5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Law – expression of the holiness of God. It is through Christ that we are now at last able to achieve the ideal of righteousness in daily life.
Union with Christ
A believer who is united by faith with Jesus becomes one with him so that he is considered to have participated in Christ’s death and in his resurrection.
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Sin Rendered Powerless
The old pull of sin will still make itself felt within us. Passions may swirl within us, but the spiritual death which once held us in an unbreakable grip is no longer master. We are free now to respond to God and to choose righteousness.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
New Life Lived by Faith
We count ourselves dead to the pull of sin we sense within. We are to not let sin rule but rather offer ourselves to God to do his will. The way to freedom is thus clear. We are to hear God’s promise of freedom, believe it, and act on it.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
Man has only two choices. He can lend his heart, mind and body to serve sin — or he can surrender all these capacities to serve righteousness. Sin may seem attractive, but to choose it means to go on living in the empty ream where death reigns. It is freedom, and promise of experiencing now that eternal life which Christ has won for us, which will attract the believer and motivate holiness.
21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of ? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Old Man/New Man
We inherited from Adam that core of unresponsiveness to God which the Bible calls death. Acts of sin — expressions of humanity’s deadened condition. But in Christ, God has offered us the gift of life! The new birth introduces to each believer’s personality a new nature, a core of responsiveness to God. There is growth for the new life and a gradual replacement of the old pattern of passions and responses. But there is always struggle.
How can we have victory over all within us that is from the old and is so attracted by sin? The answer is our union with Christ. The old in us was crucified with Christ and its authority over our will forever ended. Freed now from the power of the old, we can resist its passions and choose to obey God. We are freed from the power of sin which once mastered us — freed to choose to respond to God and to grow toward everything our best selves have always yearned to become.
Be free to grow. Be free to realize our potentials. Be free to become a dignified human being. God’s intention for us. Can’t be done while being slave to sin.