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DEAD TO SIN -- ALIVE TO GOD

  Jesus told us that except we be converted and become as little 
children we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 18:3). 
Conversion is a process of turning. In Romans 6 Paul tells us what 
happens in the process of conversion and its wonderful results in the
lives we live. To one who has been buried in baptism and raised as 
Christ was raised to walk in newness of life he says, "Likewise reckon 
ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God 
through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 5:11). The question comes up as
to how we become dead to sin. After becoming Christians the temptations
are still there to go back to sinning if we let them have their way 
in our lives. However a great change has taken place in conversion.
We die to sin in the following processes:
1. Upon hearing the gospel and coming to grips with the fact that 
there is one God and that Jesus of Nazareth is his Son who died on the 
cross for the sins of the world, we come to believe on God and Christ.
In being taught that gospel we learn that God is holy and cannot 
fellowship men in sin (Isa. 59:1,2). Also see that God is just and 
will punish men who live and die in their sins. There is everlasting 
destruction for those who know not God and obey not the gospel 
(2 Thes. 1:7-9). In the mercy of God Christ came to save us from our
sins (Mat. 26:28; Heb. 2:9; I John 2:1,2). We see  then the awful 
consequences of sin and want forgiveness. Inspired men tell us that
we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ if we want to be saved 
(John 8:24; Mk. 16:16; Acts 16:31). When we believe on God and Christ
we realize the awfulness of sin in our lives and see what it is doing
to us both here and in eternity. Then we DIE TO THE LOVE OF SIN. Sin
is responsible for the bad things that happen in our lives so we no 
longer love the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride
of life. 
2. Jesus in this gospel tells us "Except ye repent ye shall all 
likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). Repentance is defined in Mat. 21:28, 29
in the parable of the two sons. The father said to one "go work in my 
vineyard" but the son answered "I will not". Afterwards he repented 
and went and worked in the vineyard. What happened when he repented?
He changed is mind or will about what he would do. Likewise all who 
repent must change their wills or determinations. This is to DIE TO 
THE PRACTICE OF SIN. Men determine to walk no more in those things 
that are sinful. They seek God's will in their lives. The goodness of
God leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4). The longsuffering of God is 
extended to men because God wants man to repent (2 Pet. 3:9). The 
great fact that all will face Christ in judgment should cause us to
repent (Acts 17:30,31). 
3. In the book of Romans we are told that we are justified by faith 
in chapters 3,4 and 5. In Romans 6 we are told how we are justified by
faith. God says, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized 
into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried
with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in 
newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4). So those who have died to the love of
sin in faith, to the practice of sin in repentance, now in baptism 
DIE TO THE GUILT OF SIN. They reach the cleansing blood of Christ by
being baptized into His death. They buried with him by baptism into 
the death of their sins. They arise to walk in the newness of life. 
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with  him, that the body
of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
(Rom. 6:6). The wonderful results are that men are freed from their 
old sins. As new born Christians they determine to live unto God 
(Rom. 6:10). The determination  is "Let not sin reign in your mortal
body" (Rom. 6:12). "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteousness unto sin" (Rom. 6:13). Christians have obeyed from 
the heart that form of doctrine, being made free from sins and become
servants of righteousness. (Rom. 6:17,18).  They seek the things which 
are above and put to death the old sinful habits in which they once 
engaged (Col. 3:1-10). They have their fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22)
and look forward to everlasting life in heaven. If they slip and sin 
they are ashamed of it, repent, and pray (Acts 8:22-24). The Lord is 
now their king instead of the Devil.
THIS IS CONVERSION AND THIS IS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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