Read Romans 4

Highlights:

Faith and righteousness through Jesus Christ defined; freedom from sin's power; conflict between our fleshly and spiritual natures.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin . . . . yield yourselves unto God . . . as instruments of righteousness unto God (Rom. 6:11, 13).

As children of God, we are responsible to reckon (that is, to accept as a fact) that sin is no longer our master, that we are dead indeed to our former life of sin. That doesn't mean we are not able to sin, but we are given the power not to sin. Before we come to a saving knowledge in Christ, the enemy has us in sin's bondage. There is no hope of escape other than accepting God's free gift of salvation. We use that term “saved” a lot. I have been asked “saved from what?” The answer: sin, death, hell. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). Our present and future are set free from these imprisonments. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him (Heb. 2:3).

God sees the believer as no longer condemned because of Adam, but set free through Christ, the head of a new creation. That is what we are. We are something new. This may seem strange to some, but when we come to Christ, the old creature dies and a new one is born. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17).

This wonderful position in Christ will only be experienced by the few who see the believer's necessity to claim (reckon) his inheritance in Christ. This inheritance belongs to everyone who is transformed by the mighty power of Jesus. We are no longer mere mortals. One day we will pass from mortality to immortality. We have become supernatural in nature. We are the children of God. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory (I Cor. 15:54).

Furthermore, God has placed the responsibility on us to yield our life unto Him as instruments of righteousness — not in our own strength, but in the power of the indwelling Spirit, for we are alive from the dead (Rom.6:13). Jesus' indwelling life makes the difference. It is He who empowers us to pass from death unto life. We are spiritually crucified and are healed from our terminal case of sin. We no longer are trapped in this terrible state.

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).

Thought for Today:

When we see ourselves for what we really are, we will bow in grateful humility for God's great love to us.

Cross References:

For Rom. 4:3: See Gen. 15:6. Rom. 4:7-8: See Ps. 32:1-2. Rom. 4:17: See Gen. 17:5. Rom. 4:18: See Gen. 15:5. Rom. 7:7: See Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.

Word Studies:

4:8 will not impute sin, no longer regards as a sinner; 7:8 concupiscence, evil desires or lust; covetousness.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Kevin Jennings • Government Official: Vice-President Joseph Biden, Jr. • Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in prayer, turn from your sinful ways, and God will have mercy and pardon for you (Is. 55:6-7).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:13