“The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
The doctrine that we believe matters to us. So often in this day and age we live as if it does not. Practically we live as if everything depends upon the body of work that we accomplish in life. In recent years I have heard various commentators in the United States referring to their society as a “meritocracy”. What they seem to mean by this phrase is that we get in life what we deserve, or what we have earned. For so many even in our society here in Canada we find ourselves living solely upon the understanding that we will only get in life those things that we have earned. We believe that what we have received is what we deserve. We either boast about what we have, or we find ourselves depressed by how we have fallen short of what others have earned.
It is in this type of thinking that we must find ourselves recognising that doctrine matters. As the Apostle Paul has been writing to the Romans he has been proclaiming the true Gospel to them this is that we are redeemed not based upon what we have earned. If that were the case then we would all be lost for “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Think about that if God gave each of us exactly what we deserved based upon the life that we have really lived we would all be lost. He has not given us what we deserve however. He has given us a free gift, grace in the Lord Jesus Christ crucified on Calvary’s cross. When the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross, Paul states in his doctrine in Romans 6:10, He died to sin once for all. It was an even that only had to take place once. That one act of God was eternally effective in dealing with all of our sin. Nothing else was needed. Therefore everything in our lives was changed when we came to believe in Him.
Paul applies this to us in a very practical way. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Robert Haldane puts it this way. “Unless we keep in mind that we are dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord, we cannot serve Him as we ought: we shall otherwise be serving in the oldness of the letter, and not in the newness of spirit.” What Paul is writing here is that we are to keep the doctrine of the crucified Christ always in mind. Nothing is more important to us than this. Our flesh loves to fall back in all manner of practical ways into the doctrine of merit. We trust in it for our salvation believing that we have surely overcome our own sinfulness. We also use it as a guide for evaluating one another. How does this other person deserve to be treated? Consequently we find ourselves boasting in our own flesh. In doing so we forget that we have fallen short of God’s glory. We have nothing substantial to boast about.
If however we believe the doctrine found here we find ourselves cast upon the finished work of Christ. We reckon, or count, ourselves as one who has received grace from God in Christ. He have died with Jesus on the Cross once for all. It is a finished work, done by God, not by us. We, by faith, are now living unto God, receiving what Christ has graciously merited for us. Everything has now changed for us. Practically we now know that our future is secured by his grace. We also have been set free to extend the same grace we have received to others. We love as He has loved us. Do you believe the doctrine?