Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
If you want to know how to deal with your sin nature as a believer, Paul said, then consider the power of your new nature.
He wrote in Romans 6:11, “Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” That word “consider” is an accounting term that is sometimes translated “credited.” For example, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (4:3). To consider means to accurately calculate the true condition of something. So Paul was saying, Know that your old nature has been crucified, and then calculate the power of your new nature.
There is something important to understand about this word “consider.” Consider does not mean positive thinking; it means to calculate what is really true. For example, let’s say you go to your accountant and say, “I want you to calculate my net worth.” So your accountant adds up all of your assets, and he subtracts all your liabilities. He says, “I have some great news for you! You are in the black $100,000.” You feel great about that, so you go to the car dealership and buy a new car. The dealer calls you the next day and says that your check just bounced. Confused, you go back to your accountant and say, “What happened? You calculated my net worth and said I have $100,000.” He replies, “Not really. I did the calculation and you are in the hole $250,000.” “Why did you tell me I had $100,000?” He says, “I wanted you to feel good. I wanted you to feel positive. If you felt positive, maybe you would start to act in a way that would make you financially prosperous.” When you want an accountant to give you a rendering of your financial position, you do not want him to tell you what you wish were true; you want him to tell you what is actually true. And that is what the Apostle Paul was saying in this passage.
When Paul told us to consider the power of our new nature, he was not telling us to think positive thoughts and act in accordance with what we wish were true. He was not saying that we should act as if, theoretically, our old nature has been crucified and God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to obey Him. That is not what he was saying at all. He was saying we are to act as free men in regard to sin, not because we want to be free from the power of sin, but because we actually are free from the power of sin.
Paul was telling us what is actually true. Our old nature has been crucified with Christ, and now the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in our lives and gives us power over sin.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christian, Thou Art Loosed” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.