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Dead to Sin, Alive to God, Part 2
(10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
(11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Separated People
The Lord asks Christians to live their lives differently from the unbelieving. We are asked to be separated to God, understanding that as He is holy so we also are to be holy, 1Pet. 1:16. So, to be dead to sin and alive to God is the starting point of our separation, and also the starting point of our new life of perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, 2Cor. 7:1.
The Lord Sanctifies His People
It is God’s will to sanctify His people. On Earth, they are called by, separated to, purchased for, and represent, the Lord. Separation has two parts. First, He sanctifies inwardly by His Spirit, (separates for holy use), and then second, He tells them to walk out their sanctification, i.e. the inward changes that have been accomplished in them. This seems to be God's way. He blesses and then tells us to walk out the blessing. He first gave Israel the Promised Land and then told them to possess it and, in like manner, He makes us dead to sin and then tells us to stop sinning.
Sanctification is a Gift
We are always to see our life as walking out, and not earning, the graces of God. Everything God does to us or for us is because of Christ. And, sanctification is no different, it has been purchased for us, and we should not see our sanctification as something we, by our own efforts, have accomplished or earned. Sanctification is a gift purchased for us by the Cross. We, by our own efforts, cannot become dead to sin, and, by our own efforts, cannot sanctify ourselves. Real death to sin and real sanctification are purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:11 is very clear about our death to sin and Hebrews 10:14 is likewise very clear about our sanctification.
Rom 6:11 likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
The Perfection of the Believer
Hebrews 10 speaks of the perfection of the believer. We are told that with animal sacrifices the believer could never be made perfect, that they could never be permanently cleansed from their sins. But with the sacrifice of Christ the believer is made perfect by one sacrifice. So we see it is the sacrifice that makes the believer perfect and not the quality of the believer’s behavior. The work of Christ is to make the believer perfect! The believer’s response is to accept and then possess that perfection by walking out the victories of Christ over sin. The Christian is joined to Christ and he lives his life in the grace of God, walking out the sanctification given to him.
Paul, in verses 16-17, when describing the perfection of the believer, refers to Jer. 31:33-34 which describes the new covenant of Salvation under Christ.
Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Perfection Has to do With Perfect Work of Christ in Us
Verse 16 states the Lord is going to put His laws into our hearts and will write them into our minds. This is very important for we see the source of our sanctification which is also the cause of good behavior. The Spirit of God changes our heart and it is that change that separates the believer from the world. Every born- again Christian has the laws of God written into their heart and mind. They are a new creation, with a new Spirit, created in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new!,/p>
And, in addition to having a new heart and a new spirit, verse 17 tells the believer that complete forgiveness is given as part of the new covenant of Salvation. So, perfection has two parts: 1) complete forgiveness and 2) sanctification or inward change. Both are the result of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The Victory of Christ is Going Forward
And one more important point, Christ is sitting at the right hand of God waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. Among other things, His finished victory means our sanctification is going forward under the banner of Christ. His triumph over the devil, over every demon, and over every sin, is in place, and is being lived out by those who, through faith and obedience, follow the Lord.
God Bless You.