Sunday Considerations: A New State

“Therefore since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves, likewise, with the
same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that he no longer
should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles,
when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine,
drinking parties and abominable idolatries.”
1 Peter 4:1-3.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has suffered for sin and He has suffered to the utmost extent, for He has paid the death penalty on His people’s behalf. Look at the 18th verse of the previous chapter—“For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” Christ has fought with sin to the bitter end. He has now done with sin, for He has died to it. He has borne the capital sentence pronounced upon the guilty, dying, “the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” Now, as many as have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ are one with Him. And what He did, He did representatively for them, so that they virtually did it in Him. Therefore, every Believer ought to regard Himself as having been put to death on account of sin—as having undergone, in the Person of His Great Substitute, the capital sentence on account of sin and now, as a man who has been executed is clear of the guilt, so are we! And as a man who has been executed should not return, could he live again, under the old sin, so neither must we. “Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He lives, He lives unto God. Likewise reckon you, also, yourselves, to be dead, indeed, unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Now read between the lines of our text. In Christ we have died unto sin once, but now that we live unto God, we are as if we had actually died to sin and had passed into a new state and condition by virtue of our union with Jesus Christ our Lord. But while this is true, there is an experience of it which we have to undergo within our own spirits—hence the Apostle says, “Therefore since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves, likewise, with the same mind.” As He has died to sin, we are to die to sin, also. This takes place—the commencement of it, at any rate—at the time of conversion. The man who formerly loved sin begins to hate it. The sin which he used to swallow greedily, he now loathes and shuns. There is such a change worked by the Spirit of God in the heart of the Believer that sin can no more have dominion over him. It is dethroned from the place which it occupied over his nature. It once put its foot upon his neck, but now he puts his foot upon its neck. He is dead to sin and he ceases from it—not only that—in the sight of the all-seeing Jehovah, he has his infirmities, his failures and his sins, but still, as far as his heart is concerned, he has done with it.1

  1. Charles Spurgeon. “Luminous Words” sermon excerpt. December 26, 1897.
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The above article was posted on February 23, 2013 by Mark Lamprecht.
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