Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

To do stuff or not?

On December 5th, we looked at Romans 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. This truly is the key to victorious Christian living – but often it is a bit confusing as to “how, exactly” we are to pull that off.

The struggle is that while “we try” to live right, we frequently find ourselves doing that in our own strength, which ultimately leads to ineffectiveness and becoming “weary in well doing.”  If we simply “let go” then the tendency is to just sit around and wait for God to do it all and the danger is that we simply get lazy and nothing happens.  So which is it?  Do we do stuff or not do stuff?

This is the interesting part.  We (Westerners, Americans especially) tend to process all our Bible knowledge through the filter of what we need to DO.  We are DOERS – without a doubt.  The Eastern mindset is more of a thinker.  Paul wrote Romans as a middle-easterner with a mindset toward securing the right attitude prior to doing anything.  This principle is all about how we view ourselves and our role in Christ.  When we “reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin” we are simply setting our mind in accord with what God already has stated to be true of us:  that we are crucified with Christ.  Sin literally has no more power over our lives – so we are no longer required to say “how high?” when sin says “jump!”

We have literally been set free to listen to God speak to our hearts and lead us.  We are “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  So now, whenever life offers us temptation to sin we can simply walk away, ignore it, be un-phased by it as though it is speaking a foreign language to us.  At the same time, we can be constantly aware of life around us and looking for opportunities that God may give us to intervene on His behalf.  We exist as His ambassadors and are “on call” 24 / 7.

I think the “tricky part” of applying Romans 6:11 lies simply in the fact that deep down inside, we really do still desire some of our “favorite” sinful things (deeds, thoughts, attitudes).  True, joyful victory will never come until we learn to agree with God and “reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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