We tend to think about what the gospel in terms of what it means for our eternity. We think of how Jesus’s gospel delivers us form the PENALTY of sin. We think about how we can go to Heaven and not go to Hell, how we can be forgiven of sin. But what about the POWER of sin? This concerns right now. Sin is not just something we have to pay for. Sin is also a controlling influence in our lives. Sin is not only like a crime, but also like a drug. Every person is born with sin dominating us. We have a sin nature and are bent toward it. Sin wreaks havoc on our lives, relationships, our families. Does the gospel have anything to say about this? YES!
Jesus doesn’t just want to deliver you from the PENALTY of sin but also the POWER of sin. He is not only concerned about your future but your present. He not only wants you to one day be victorious, he wants you to live free today. In Romans 6 Paul makes it clear the believer is united with Christ in His death and resurrection. When Christ died, we died. When Christ rose, we rose.
Rom. 6:5-8- For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
If you are a born-again Christ follower you are FREE FROM SIN. You have died with Christ and been raised with Christ to walk in newness of lie. Your future resurrection and current spiritual life are rooted in and therefore just as sure as Jesus’ being raised to life.
I remember last year I had to jump my car battery off. I had to borrow cables from someone in the office next door. My poor car had no power. I hooked those cables up to my car and the running car with power. Then we cranked my car…. and all the sudden … Power! Why? It had power given to it by its association with the other car battery! It was GIVEN life. Through our union with Jesus, by our association with Him… we get LIFE. Our new life of spiritual vitality is just as certain as His resurrection. He’s alive and believers are too! Our conversion is both a funeral and a resurrection / new birth. The old you dies, the new you comes forth.
We can’t kill sin without faith in Jesus. He died FOR our sin and through faith in Him we can be dead TO our sin. Being dead to sin and alive to God is only possible through faith in Him. It’s association with His death that kills sin in our lives. You can’t defeat sin by simply trying harder, you need to be united to the risen Christ. If we are united to something other than Jesus we won’t find freedom, just deeper enslavement.
Here’s the thing … there is a difference in something being true and you applying that truth to your life and living it out. We are free, but we must choose to walk in freedom. Victory has been won and victory must also be applied.The gospel is to be believed and must be appropriated. In a future post I’ll deal with how we daily walk in the freedom we have through faith in Jesus.
(This post is adapted from the North Park sermon series “Finding Freedom.)