Romans 6:11. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Christian, it is important that you understand that God is not doing anything new in your life. Everything you need you already have. There is no more. You are alive to God. Our spiritual experience is never of something new, it is of what has already been done. This is why considering yourself dead to sin and alive to God is the only way toward progress in the Christian life.
There are many things that we do as Christians in order to bring about our own sanctification in a new way, but none of them are a replacement for knowing and considering. None of these are bad things or wrong in their own right, but without considering our position as dead and alive, these things are just more of the flesh. Remember the flesh can be lawlessness or it can be legalism. It can be immorality or moralism. Our efforts at self-sanctification will always be fleshly and must be abolished.
Starving your affections or desires will never kill the flesh. It only feeds the fleshly pride that comes from the overcoming of a bad habit by will power. Only considering yourself alive to God can actually change the affections from selfish to Christ like.
Many Christians believe that sanctification comes by separating themselves from the world. But separation from the world is not separation from the flesh.
“Jesus gave his all for you, the least you can do is give your all for him.” This mindset keeps us living from substitution (Romans 3-5) and fails to take us into considering the identity truths of our union with Christ (Romans 6). The question is what life are you surrendering to Christ? The dead old self? The new self? If the answer is the new self (alive to God) this changes how we see surrender, doesn’t it?
Of course confession is good and necessary. But confession without considering is just a “bar of soap” used to keep “short accounts with God.” Considering yourself dead to sin and alive to God means there is no such account. It is good to agree with God about our sin, but we must also agree with God about his blood and his cross. These alone have dealt with your sins and your Sin.
Many rely on moving from spiritual experience to spiritual experience in order to grow in Christ. Concerts, conferences, conventions and camps. Calling down the Spirit. Manifestations of gifts. This was the problem of the Corinthian church. They relied on experiences over their co-crucifixion with Christ. The one and only spiritual experience that you need is your union with Christ. And it has already happened to you. Rest in it.
Many well intentioned Christians think that the path to Christ likeness is to simply stay busy, working in ministry and serving. But service must flow from faith. From rest. Serving alone will not produce Christ-likeness. Service can produce suffering, and suffering can cause us to have to consider our death to sin and our resurrection to God (read 2 Corinthians). But service alone will not replace considering ourselves dead and alive. For many, who fail to consider their union with Christ, service just produces burn out and exhaustion.
None of these things can replace considering (counting, imputing, reckoning) our union with Christ. Only considering will produce Christ likeness. You are alive to God. God’s life is in you. Now what’s left is to have that life worked out of you. How? By considering it. “To live is Christ” is to live in this faith. The faith of counting yourself as what God says you are.
Do you truly believe that you are dead to sin? Do you truly believe that you are alive to God? How would your life look different today if you really believed these two essential truths?