How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Romans 6.2
The other question, implied in the one quoted above, is whether we have ever really died to sin. After two long and difficult letters to the Corinthians, Paul challenged them with precisely that possibility. Though they insisted they were believers, the evidence barely supported that claim. The Corinthians should examine themselves, he wrote, to make sure they were not still reprobates, deceiving themselves (2 Cor. 13.5).
All who are alive to Christ are dead to sin. So how is it that we continue falling into sin, despite our born-again condition?
The law of sin remains in us, and it is subtle, powerful, and always engaged (Rom. 7.19-24). Sinning will continue for as long as we are alive in this mortal flesh. If we deny this is so, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1.8).
But this is not a license to sin or to be indifferent about its recurrence. Columbanus calls us to keep our perspective straight, so that we who have died to sin might stay dead to it: “What ought we to render ourselves, if the Creator of the universe for us ungodly men, yet His creation, is unjustly put to death? Do you think you ought not to die to sin? Certainly you ought. Therefore let us die, let us die for the sake of life, since Life dies for the dead, so that we may be able to say with Paul, I live, yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me…” (Sermon X)
Scandals created by pastoral leaders in recent years have made the Church an object of scorn among the lost and an excuse for the faithful to keep a low profile in their witness for Christ. God calls us to pursue holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Cor. 7.1). The failure of shepherds to take this call seriously is a primary reason for the Church’s increasing marginalization. If we’re not dead serious about being dead to sin, how can we expect those we serve to lay aside their old selves and live for Jesus (Eph. 4.17-24)?
But if we love Jesus so much that we’re dying to live for Him, we’ll deal with the law of sin each time it intrudes, confessing, seeking repentance, and pressing on to be more alive in Jesus than ever before.
Resources for Shepherds
Concerning which, read more by ordering your free copy of The Church Captive (click here).
From the Celtic Revival
Our present Crosfigell series (Tuesdays and Thursdays) is considering a remarkable Christian worldview statement by an anonymous 7th-century Celtic scholar. Here’s an excerpt from a recent installment:
After He had instructed the one holy catholic church by His Word, established it by His example, strengthened it by His grace and united it with His peace, having assumed human nature completely except in that it was not liable to punishment through sin, returning to the Father from Whom He was never away, He sat down at the Father’s right hand. From here appearing in the Father’s glory at the judgement of the living and the dead when all arise, He will give eternal punishments to the wicked and eternal rewards to the righteous.
- The Book of the Order of Creatures I.6
Jesus is exalted in glory, ruling at the Father’s right hand, advancing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. But what forms or expressions does that rule take? Our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? addresses that question to encourage us in seeking the Kingdom and coming of our Lord. Order your free copy by clicking here.
Subscribe to Crosfigell today (click here to update your subscriptions, be sure you click each one you want, including Pastor to Pastor) and follow us through our study of this remarkable document.
Check out our Celtic Legacy podcast and the other resources available on our dedicated Celtic Revival home page.
You can also download a free copy in PDF of our book, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction, by clicking here.
T. M. Moore.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Davies, p. 2