How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Many people seem to believe that rather than being delivered from sin, we are  only delivered from the consequences of sin. I believe the sacrifice of Jesus did much more than the sacrifice of bulls and goats. Their sacrifice covered sins, delivering the Israelites from the consequences of sin; the sacrifice of Jesus took away sins, adopting us into the kingdom of God wherein there is no sin, Hebrews 10:4; 1 John 3:5.

Romans 6:1-7,

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it

3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death

4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life

5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 

6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 

7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

Romans 6:11-18,

11 Even so consider yourselves to be 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 lusts,

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

17 But thanks be to God that though you WERE slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

18 and having been FREED from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Further, in speaking of the sacrifices of bulls and goats, the writer of Hebrews said,

Hebrews 10:1-4,

1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?

3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

1 John 3:5-6,

5 And you know that He [Jesus] appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. [What the blood of bulls and goats could not do, Jesus did; He took away sins.]

6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or known Him or knows Him [therefore no consciousness of sin].

John 15:4 [from the mouth of Jesus the Son of God],

4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot  bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”

So we know we are to abide in Him and that no one who abides in Him sins. How do we reach that point in our Christian lives? We reach it by walking by the Spirit and not the flesh. However, walking by the Spirit and not the flesh doesn’t come naturally. It is learned as we submit to the Father’s disciplining of us.

Hebrews 12:4-17

4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin

5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,





7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 

8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons

9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 

10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 

11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness

12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 

13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 

16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 

17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. 

It is a fact of the Christian life that we are to strive against sin. We do this by learning obedience in and through our sufferings, whether it be mistreatment from others, resisting temptation, or driving within the speed limit, etc. It is in this way we will grow to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. We are to walk in obedience to the Father as He did.

The first mature man, Adam, sinned because he had no chance to learn obedience. There was no suffering in the Garden. The last Adam, Jesus, came as a child and learned obedience through the things which He suffered throughout His life on earth, Hebrews 5:8, and died without sin. He was then raised from the dead, and became a life-giving Spirit. 

He gives that Spirit of life to all who believe in Him and deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Him. 

I close with these last verses of Scripture:

Romans 8:1-2,

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death [the requirement of the Law is fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, verse 4].

Galatians 5:16,

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

“Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.