Dead to Sin

Last Sunday, Pastor Jason preached the sermon: “Post-Pandemic People,” from 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:4. As we believe that relationships in the church really matter, Jason encouraged us to rekindle our commitment to one another. He presented us with three questions in light of the text: 1) Will we be fickle or faithful? 2) Will we be suspicious of one another or sacrificial for one another? 3) Will we wallow in sin or walk together in the newness of life?

Read: 2 Corinthians 13:5-14

This Sunday, Pastor Jeremy Chasteen will close our journey through 2 Corinthians with a message from 2 Corinthians 13:5-14 entitled “Examine Your Faith.” We will consider the truth that genuine faith leads to repentance, restoration, and unity. As you prepare for our gathering, let this devotional from John MacArthur lead you to reflect further on what genuine faith in Jesus Christ is and its implications for your life.

Reflect: “Dead to Sin”

“How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

Romans 6:2

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In Christ, believers are dead to sin.

As a pastor, I frequently encounter people who profess to be believers, yet are living in all kinds of vile sins. The incongruity of people claiming to be believers while living in constant, unrepentant sin was not lost on the apostle Paul. In Romans 6:1 he asked the rhetorical question, “Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?” In verse 2 he answered his own question by exclaiming “May it never be!”—the strongest, most emphatic negation in the Greek language. It expressed Paul’s horror and outrage at the thought that a true Christian could remain in a constant state of sinfulness. For a person to claim to be a Christian while continuing in habitual sin is absurd and impossible.

Paul goes on in verse 2 to explain why believers cannot continue to live in sin, asking, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” His point is that believers, at salvation, died to sin. Therefore, they cannot live in a constant state of sinfulness, because it is impossible to be both dead and alive at the same time. Those who continue in unrepentant sin thereby give evidence that they are spiritually dead, no matter what they may claim.

Unbelievers are “dead in [their] trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (v. 2). Believers, on the other hand, have been “delivered … from the domain of darkness, and transferred … to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).

Christians no longer live in the realm of sin, though they still commit sins.

Having a proper understanding of the believer’s relationship to sin is foundational to progressing in holiness. Take comfort today in the reality that sin, though still dangerous, is a defeated foe.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God who, because of His mercy and love, made us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:4–5). ✧ Ask Him to help you walk worthy of that high calling (Eph. 4:1).

For Further Study: Read the following passages: John 8:31; 2 Cor. 13:5; James 2:14–26. Is every profession of faith in Jesus Christ genuine? Explain.

“Dead to Sin,” October 11th Devotional, in Strength for Today: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith, by John MacArthur.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “Oh How Good It Is,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
2. “Reign in Us,” Arr. Shane & Shane
3. “Yet Not I but Through Christ in Me,” by CityAlight

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