How smart is your right foot? This will boggle your mind and you’ll keep trying it, at least a few times, to see if you can outsmart your foot—but you can’t! While sitting down, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it. Now, while doing this, draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand—your foot will change direction!
There are times when your mind and your body parts get confused and have a difficult time working together. The Apostle Paul calls the mind and the body to unity in Romans 6:5-14.
Would you please take a few moments to read it?
You could read this passage in Romans chapter 6 and go on to study Christianity academically as another world religion. This is, however, the difference between studying the Christian religion and experiencing a relationship with Jesus Christ. The power and life-changing transformation comes through our response to the historical events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
The death and resurrection of Jesus directly affect us because we died with Christ.
The Greek word translated united in Romans 6:5 is the same word from which we get our word symphony. A symphony is a wonderful word picture that describes the connection we have with Jesus. Joined with Him, we watch the conductor—the Father—as the music of the Holy Spirit plays through the instruments of our bodies.
Before we met Jesus we were attracted to certain desires and directions. We were focused on pleasing ourselves and on finding happiness through the things of this world. Some of us became better at hiding it through being polite and well-mannered, but we were basically selfish in our pursuits.
Jewish teachers believed that the “evil impulse” would trouble even the most serious religious person until the time of the Messiah when the evil impulse would be slain. For Paul, the Messiah has come, and sin’s power has been killed. The finished work of Christ means that the believer has already died to sin and now needs to acknowledge this—to “reckon” it done by faith. Such faith in God’s complete work was not common in ancient religion, nor is it in most religions today.
The door to new life is marked death. Farmers and gardeners know this is the natural order. A seed must die and be planted in the soil for fresh plants to emerge. Without death there can be no new life.
Which sins and bad habits are plaguing you today? According to Romans 6:11, we are to reckon (KJV) or count ourselves (NIV) dead to sin. Who can you think of that has died? Is he or she bothered by a sin or bad habit now? Of course not! Sin no longer has mastery over you because you died with Christ on the cross. Declare God’s Word over yourself: “I don’t need this sin and I don’t want it. It died with me when I died with Christ on the cross.”
The death and resurrection of Jesus directly affect us because we live with Christ.
What is this “new beginning,” this “fresh start” we talk about? In John chapter 3, Jesus explains to a religious leader named Nicodemus that a person must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus goes on to explain that to be born again is to have the Holy Spirit breathe life into our spirit or our inner person. The fresh start begins with being born again in our spirit.
We can then count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). When you “count yourself” you take an inventory of where you are with sin and with God. You believe the news and embrace it in your mind. The Greek word translated “count yourself” is logizomai, from which we get our English word logic. In other words, you need to “think it through” and realize that you are no longer obligated to offer parts of your body to sin. The power and mastery of sin has been broken! The teeth and claws of the lion you once feared, have been removed; you have been handed a high-powered rifle and a sharp knife. Now, it’s up to you to face the lion—roaring and threatening to gum you to death—by using the weapons given to you.
Rather than offering the parts of our bodies to self-gratification, we now have every opportunity to offer the parts of our bodies to God. Will you trust Him? Have you come to know Him well enough to understand that He loves you and means you no harm?
Christ’s death and resurrection change everything for us.
Would you please join me in praying this prayer personalized from Romans 6?
Father, I will not let sin reign in my earthly body so that I obey its evil desires. I will not offer the parts of my body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather I will offer myself to you, as those who have been brought from death to life; and I will offer the parts of my body to you, Lord, as instruments of righteousness. Amen.