The Death of the Old Self

and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18 ESV)

The apostle Paul speaks of the crucifixion in theological language in Romans chapter 6. The crucifixion represents the death of the old self and its sin (Romans 6:6).  The individual’s slavery to sin has been “brought to nothing” (Rom. 6:6 ESV), meaning that sin has lost its power, its hold, or its control on the believer.  The believer must consider himself or herself “dead to sin” (Rom. 6:11) because the old has been crucified with Christ.  (In Paul’s thinking, this is part of a real, genuine, spiritual transaction which occurs when a person is converted to Christ: he or she is born again, and the old self is put to death so that a “new creation” is born.  It is an experience that is both instantaneous and gradual or on-going.)

Read Romans chapter 6.  The apostle says, “Let not sin reign in your mortal boy, to make you obey its passion” (v. 12).  The crucifixion means that the old self with its sin is dead so that you can be alive to Christ.

In commemoration of Good Friday, ask yourself whether you have been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20 ESV). Is the old self dead?  Or has the old self, with its slavery to sin, raised its ugly presence?  How will you overcome temptation and sin?  What will you do today and this week to become more like your Savior?  What is your plan (prayer, study, action) for spiritual formation?

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