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How can we reckon ourselves dead to sin?

We all experience temptation to sin, but in order to overcome, we need to take action!
How can we reckon ourselves dead to sin? Romans 6:11

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More.” Romans 6:12.

Dead to sin means disagreeing with lusts in the body

Sin (lust) is hidden in the body. Temptation stirs up sin, but we must never allow it to reign. As soon as we become aware of a lust, we must reckon ourselves dead to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More. (Romans 6:11) This is how we can always live a victorious life. Every person is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:14) However, to be tempted is not sin.

As Peter says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trialsTribulations or trials refer to any event or situation that comes your way that tempts you to sin; that gives opportunity for sinful thoughts and temptations to rise up in you. The tribulation or trial arises when your mind to serve God struggles against your lusts to sin. It also often refers to difficult situations that test your ability to... More [temptations], that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7.

“Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28. Notice: “to lust for her.” The law said: You shall not covet [lust]. (Exodus 20:17) But this man looked at a woman to lust for her. He agreed with the lust in his members instead of reckoning himself to be dead to sin, dead to this lust. He served the law of sin with his mind, and for this reason he committed adultery in his heart. The apostle Paul said that he served the law of God with his mind. (Romans 7:25)

James asks, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that warAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More in your members? You lust and do not have.” James 4:1-2.

Dead to sin means actively resisting sin

Lusts wage war in our members to such a degree that there is fighting and striving in Christian assemblies because people do not reckon themselves dead to sin – dead to these lusts. We have to actively resist sin as soon as we become aware of it, and we do this by resisting the lust. We were unable to do this under the law, because the law only becomes effective after sin is manifest. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3.

God’s work in Christ went deeper than the law; this work took place within Jesus’ body. There the lust itself (or sin in the flesh) was condemned. That is why Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.

Those who are dead to sin get the victory

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He did this by overcoming in every temptation He met, through the power of the eternal Spirit that dwelt within Him. In this way He suffered death in the flesh (He suffered when He was tempted), but in return He was made alive by the Spirit.

All through our training in godliness, as we fightAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More the good fight of faith against the lusts in our members, we have Jesus Christ as our faithful High Priest, because He Himself was tempted and can therefore come to our aid.

Only those who are crucified with Christ experience this battleAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More and this victory. No one else can become one flesh with Him, neither in His reproach nor in His glory. This is a great mystery: The bridegroom and the bride – Christ and the churchMany people use the word to denote the entire body of Christians, and others to describe a certain denomination or group or even the physical building that Christians gather in. The Bible makes it clear that the true church of Christ is made up of all those who deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. (Ephesians 2:19-22; Matthew... More – one flesh.


This article has been translated from Norwegian, and was first published under the title “Resist the lust in the body” in BCC’s periodical
“Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”) in April 1928.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag

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