"We...have died to sin"
“We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”.
“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.”
Verse 2 says that we “have died to sin”.
Verse 6 says that “our old self was crucified with him [with Christ]”.
Verse 10 says that “he [Jesus] died to sin once for all”.
Verse 11 says to those who believe in Jesus, “count yourselves dead to sin”.
Verses 2 and 6 say the same thing in different words “we...have died to sin”, and “our old self was crucified with him [with Christ]. “Our old self” in Greek is ‘our old man’, which takes us back to our identification with the man Adam in Romans 5:19a, "through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners". And “Our old self” or “our old man” is what we were in our old life in connection to Adam, before we trusted in Christ.
We’ll understand verses 2 and 6 when we understand what verse 10 means that “[Christ] died to sin once for all”.
So in what way did Christ die to sin? It cannot be that he died to the power of sin because sin never had power over him as it does over us. He was sinless.
Christ Jesus came to die in the place of sinners like you and I because we are guilty of breaking God’s holy law. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” To break God’s law is called sin, and "the wages of sin is death" (6:23a), which makes us guilty of sin and deserving of death. By nature, we are under guilt and penalty of sin.
So when it says that Christ “died to sin once for all”, he didn’t die to the guilt of his own sin, because he had none, but as “the Lamb of God” “he died to [the guilt and penalty] [of our] sin”, and he did that “once for all” never to be repeated again.
In v.10 Christ “died to [the guilt and penalty of our] sin. And in verse 6 “our old self [as we were in Adam] was crucified with” Christ - believers died with Christ. Therefore in v.2 “we died to [the guilt and penalty of our] sin. The same phrase in the same context can mean only the same one thing, that Christ our representative and the believers died on the cross to the guilt and penalty of our sin, never to condemn him, or us again. The guilt and penalty of our sin have been paid for by Jesus Christ, once for all.
Therefore, since Christ “died to [the guilt and penalty of our] sin” as our substitute and our new representative Man (v.10), Paul says “In the same way" as Christ "died to sin", so you "count yourselves dead to sin” - dead to the guilt and penalty of your sin. In Christ, the guilt and penalty of our sin were borne “once for all”, and now we are "alive to God in Christ Jesus".
This does not mean perfection, or that we will never sin again. But by faith in Christ, that truth has made us "alive to God in Christ Jesus' and brought us the power to bring fruit for God. Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
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