I fear many of us will respond to all of this by saying, So what What difference does it make Why make a big deal of this
It makes all the difference in the world. When we reckon ourselves as dead unto sin, there will always be hope within us regarding our ability to overcome any evil. When we by faith acknowledge sins power is broken, it takes away the nagging sense of hopelessness that Satan loves to taunt us with.
We all experience times when we feel helpless against a particular sin. Some evils we surrender to because we deem them too strong a temptation to overcome. Due to a defeatist attitude, we often lose battles through fear before we even fight them.
The only way to overcome this pitfall is by learning the lesson taught in this chapter. Do not yield to the accuser deny his taunts of control over you. Realize your position. He cannot tyrannize you he can only harass you. His power is broken. Lloyd-Jones said, This sixth chapter of Romans has been to me, since I came to understand it, the most liberating chapter in my whole Christian experience. I too have found increased confidence in my conflict against evil through the study of this chapter. Ample power is available to me to overcome any sin whatsoever.
Believe it, brothers and sisters Its true No sin has the right to control you. Reckon yourself as dead to sin. When we realize our actual condition in Christ, we fall prey to sins advances less and less. Knowing our true position before God should flood our soul with holy joy. This helps remember what Nehemiah told the people of God The joy of the Lord is your strength (810).
Romans 611b But alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is the positive result of our death to sin. Its result is life unto God. He becomes the acknowledged source and direction of our lives. When we reckon ourselves dead to sin, we are not boasting. It is a way of saying we depend totally on Gods strength. We live unto Him, and draw strength for victory from Him.
We are alive unto God, abiding by His plans, and dwelling in the center of His plan for our lives. Before the world was created, God had already determined what He desired from His people He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 14). His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness (2 P 13).
God always intended to have a people holy and without blame before Him in love. To live habitually in sin totally contradicts Gods plan for us. Let us be clean that we mighty enjoy, to the fullest extent, uninterrupted communion with the Father.