Romans 6 is such an awesome chapter of the Bible. The Apostle Paul continually reminds us that in order to live in victory over sin we must consider ourselves dead to sin. Here is some of the treasure I discovered while reading and studying Romans chapter 6. I hope you’re encouraged!

Romans 6:6-7 (NLT)
6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.

You’ll like Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary notes on these verses:

“Christians have been freed from sin, but that doesn’t automatically mean all Christians experience that freedom. Through ignorance and deception, Satan continues to maintain mastery over those who have not yet realized their death and resurrection with Christ.”

This is so true. I know, because this is what happened to me. For the first 34 years of my Christian life I was dead to the power of sin, just as I am now, BUT I did not understand this Biblical truth; therefore, I suffered miserably over those 34 years. I now know what I have in Christ and who I am in Christ and as a result I am living in freedom. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m perfect because our Christian walk is a journey, but I could have been living in the freedom all those years that I am currently experiencing. It was my lack of understanding and my un-renewed mind that kept me in bondage.

Romans 6:8-9 (NLT) 
8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him.

More notes from Andrew’s Living Commentary:

“Our death to sin and resurrection to life with Christ is already a reality in our spirits, but it will only become a physical reality as we know and believe these truths. In this verse, Paul was stressing that this resurrection life is dependent on knowing that our death with Jesus unto sin is a one-time death that does not have to be repeated.

Much current theology believes that we died unto sin but that we resurrect unto sin every morning and therefore must continually repeat this process…. It is true that we continually have to appropriate this death to sin, but there is a big difference between dying over and over and over and just renewing our minds with an accomplished fact.”

I love this. It’s so freeing and keeps me from getting into self-effort mode, thinking I have to do something that Jesus already did for me. Instead I can renew my mind (as Andrew said) with the truth of what has already been accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Romans 6:10 (NLT) 
When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God.

Andrew’s Commentary:

“Our death to sin (the old sin nature) is a one-time experience, just as it was for Jesus. We don’t die to sin over and over and over.”

I hope this freedom is sounding as good to you as it is to me! You see, over these past 3.5 years since I have come into a revelation of the grace of God, it’s my believing that has changed and it’s been that change in what I believe – my mind being renewed to the truth of God’s Word – that has caused me to begin to live right in so many areas where I was living wrong before.

Once I made the choice (and continue to make the choice daily) to live under God’s grace instead of by my own efforts, the changes that have been made in me have not been painful or difficult because it has been the Holy Spirit changing me from the inside out as I have continued to surrender to a grace way of living – a trusting in Jesus way of living. The pain has only come in times that I have chosen not to rely on God’s grace.

Romans 6:11 (NLT)
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Andrew’s Commentary:

“The Greek word LOGIZOMAI, which was translated reckon here, is explained in detail. The word conveys no causative meaning but rather only an inventory or assessment of a condition that already exists. Therefore, the state of being dead to sin already exists for us as Christians, but we have to seize this benefit by reckoning it to be so. The use of the word indeed in this verse further establishes that this is already an accomplished work of Christ that we are simply appropriating.

People who are preoccupied with dying to themselves will not experience their new lives with Christ. This verse emphatically states that they are to believe unquestionably, without a doubt, that they are, in reality, already dead to sin.

According to the instruction of this verse, we are to unquestionably count on the fact that our old man is gone and just as certainly reckon that our new man is alive with Christ, desiring only those things that please the Father. Doing this will transform us outwardly in our flesh into people who reflect who we already are inwardly in our spirits.”

My life is a great testimony to this truth because I tried to change myself in so many areas over the years before I truly understood grace. I was very focused on myself and to be honest with you, although I spent much of my time struggling to change, I saw very little genuine change over those years. On the other hand, when I began to focus on Jesus, Who is grace, and on the truth of this verse –  that I am alive to God in Christ Jesus, I don’t think the positive changes have stopped coming in my life since the day God helped me switch my focus!

Here’s an recent example:

Over the past two weeks two different people have hurt my feelings. This is odd because, although I used to be the type of person who got my feelings hurt often, as a result of becoming much more solid in knowing who I am in Christ, this is no longer the case.

But in these two instances the pain was very real. I knew I had a choice to make so I talked to God about each situation over a two week span. My prayer was similar in each case and went something like this:

“God, this really hurts, but I know You have called me to love people even when they are not walking in love with me. I know You have called me to treat others the way I want to be treated; therefore, I am going to just sit here and receive Your love all over again right now. I know this is the only way I will be able to forgive and walk in love myself because right now I’m hurting and  I don’t feel like I have what it takes to do this.” (Then I just spent time in God’s presence and simply received from Him) I then continued praying, “God, I know the person I am in Christ does not desire to live in bitterness and resentment. I purposely remind myself right now that I am dead to these things. (consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin – from Romans 6:11) I also know I’ve asked You to help me be an example to others by having a strong love walk and I realize if I want to lead in this area then I have to be willing to actually walk in love and not just talk about it; therefore, I trust You are giving me the grace to follow through right now, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

I. KID. YOU. NOT, it was not more than 5 minutes and my heart began to change toward the two people who hurt me (and this happened two different times in two weeks). In fact, I clearly remember what I started thinking about right after praying. I started thinking, “You know what, I choose to believe the best of this person and believe that they did not intend to hurt me at all.” I was able to quickly move past each situation without bitterness and resentment and have been able, by God’s grace, to genuinely walk in love with them.

It may have taken me longer to receive the grace to be able to love and forgive if it had been an even more serious offense and I fully realize people go through some really serious things. I still believe though, that either way, running to God is our answer. A person who has been hurt more seriously may just need to spend more time with The Father before being able to move past their pain. The key word here is receive, receive, receive. I believe when we handle our personal struggles this way instead of taking matters into our own hands, God will lead us to breakthrough every single time.

In my case, I considered my change of heart toward the people who hurt me to be a direct result of my encounter with what I call The Miracle of Grace because the pain I was feeling was very real before I took it to God. In fact, I was sobbing pretty hard over one of the situations. I was talking to my husband about it at first and he was so sweet and helpful, but I knew what I really needed was to sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him minister to me so I told Steve, “I just need to go pray.”

I hope this example is helping someone see how this works. Do you see how I ran straight into the arms of God and considered myself to be dead to sin and alive to God through Christ just like the Apostle Paul encouraged us to in Romans 6:11? I ran to God, not my self-effort…or my own discipline…or my own self-control. I let the Holy Spirit do the work in me that needed to be done so I could get past the hurt, forgive, believe the best, walk in love and move forward in whatever else God had for me to do that day! Do you see how freedom does not have to be complicated? It’s all about who we choose to put our trust in. 

You’ll find when you read my blog posts and my book that I don’t usually give you a whole bunch of steps to follow in order to get free because I am 100% convinced that Jesus is your freedom; therefore, I feel what God has led me to do in my writing is to continually set your eyes on Jesus. Then, when your eyes have been set on Jesus you will clearly hear from your Helper, The Holy Spirit, as to any practical steps you should take on your journey of Grace.

I think that’s why I am having such a blast studying Romans again for the second time over the past few months and sharing these posts with you. I truly believe that as we allow God to renew our minds by reading and studying the Bible (which is God’s love letter to us), this always brings positive change in our life! 

Romans 6:12 (NLT)
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.

Andrew’s Commentary:

“Paul gives us a command not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies. He would be unjust to command us to do something beyond our ability. Therefore, it’s a lie to say that we can’t help but sin or I can’t control myself. That’s a lie of the devil and only applies if we believe Satan’s lie.”

Here’s an excerpt from my book that may help give you an even clearer perspective on how this works.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:22-25)

This passage is not a to-do list although for years that’s exactly how I saw it. Rather, it’s a description of what comes from letting the Holy Spirit lead us. It’s His fruit, not ours. Our flesh seems to want to make everything into a law and a list of behavioral guidelines for ourselves, but these qualities are the natural outgrowth of our deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.

Verse 24 reminds us that if we belong to Christ “if we have received Jesus as our Savior” we have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires (amp). This death of our old sin nature occurred at the time we received Jesus, when we were taken out of Adam and placed into Christ.

Let me share with you the way I viewed this passage before an understanding of God’s grace entered my life. First of all, I don’t think I ever noticed that verse 22 said that the Holy Spirit produces these fruits. I saw this list as a catalog of achievements to pursue, and I continually berated myself when I failed to measure up to my definition of being loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Also I failed to see the promise of verse 24, interpreting it to mean that if I truly belonged to Christ, then I would crucify my flesh. I felt as if I were continually at war with myself and had to be vigilant in case the enemy me! tried to pull a fast one. Now I know that I do belong to Christ, so my flesh already has been crucified with Him, as Galatians 2:20 says. As a result of believing this, I walk in the Spirit.

Everything comes right back to what we believe. Right believing leads to right living! We’ve got to get our believing straightened out, but even with this, I encourage you not to think it’s up to you to fix your wrong believing. Ask your Helper, the Holy Spirit, to lead you into all truth where your believing is concerned. Ask Him to help you believe as you should in every area where you are lacking.”  

So my friend, I’ve got great news for you. If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ (a follower of Jesus) then you should consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. The more you believe it, the more you’ll live it!

Next God’s Treasure Chest post will be on Romans 7.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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