Death that Leads to Life

Do you have an area of sin in your life where you cannot seem to find freedom? It may be gossip, putting others down, some area of sexual impurity, or some other area of self-centeredness. Many of us desperately want to know where to find freedom from the influence of sin.
Consider an area of behavior where you seem to consistently miss God’s desires for you. What is it that keeps you from experiencing freedom?
I love reading books by Jerry Bridges. Before his death in 2016, Jerry and I spent time together periodically so I could learn from him, especially on the topic of the gospel. I’ll never forget one such meeting. I asked him to summarize the gospel and the impact of our union with Christ. He spoke of two core aspects of the gospel:

  • forgiveness from the penalty of sin
  • freedom from the power of sin.
We know that the blood of Christ guarantees our redemption, the forgiveness of sins. What is it in the gospel that guarantees our freedom from the power of sin?
The Cross . . . because we have joined Him on it.
The Bible teaches us that when we come into relationship with Jesus Christ, our new birth means that we have died with Him, and have new life in Him. Just as in Adam we inherited a sinful nature, so also, in Christ we become like Him in his death, inheriting freedom from sin. We are no longer slaves to sin! Paul puts it this way in Galatians:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
He said something similar when he wrote to the church in Rome:

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:6,7).
These verses remind us that we do have power over sin. And, because we have died with Christ, we have freedom from the power of sin, and it is not by focusing on the rules or working harder that will get us to freedom.
Identify an area of sin’s influence in your life.
How does the truth that we’ve been crucified with Christ affect how you view that sin?
What might it look like to live in freedom, in terms of that area of temptation?

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