We have been talking about the FACT that, because of the work of Jesus, we are “dead to sin and alive to God.” Properly understood, we are wholly and completely dead to sin and at the same time wholly and completely alive to God. It is a simultaneous truth… because of what Jesus has done for us. This is God’s provision (and gift!) to us in salvation.
But this is NOT automatic. As with all of God’s provisions, we must apply His work to our lives. This is our part in God’s plan – apply, by our faith, the gracious provision He has supplied (in fullness) to us.
The first step is understanding what we have. The apostle teaches us that we have died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, and we were raised with Christ – not to live the same old life with the same old patterns and the same old results.
We are new. We have new life. We have a new way of doing things. And we have completely new results.
Everything about your old life died with Christ. Everything about your old life was buried with Christ. But in His resurrection… everything came out new.
Now we have to apply the new. It is not just a one-time thing – but a continual practice. We have to align our thinking with what God has done. We must make all our decisions based on all of God’s provisions.
This is why the apostle admonishes that we “must consider ourselves…”
First, “to consider” is an accounting term. It means to take stock (a reckoning) of what you have – so you will know how to proceed. When we balance our checkbooks (does anyone do this anymore?) we are taking stock of our resources to know how to make our financial decisions.
When we take stock of what we have in Christ – we have the infinite riches of His handiwork. In salvation (as we saw a couple of weeks ago) we have the full provision of God for everything we need for life and godliness (see 2Peter 1:3). That means every possible thing that we will ever need to live, just as God wants us to live (every day), is already ours. It is God’s provision to us. We do not have to ask for it… we do not have to seek for God to give it to us. It is ours… NOW. “To consider ourselves…” means that we have “checked our inventory” and found that we are graciously and fully supplied.
Second, In this passage, “you must consider yourselves” is a command. An imperative in our lives. If we don’t do this part, God’s provision will remain ineffective in our lives. To have the work of God working in, and through, us… we must choose to apply it. This is always by our faith.
Faith is not something we work up. Faith is when we completely rest in what God has done. It is to actively become passive – to willfully willingly receive what God offers us. It is taking God at His word (or, in this case, taking Him at His work) – and living by it.
But we have to do it. We must bring our minds to the mindset that God has fully provided for us to live as He desires… “Dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”