Date Posted: June 25th, 2012
“Sin shall not be your master.” Romans 6:14
Why does it sometimes feel like my sins are controlling me? What can I do about it? The first thing you need to know is that sin is much more than just a choice; sin is a power. And when it gains a grip in a person’s life, it will not let go.
When the apostle Paul describes the power of sin, he says: “Sin reigned…” (Romans 5:21). Sin is like a tyrant; it bosses you around and it tells you what to do. Sin is calling the shots. Sin is your master.
Sin no longer reigns
“We died to sin.” Romans 6:2
But when Paul talks to the Christian about sin, he doesn’t say “We must die to sin.” He says, in Christ we have died to sin. We “have been united with him in His death” (6:5), “our old self was crucified with him” (6:6). Paul is talking about something that has already happened to the Christian.
That means if you are in Christ, you stand in a completely new relationship to the power of sin. But all of us still struggle with sin, so what does Paul mean when he says that we have “died to sin”?
Imagine you’re traveling along in your car, and on the right side of the road you see a high chain link fence. On the other side of the road, you notice an open field. There are people behind the fence and there are people in the field.
You get out of your car and take a closer look. You discover that the fence is actually part of a huge cage, and that there is no way that the people in there can actually get out.
There is a man in the cage who seems angry. He’s shouting orders at people, telling them what to do. Sometimes the people in the cage protest, but eventually they do what he tells them.
This is what Paul is talking about when he says, “Sin reigned!” (Romans 5:21), and you find this kind of language throughout the New Testament: You belonged to the “kingdom of darkness” (Colossians 1:13). “The whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Galatians 3:22).
What happens when you die?
“We died to sin.” Romans 6:2
When you die you move out of this world, and you’re translated into a whole new world in the presence of Jesus. You will be done with this world. You will have nothing more to do with it. Death involves a translation from one realm to another.
When you came to faith in Jesus Christ “You died to sin.” You were in the cage, but the person in the cage died, and now you are alive in Christ. You popped up on the other side of the road, in the field. You are now in a whole new position in relation to sin. Sin is still your enemy, but it is no longer your master.
The angry man will still shout instructions across the road, and you will immediately feel that you should do what he says, because that’s what you’re used to doing. But the angry man is no longer your master. You are under no obligation to do what he says. You are not in the cage. You are in the field. You are free!
Paul is not saying that we’re sinless, or that we’ll have no more struggles with sin, but he is saying that you’re a new person in Christ. Once you were held hostage; now you’re in a position to fight, Christian, so get in the battle!
This LifeKey is based on the message “You Are Free,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, from the series, “Be Yourself: Discovering Your New Identity in Christ” preached on March 28, 2004.