Being Dead To Sin
Make up your mind about your sin being put to death, work at it and give over your emotions and desires. Ask God to take over your feelings through prayers.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you?Doin’ all right? Oh I’m fine, praise the Lord. I haven’t any complaints today. So glad to be alive and able to serve God, and privileged, ooh how privileged I am to open the Word of God and share it with you. It’s the nicest thing God has ever done for me, is to give me the privilege of looking into, and sharing His inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible. And I’m thankful. Glad you’re there, thanks for being there. If you weren’t there, wouldn’t be anybody there, would there?
Well, we’re in 1 Peter 2:24. The last time we got together we were talking about the phrase ‘dead to sins’. And I reminded you that we need to realize that it is a fact when you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, committed yourself to Him as your Lord, and He became then your Savior by faith, you identified yourself with the death of Christ on the cross. It is as though He were nailed to one side of the cross, and on the other side you were hanging there as well.
So that Paul says in Roman 6: “How that, how shall we who are dead to sin live any longer therein.” It’s a fact. Paul goes on to say you better make up your mind about it then. “Reckon ye yourselves also to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 6:11 I think is the passage. You have to count on it. Just as a person who learns that he’s a diabetic counts on the fact that he has to stick to his diet: he may trade off some things and have piece of bread instead of a, instead of a potato, or however that works. But he has to stick to his diet if he wants to live very long. He reckons on it.
Okay, you and I the same way, that is how it is. What the Personnel Manager calls The Law of the Situation – the way it really is. Reckon, count on it, that when you made your decision for the Lord Jesus Christ, you were crucified with Him, and you died to sin. Then the third thing is, work at it. And that’s a passage from Galatians. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its desires, its affections and its desires. You work at it.
Now there are two areas in which we work on this matter, being dead to sin. One is in the area of what we feel – our affections, our emotions. People are emotionally driven. Most decisions are made not on the basis of calm, rational cogitation, but a mix of some thinking and a whole lot of feeling.
I was interested to read in the paper just the other day that the presiding judge that’s presiding over the case of some young men who attacked other young men. There was this one young man who had pulled the… Allegedly, I should say – alleged to have pulled the trigger that sent a bullet crashing into the body of a young man and killing him. He was not being arraigned, and his defense lawyer asked that bail be set for him, and that he be out on, on bail just like the rest of those who were accused with him.
But I was, I was as little surprised, and yet not surprised I guess, to read that the presiding judge says, “I have read the facts in this case. I think it’s a very strong case against the young man. And I have a gut feeling that we better keep him in jail. (Laughs) The radio, or the TV commentator who was talking about this afterwards said, “So the judge followed his gut feeling.” Well see, what I have to, to remind us all is that most of our decisions in life are a mix. You may do a little cool thinking. But more often you’re driven by the way you feel about things.
Now what do you do about that? You and I know that our feelings have often gotten us into trouble. What do you do about it? You turn it over to the Lord Jesus Christ at the moment when the pressure begins to build. Pressure of, of, of, a feeling of frustration, a feeling of anger, a feeling of who knows what. You know, you turn that over to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith right then. Don’t wait until afterwards, till the, the top has blown off of the container of your life.
No, no. Just then you look heavenward. You ask the Lord Jesus Christ to take charge. “Call unto me and I will answer thee,” the Bible says, “and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. That’s the basis on which I remind people so often to pray their way through the day.
Pray when you wake up, before you greet the family with a loving snarl. Pray before you answer the phone, you don’t know who’s there – you be ready in just a whispered prayer before you pick up the receiver. Pray before you open a letter – you don’t know if it’s a check or a bill or a threat or a compliment – you’ll be ready if you pray before you open it. Pray before you enter upon even a casual conversation. Pray before you make a business decision, before you hire, or fire, or transfer, or sign a contract – God has already read the fine print. Pray before – I tell the young people – pray before you go on a date; you’ll have less praying to do during and after the date. Pray before you make the great decisions of life – where shall I live? What kind of job shall I take? Whom shall I marry? So on and so on… Pray your way through the day. This is what’s being called on the obverse side of it, being dead to sin.
No, you’re not sinlessly perfect. But you have a sinless, perfect Savior who by His indwelling Holy Spirit lives within you. And as by faith you turn things over to Him, He works His perfect work in you. “It is God,” says Paul in Philippines 2:13, “it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Your affections, your feelings. And the other is your desires, things I want. Now you have built-in desires: the desire for security, the desire for food and, and sleep, and the desire for love and to be loved, the desire for importance… Lot of different desires that you have, that are built into human nature. You turn them over to the Lord Jesus by faith.
And then of course, there’s a vast array of desires that show up every day. “I want this,” or, “I want that.” And before you grab for something, pray and say, “Lord Jesus, guide my desires.” You’d be surprised how many unpleasant situations God will enable you to avoid if you just pray about things you want. Things and, things and relationships, and experiences, and possessions that you want; desires. See the Bible says, “Lusts” – that’s our word ‘desires’, good and bad and indifferent. Desires are not bad in themselves, but they can lead you astray if God isn’t controlling – you know that.
So this whole matter of committing yourself to the Lord and of, of working, working at what is already an accomplished fact by faith, is to submit by faith these key areas of life. Well that’s all review but it’s so important that I thought we just go it over for a moment again. Now he says that ye should be dead, said should live unto righteousness, live unto righteousness. What does that mean? Well it means that the outgrowth, the outgrowth of the dynamic of your life is going to lead to the result of righteousness – that’s the first meaning. ‘Unto’ means ‘resulting in’, ‘in the direction of’ and ‘resulting in’.
And so I’m turning to Romans 6: “Know ye not, as ye have yielded the members of your body, servants to uncleanness and to inequity, unto,” – see there’s your same word ‘inequity’. In other words the, the present course of the unsaved life is sin and more sin, and that leads to still more sin. That’s the way it is, isn’t it? All right now you get saved. What happens? “Even so, now…” – this is Romans 6:19 – ‘Even so, now yield the members of your body, servants to righteousness. And the result will be holiness.” See? Okay, live unto righteousness, in the direction of and resulting in…
When by faith you commit a specific situation to God, what happens as a result is God righteously living through you. It’s not going to be something concerning which you can square your shoulders and hold your head high and say, “See what I did.” Oh no, you’ll be humbly bowed in thankful prayer, say, “Thank God for what you did, dear Lord.” Live unto righteousness means you’re going to live by faith – Colossians 2:6. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” That word ‘walk’ means ‘live every day’. “As you received Him by faith, so live every day in Him by faith.” That’s what that verse means.
And so as you, as you follow that procedure, committing your feelings, and committing your desires to the Lord Jesus Christ, He works in you to work through the righteousness of God. Live unto righteousness. Now that word ‘unto’ is also used in a different sense. “That He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who loved them and died for them – you remember that passage? Now that, what, what does that mean? For the sake of and for the glory of, and following the will of – all of that wrapped up in the little word ‘unto’. That they which live should not henceforth live for themselves but for Him,” that’s how we would put it today.
That’s, ‘live unto righteousness’ means that you live for the sake of, and by the standards of, God’s righteousness. You’ve got a new standard of excellence. You’ve got a new reason for motivation. You’ve got a new source of personal power and dynamic. Righteousness is now the atmosphere of your life. “That ye be, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.” Now how is it all possible? He says, “By whose stripes ye were healed.”
Again a reference to Isaiah 53: “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one to his own way. But God hath laid upon Him the inequity of us all. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes, we are healed.” That’s Isaiah’s rendition of it.
And Peter, centuries later, is quoting from the same Scripture: “By whose stripes ye were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls.” Live unto righteousness. How do you do it? Number one, commit yourself to the Lord Jesus. Number two, surrender consciously to Him in specific situations. Number three, obey what the Holy Spirit of God says to you in that situation and you will find that the Spirit of God is manifesting the righteousness of Christ through you. Hallelujah for that!
Holy Father today, work in us your perfect righteousness through Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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