11 Likewise you also, reckon [keep on reckoning] yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive [ongoing] to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
to be dead indeed to sin [Greek—on the one hand],
“Dead” here does not refer to the process of dying but to the state of death. Christ previously accomplished the state of death to sin. He was our substitute who paid the penalty for us. He represented us on the cross. God does not tell us to die to sin but to calculate what Jesus did in His death for us, in which we are “dead to sin.” We are dead in His death. The first thing we are to compute in God’s economy is that we are dead to sin. We are to fully affirm this as true.
Christians are to calculate the truth as true for themselves that Jesus died to sin and came alive in His resurrection. Believers died to the fact of sin in Christ. We need to recognize that and live our new life in Christ in light of that fact. This does not mean that we are invulnerable to sin; we are indeed vulnerable to sin. It means we died to our old life in Adam by regeneration. We need to keep this before us in Christian living.
Christians forever died to sin by Christ’s death on the cross.
The issue for Christians is not dying to sin by what we do, such as praying, confessing sin, or struggling with sin. That is not the argument here. We can never be dead to sin in the sense of being immune to temptation. We are dead unto sin in that Christ paid for it totally on the cross. This is true because Christ is our federal head.
The idea here does means to die to sin, because it is a fact that we died to sin in Christ; it is not some possibility. We cannot do what is already done for us. Neither does this mean to compute some force in us as dead, for Christ broke the force of sin (v. 6). In addition, calculating ourselves dead to sin does not make or cause us to be dead to sin. That is the opposite of what the passage says. Finally, reckoning ourselves dead to sin does not mean that we are dead to sin only as long as we master sin.
Since the point at which Christ died in our stead, the Father has seen us in Christ, identified with Him as our federal head. Since God deems us in Him, death does not have dominion over us. He satisfied every claim of sin against us.
Reckoning does not make us dead to sin but is a command in view of the fact that we are dead to sin. Feelings have nothing to do with this; facts are facts. Faith honors the facts of God’s promises but feelings avoid faith.