"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" (Romans 6:1, KJV)
In the earliest days of my journey with Jesus a godly man came alongside me and taught me a truth with such unrelenting resolve that it has stayed with me to this very day. Indeed, not simply stayed with with -- it has powerfully swayed me from turning the wrong way on many, many occasions and kept my feet from stumbling. Yes, there have been times when I ignored the voice of the Holy Spirit, and tumbled in a ditch -- but even then, it was this truth that factored in my recovery. I want to pass this truth along to you.
Paul uses four key words in his masterful argument against sin, and for righteousness; and these four words give us the bullet points of a prevailing life. Know, reckon, yield, and obey. Let's look briefly at these over the following four days.
First, there is something we are to KNOW -- "our old man was crucified with Christ" (Romans 6:6). The Messages puts it this way -- "Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life -- no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection."
Pass by any cemetery and you will see just what the Lord has done for you on the Cross. He brought you into His own death, and thereby rendered sin's power over you as ineffective as it is upon those buried there in the ground. Your enslavement to sin's power has ended, and through Christ's resurrection you now have been raised to a new way of living -- free from always having to do what sin demanded.
You will never be able to walk victorious in faith without KNOWING this truth. This may be the primary reason why Satan is so set against the preaching of the Cross, and why so many churches have veered far off course in this happy-go-lucky-day of sentimental sensationalism in song and sermon.
Take your place in humble adoration at the foot of the cross my fellow pilgrim, and rise not from that place till you KNOW that all which is within you that once lived unto sin has been executed in your Savior's death.
"When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of glory died; my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it Lord that I should boast, save in the cross of Christ my God. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small! Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." (Isaac Watts 1748)