Living in the Past Tense

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Pete Briscoe explains why we should not continue to try to die to sin.

"The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make him holy, then put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it." —Leonard Ravenhill

Sometimes I ask people, “How are you doing in your spiritual walk?” (You can usually see it in their discouraged and desperate eyes when it’s not going so well.) They often respond, “Well, you know, I’m trying really hard to die to sin.” They look at me like I’m Pastor-Gone-Off-The-Deep-End when I then ask, “Why are you trying to do that?!” When I see their crinkled forehead and raised eyebrow, I know they are ready to hear something vitally important: Being “dead to sin” does not mean that you should continue to try to die to sin when it happens.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. —Romans 6:11-12

The word died is in aorist tense ,which means “a single action which occurred in the past.” It is not in the present tense as in, “We are dying to sin.” And it’s not in a future tense as, “One day we will die to sin.” It says, “In the past at some point, we died to sin.” It’s done. This is a present reality and can become your immediate experience. The key is to see yourself already dead to sin, with the capacity to choose to act on that truth when temptation comes your way. Let me say that again, just a little differently:  The old master is still alive (sin), but the old slave has been crucified (your old self), so your old master is no longer your master because you are a new person with a new master, Jesus! The key is not to try to die to sin, but to believe your old, sinful self is already dead. When we take that one biblical truth to heart, then our choices and our behavior will be natural extensions of that truth! Meditate on this powerful and extremely practical command:

Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (emphasis mine) Romans 6:13

To whom are you offering your body today?!

Lord God, I offer myself to You! You have brought me from death to life. I surrender to this truth. I quit trying and I offer my body to You to be used as an instrument of righteousness in Your hand today. Amen and Amen.  

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