How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:2)
It would not be much of a stretch to say I hate snakes. Something inside me recoils in the presence of a snake, even if it is neatly tucked inside a tank at the zoo.
One morning I was out walking on a particularly beautiful, spring-like day. I happened to step over a coiled piece of rope that made me take a second glance to make sure it wasn’t a small snake. Immediately my mind wandered …
Dead snakes are somewhat less threatening. I imagined myself handling (with gloves of course) a small dead snake. I thought I’d be somewhat okay with that.
As I continued my walk I recalled a Canadian camping trip as a teen. Someone had struck and killed a VERY LARGE snake. My 35-year memory recalls it to have been about 5 or 6 feet long and about 4 inches in diameter. So I asked myself, would I be willing to handle that LARGE dead snake even with gloves on? I don’t think so. No, I know so. I would not be willing to handle a large dead snake. Why? If it’s dead, what’s the big deal? Because if I were honest, although I could see it is dead, and intellectually believe it is dead, there is something deep within me that fears it springing back to life in my hands. That’s when it hit me – the similarity between dead snakes and our sin nature.
…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin…Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:6-7, 11).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live… (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
We are dead to sin. Our old man is dead, dead, dead. We intellectually know it is dead but it seems as if deep down we fear it isn’t. That is how many of us live, knowing that our sin nature is dead but keeping our eye on it just in case. In so doing we grant it credence and act as if it has the potential to overpower us. If in the deepest recesses of our heart we fear that it might spring back to life at any moment, then in many subtle ways we will live as if it can.
We are dead to sin, reckon it so. Whether it feels true or not, reckon it so. Fully embrace this truth without fear that somehow we might be mistaken.
This devotional was first published in Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2.Snake
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
Think About This: “Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.” ―