Friday, March 1, 2024

 The Two Creations

Part 3

Pastor Vicky Moots
Kingman, Kansas

Yes, Jesus delivered Paul, but how do we claim the same victory that Paul experienced and make it a reality in our own lives? Paul explains this to us in Romans 6.  In v.6 he declares the facts concerning what Jesus accomplished for us through His death on the cross: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Jesus], …” This first fact is something that Paul wants to make sure that we know without a doubt because it is the basis of our victory over the flesh. We must accept this and believe it by faith to be true.

He then continues on in this verse to give us the purpose of knowing this fact: “…that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” The Amplified Version clarifies this portion of Scripture for us this way: “…that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin, might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.” This means that instead of having to serve sin, we are free to serve Christ with our body.

Next, in v.7, Paul makes an obvious statement of fact: “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” When a person dies, his sinful nature no longer has power over him to cause him to sin.  Therefore, death frees us from continuing to live a life of sin.

But it doesn’t end there, because Christ rose from the dead, and so must we, as Paul states in v.8: “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”

If we believe these facts to be true, then we are admonished in v.11 to apply them to our own lives so that we may personally experience the victory over the old creation (our old man): “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In this verse, Paul tells us that there are two things which we must “reckon.” The word “reckon” means “to count it to be so.” This word is actually an old bookkeeping term which referred to counting up both sides of the ledger and balancing, or reckoning, the books at the end of the day. You had to be very careful to add up all of the numbers correctly or your books would be off.  You wanted your count to be true.  Both sides of the ledger had to agree.  Spiritually, this means that we must be willing to count things the way God counts them and to agree with what He says in His Word.

The first thing which we must reckon is to agree with God that our “old man” was indeed crucified with Christ, and therefore, we are dead to sin and free from its power over us.

The second thing that we are to reckon is that we, as a new creation, have been resurrected with Christ and are alive unto God.

When we reckon these two things to be true, and allow them to become a reality in our daily lives, then we can shout the victory along with Paul, who declared in Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

It is the resurrected life of Christ in us who gives us the victory over sin.  Our “new man” is Christ Himself living His life through us as we yield to the Holy Spirit.  So, we can now say, “It is no longer I (the “old man”), but Christ (the “new man”) that lives in me.” The “old man”, who was crucified with Christ, no longer has any authority over our bodies, because we reckoned him to be dead.

As a result of this reckoning, our bodies are free to serve God instead of serving sin, as Paul tells us in Rom. 6:12-13: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members [of your body] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”