Creflo Dollar - Should A Christian Be Dying To Sin? Part 1
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Matthew chapter 1. Matthew chapter 1 and verse 21. I remember when I first made Jesus the Lord of my life and one of the phrases I kept hearing was the fact that, you know, "Brother Creflo, you're gonna have to make sure that you're ready to die to sin daily". And man, that was something. Are you ready to die to sin daily? And so as a young Christian, as a new Christian, I was trying to figure out how to die to sin daily, and I thought for a long time, that's what the Bible said, that we should die to sin daily.
And, you know, I began to look at that and so I wanna talk to you about that because I wonder, you know, should a Christian be dying to sin... first of all, should a Christian be dying to sin? And secondly, should a Christian be dying to sin on a daily basis? I taught this once before but I felt like I really rushed through it and I wanted to take some time to pull out some nuggets in this next go around. So let's look at this issue and let's answer the question, Should a person be dying, should a Christian be dying, and that's the difference, should a Christian be dying to sin? And did Paul even say that? Is that even something that's in the Word or, once again, somebody took a fable and misinterpreted a Scripture and nobody went to check it out and we've been living by something that's not even the truth once again.
Well, look at this. Matthew chapter 1 and verse 21. The Bible says: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for Jesus, he shall save his people from their sins". So this verse of Scripture is very clear that Jesus had an objective, that Jesus had a mission, that Jesus had an assignment. And what was that assignment? To save his people from their sins. And sometimes, I don't think people even know and understand the purpose of Jesus, his Coming, and why he's here. To save his people from their sins. And that's why we call him Jesus the Savior because his objective, his mission: to save his people from their sins.
Now, you have to look at your life and you have to ask yourself, well, you know, was he successful? Did he save his people from their sins or was it a failure? Was it a success or was it a complete failure? Well, let's go and get into the Word and find out exactly what this means. Let's look at Romans chapter 6 and we'll be in the book of Romans most of the time this morning. Romans chapter 6 and verse 7. Romans chapter 6 and verse 7. And in verse 7 he says this, watch this: "For he that is dead is freed from sin". "For he that is dead is freed from sin". Now, of course, he's not talking about physically dead. You know, death, it literally means a separation. It's a separation. He that is dead is freed from sin.
Now listen to me very carefully here as we move into this. I wanna go step by step. Have you ever tried to die to sin? What do I mean? Have you ever tried to die to impatience? Have you ever tried to die to negative talk? Well, there is good news for all who have been unsuccessful at dying to sin. There's good news, here's the good news to everybody that's been unsuccessful to dying to sin. I mean, some of you have been dying for the last, you know, 30 years of your life and you've been unsuccessful at dying to sin 'cause it seems like it keeps resurrecting. And so the good news for those of you who have been unsuccessful in dying to sin, the good news is verse 7: "For he that is dead is freed from sin".
So we're not talking about you dying to sin. Obviously, there's something that Jesus did that allowed us, once we got born again, to be dead to sin. Listen to this now. To try to die doesn't work because you're trying to do something that has already been done. If you're already dead to sin, trying to die to sin could be a very frustrating thing. Let me give a few examples. Let's say, for example, you're seated wherever you are this morning. And let's say you're trying to sit in a chair while you're already sitting in a chair. You're trying to do something that's already done. I mean, how frustrating is that? How frustrating is it to try to find your cell phone when you're looking at it? How frustrating is it when you're trying to find your cell phone and you're talking on it? What is it about Christians that our frustration comes because we're trying to do what's already done?
And the Bible says that we're dead to sin, and if you're dead, if you're dead, then you're already free from it, but we keep trying to die to get free from something that we're already dead to and we're already free from. Let me give you a definition. See, we're so important, we need to just have our eyes open to the fact that we are already dead to sin. So that's what I'm gonna attempt to do this morning. We gotta open our eyes to this truth. We are already dead to sin. If you are a born again Christian and you've made Jesus the Lord of your life, you are already dead to sin.
Now, the word, you know, let's get away just for a moment and look at some definitions here. The word "died," of course, in the Greek is a verb and it means one-point-in-time action. It's a one-point-in-time action, never to be repeated. When you die to something, it's a one-point-in-time action, never to be repeated. So when we died, we died for good. It will never be repeated again. So if I'm dead to sin, I should never be repeating that again.
Now, let's look at this area of sin. There's just a lot of things that we have to rightly divide in order to get the definition in the context of what God's trying to show us. It's amazing to me that in the book of Romans which we're gonna be studying out of today, the book of Romans, sin is used 48 times throughout the book of Romans. But here's the interesting part: 40 of those times, the word is used as a noun. Remember in school a noun is a person, place, or thing. And so 48 times you see the word "sin" in the book of Romans, but 40 times it's used as a noun, talking about the person of sin, the man of sin, the body of sin, the old man. And so in Romans chapter 6 now, now it's only used in the book of Romans eight times as a verb, talking about the action of sin. Only eight times.
So that means if you take the 40 times that that word "sin" appears in the book of Romans and 40 of those times you use it as a verb, when it's actually a noun, you're missing out on what Jesus did and what we died to. Stay with me. In Romans chapter 6, sin is a verb only one time and that's in verse 15. So when you read Romans chapter 6, the entire time it uses the word "sin," it's referring to the old man, the body of sin. It's referring to that root that produced the fruit of sinful behavior. I want you to look at this in Romans 6, verses 6 through 7, Romans 6:6-7, and I wanna show you how it's used as a noun just here. Look at verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man," old man. Underline "old man," man, person, place, or thing. "Our old man is crucified with Jesus, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin".
Now, stay at verse 6, most people read it like this: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed". And since the old man is crucified and the body of sin is destroyed, "henceforth we should not be sinning". We should not be operating in sinful behavior. That's not what he said. That's not a verb. That sin is a noun. Now notice this. Go back to your English class. "Knowing this, the old man is crucified with Christ, the body of sin is destroyed, that henceforth you should not serve the old man or the body of sin," because the old man, the body of sin, sin. Not sinning, the action, but the old man, noun, the body of sin, noun. So you won't serve sin, noun. So what is he talking about? He is saying that the old man, when use the word "sin," he's talking about that old man, that old sinful man, that body of sin, has been destroyed and it has been crucified.
So, you see, most of us keep seeing it as a verb: sinning. And you keep worrying about your actions 'cause you're still doing what you're doing, I'll show you why in a moment. But, first of all, you've gotta get a hold of this. Jesus came to set us free from the old man, the body of sin, the sin person, the sin nature, the old nature that's in a man. You're free from that. Death has occurred. What does that mean? You are separated from your old man. You are separated from that sinful man. You are separated from the root that produced that sinful behavior. Because of Jesus, you're dead to it. You're dead to the root that produces the fruit. You're dead to that old man. You're dead to the body of sin. Oh my goodness, I hope you're getting a hold of this.
I want you to write this statement down. This is something I want you to hold on to. This is a key to this sermon today. "Victory over sinning," so now you see the difference between sin, the noun, the old man, versus sinning, the action. So listen to this, write this down. "Victory over sinning, victory over the action of sinning, doesn't come from working on one's behavior". So you're trying to get victory over sinning and you conclude that in order to get victory over the actions of sinning, I'm gonna have to work on my behavior, okay? And I am saying that victory over sinning doesn't come from working on your behavior.
So whatever sinning you're doing, you're not gonna get victory by deciding through your own performance or self-effort that I gotta work on my behavior. No, victory over sinning comes from knowing we have been freed from sin, the old man. Victory over sinning is gonna come when we know, "I have been freed from the body of sin, the old man, the root of sin, that sinful nature. I am free from that sinful nature". Now, I'm not free to sin. I'm free to not sin. And you're never, listen to me, you can just look at your own life. You're never gonna have victory over sinning until you come to the point of knowing and believing you've been freed from the root that produced that behavior. It's back to that identity issue again. It's back to you believing that you are free from that old nature and you have a new creation that produces new fruit.
But as long as you struggle with, "Wait a minute, I am freed from that old man," and I'll tell you how that happens. If you found that you are sinning, you conclude, "I must not be free from that nature of sin, since I'm still sinning". No, no, no, victory over sinning, it's gonna start by knowing I've been freed from that old man. I've been freed from that sin nature. I have been freed from that root that produced sin, hallelujah. Now, let's go to 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Another big problem is that if you're going around thinking, "Well, wait a minute, Apostle Paul said we should be dying to sin daily". That's part of the problem. That's part of the problem. We should be dying to sin daily. It's how you're using that word "sin" as an action word or a noun. We're dead to the sin. Why keep dying to something you're already dead to, all right?
1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 30. Let's look at this in The Message Bible, for the sake of time. 1 Corinthians 15:30 in The Message Bible. He says, and I'll start at verse 30. He says: "And why do I think I keep risking", look at Paul, "Why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live," c'mon. "Do you think I'd do this if I wasn't convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus Christ"? Now, of course, in the New King James Bible, it uses the phrase, "I die daily," but you can see here, he's not even referring to "you die daily". "And why stand we in jeopardy every hour"? The King James says, he says, "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily".
What was he talking about? Was he talking about dying daily to sin? No, he was talking about, he was in the context of risking his life every day to preach the resurrection because people were out to kill him physically. So Paul was referring to persecution, not dying to sin. He was referring to persecution, the risk that came from preaching the resurrection. He was saying, "I die daily," or "I'm at risk of dying daily because of the persecution that comes from preaching the resurrection of Christ". Of course, in 1 Corinthians 15:30-31, we begin to read, he says, "I", he says, "And who do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work"?
That's what he meant when he died daily. I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work of preaching the gospel. Are you understanding what I'm saying? And for all this time, somebody told you, "Well, you just gotta die daily to sin". It's not talking about dying daily to sin. It's talking about that I am risking myself where persecution is, Paul is referring to persecution. Paul's referring when he says, "I die daily," he's talking about the persecution that comes from preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So get that out of your vocabulary. Don't say it anymore. Don't go around telling people, "Well, I die daily to sin," because what's wrong with that? First of all, it contradicts what Romans says, Romans 6 and verse 7. He says: "You're already dead," so you can't die if you're dead, all right? And so let's correct that. Get our thinking right, like it's supposed to be. Now, let's go back to Romans chapter 6 and let's travel in this. And you be free. Get yourself, you're free. You're free, man. All right now, watch this, and then I'll show you why you keep committing the actions of sin if you don't know that you've already been freed from it, all right?
Now, let's look at verse 8 and 11. He says in verse 8, he says, "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Christ," how? "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death has no more dominion over him". So we got to know that we are no longer going to die to sin 'cause we're already dead to sin. "For in that he died, he died unto sin," how many times? "Once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God". And so we've got to come to the place of understanding that he died to sin once and so, likewise, we died to sin once because we're in him. All right, verse 11: "Likewise reckon," that's a interesting word, "reckon". That word "reckon" means to count or to compute or to calculate. It means to make something as a fact. I reckon I got $10 in the kitchen drawer, why? 'Cause there's $10 in the kitchen drawer. I reckon, it's a fact. It's a fact, I've calculated this thing to be factual. I count this thing to be factual.
And so when he says this and use this word "reckon," he says, "Likewise, reckon you," he says, "you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin". Now why did he use "reckon" you to be dead unto sin? Because you are indeed dead unto sin. That's why he uses the word. He says, "Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin". I reckon you're dead unto sin because it's a fact that you're dead unto sin. I reckon you're dead unto sin because it's a fact. I have counted this factual. You are dead unto that sin nature. That word "sin" is a noun. You are dead to that sin nature. You are dead to that body of sin. You are dead to that person of sin. You have a new creation in you, a new man on the inside of you. He says, "So now that you're dead to sin," and he says, that's a fact, "but you are alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord".
I am alive unto God. I am dead to sin and I'm telling you your sinful behavior is gonna have to straighten up the day you know and believe and recognize that you are dead to that sin man. That sinful man, that old man, you are dead to. He is dead, he is gone, he can't ever come back again, you hear me? He is dead, he is gone, he can't come back again. So we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin in the same way that Jesus died to sin, all right? Let me show you something real quick. Look at Romans 6:10 just for a moment. I wanna put this in your thinking. "For in that he died, he died unto sin," what? "Once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God". You are dead to sin. You are dead to sin.
Say that out loud. Say, "I am dead to sin". In fact, look at Galatians chapter 2 and 20. I mean, this is, like, once and for all. You're dead to sin once and for all. That's what he said in verse 10: "Unto sin once. Once and for all". You're dead. Look at Galatians 2:20. He says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live," that's awesome. "I'm crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ is the one that lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by," the what? "The faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave his life for me". So I live this thing by faith in the Son of God. By faith in the Son of God.
Now, let me show you something about the Son of God. Look at Hebrews chapter 4:15. Hebrews 4:15. I wanna travel a little bit and show you some things. This really, really blessed me. I'mma show you some Scriptures here and then we're gonna get on to this. Verse 15: "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," the noun. Oh my gosh. I read this like this, that he was tempted like as we are, yet without sinning.
That's not what it said. He said he was tempted like as we are, yet he didn't have the nature of sin, the old man of sin. Tempted but the temptation wasn't gonna work 'cause he didn't have the root that produced that sin action. Tempted but he wasn't gonna get into sinning behavior because he didn't have the sinning root. He didn't have the sinning person. He didn't have that old man. That's why he had the nature of God. That's why he was born from a virgin. He was born with the nature of God, glory be to God. So he was tempted but he was being tempted without the sin nature. Tempted without the sin man. Glory to God. So there was no way he was... that's why Jesus couldn't sin 'cause he didn't have the nature to produce it. Never had it. Never had the nature to produce it. And so he wants to bring us into that place where we understand what that's like.