Here is a trick question. Have you died yet? I am not talking about a near-death experience. I am talking about a theological statement made in the Bible and what it means. In short, if you are a Christian, you have died. Please consider the following Scriptures: “Now if we have died with Christ…” (Rom. 6:8); “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world…” (Col. 2:20); “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3); “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him” (2 Tim. 2:11).
Our death in Christ is a death to the old self, the old ways, the sinful life. It is a reality and a hope. It is truth as well as life. Jesus so completely represented us on the cross that, when He died, it is said that we died. This is why Paul says in Col. 3:5, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” You are to mentally reckon, intellectually acknowledge, meditate on, think in such a way as to consider yourselves dead to sin.
Of course, we Christians know that we struggle with sin, that it is not dead in us, that we fail, and continually come to the Lord Jesus and ask for forgiveness. We Christians know what we are inside. We know we are not perfect and that many of the thoughts of our mind would terribly embarrass and shame us if they were publicly spoken. Such is the reality of our fallen selves. Yet, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin. We are to think of ourselves as dead to sin.
The reason we can do this is because of Jesus and what He did on the cross. Only through Jesus can we be delivered from sin. Only through the shed blood of God the Son can our lives be made right before God the Father. The reality of the crucifixion and of Jesus’ bearing our sins, all of them, in His body, is realized in the acknowledgment of our deadness to sin. This is an important truth that God wants us to understand. But, understanding it isn’t enough. You must practice it. This does not mean, however, that you ignore your sins, or say you have none, or claim perfection. Rather, it is an admission that you are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus and that you are “in Christ” and reckoned as dead to sin because of Jesus. Your mind is an important battleground in the war of sanctification and it begins with your own death. If you are a Christian, then you have died to sin because of your relationship with Jesus. Therefore, consider yourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ. Turn from the deeds of the flesh and seek Jesus.