Romans six teaches us those that have placed their faith in Christ have been crucified with Christ. When Jesus Christ was on the cross we were there too. This is the same principle as in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive.
What exactly does it mean for us to be dead to sin? We can all probably agree that sin is still a very present possibility so how can the Bible tell us we are dead to it? Let’s start by looking at what the Bible means when it says we are dead.
In the Garden of Eden God told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or he would surely die. Of course we know he did in fact eat of it but it doesn’t seem like he died. I mean he and Eve sowed fig leaves together to cover themselves and ran to hide. That doesn’t sound like something a dead person would do does it?
Okay, so what really happened there? Death really means separation. When someone we love dies they don’t stop existing instead it means they are actually separated from this plane of existence. So when Adam sinned, and subsequently died, he didn’t stop existing he simply changed realms of existing. He was connected to God and now he is disconnected to God and connected to another…the Father of lies. He had in fact died to God and became alive to sin.
Ephesians 2 tells us we “were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), of the spirit (the spirit of error) that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” Being born of Adam means we are all born “dead, and separated from God” therefore we must be born again. This takes place by way of the cross of Christ.
So, in Romans six we discover the cross is how we are rescued from “the dominion of darkness, and transferred into the kingdom of his beloved Son…” On the cross we were crucified with Christ therefore we that were dead (separated from God) can now consider ourselves dead (separated) to sin (the prince of the power of the air).
Now you may ask what about sin though? Can’t we still sin? If we are dead to sin why do we still sin? I’m glad you asked that let me see if I can help you understand.
When Adam sinned and found himself dead to God he could still hear from God couldn’t he? I mean God immediately came searching and calling for them in order to restore them, so we see although they were separated they were not beyond shouting distance and could still respond. The same principle is at work now. Even though, through the cross, we’ve been separated from sin the enemy still shouts at us. We know we can still commit sins so when the Bible tells us we are dead to sin it doesn’t mean we can’t choose to listen to our old sin master but thank God it does mean we don’t have to obey him.
The truth about being dead to sin is made available just as everything else from God is and that is by faith. We don’t always feel dead to sin, in fact sometimes it seems we are very much alive to it but we learn to walk in the truth of the Word rather than what our thoughts and feelings tell us. When the enemy comes to tempt us in some way the path of deliverance is always through the knowledge of having been crucified, buried and risen with Christ. We must see ourselves as God sees us and that is dead to sin and alive to Christ!