Saturday, December 6, 2014

Living Free From Sin: Reckoning part 1


          It has been quite a while since the last post, but I think I will be able to continue more regularly now. Let's just dive right on into the study. We have seen what we are to know. We know, by revelation from the Spirit of God, that we are crucified with Christ. Now we are to reckon on it. 

         To often we we look at Romans 6:11 and see that we are to "reckon" that we are dead to sin. But we cannot forget to read that in light of Romans 6:6, which says "knowing this...". The sequence is very important. We cannot be sanctified without first being justified by the Blood of Christ, likewise we cannot reckon without first knowing what we are reckoning on after all Romans 6:11 comes after Romans 6:6. We know that we are crucified in Christ, now we must reckon it so. Reckoning must be based on the knowledge of divinely revealed fact. Otherwise faith has no foundation on which to rest.
         We cannot reckon without first having a Spirit-given revelation of fact. Reckoning first without knowing that we are dead to sin will only reveal how clearly alive to it you are. What is the secret of reckoning then? Revelation! I cannot tell myself, " I am dead to sin" over and over again and expect it to be so. This isn't some magical chant that makes us, who are alive to sin, dead to it. No!  It is not that I will reckon myself to be dead, and therefore I will be dead. I am dead, therefore I reckon myself dead. We are not to be  reckoning toward death but from death.

What is Reckoning?
         Reckoning, though sometimes translated consider (as in the ESV Bible), is more firm than the way we normally think of the word "consider". The word consider is not an incorrect translation but we need to be aware of what it means. The Greek word translated here as "reckon" and "consider" is logizomai. It means to think of, to count, to take inventory of, and to do the accounting. This isn't the same word found in Hebrews 3:1 which tells us to "consider...Christ Jesus" (KJV), which means to observe fully or to perceive. In Hebrews we are told to "observe fully" all that Christ is and has done for us. In Romans 6 the command is somewhat different  so I think that the word reckon is a better translation of the intended meaning.
        We are to "reckon" ourselves dead, or to "account" ourselves dead. This carries with it the notion of "doing the books". Numbers are one thing that is consistent everywhere. No matter where you go 1+1=2. There is no room for inaccuracy here or misrepresentation. We are too look at what we have and take inventory of it, or write it down as it is. If I have $15 in my pocket I cannot enter it as $20. What good does it do for me to inter it as $20? By entering $20 does that somehow make me actually have $20? No! Accounting is the reckoning of facts, not fancies. This is not a form of make believe that we are talking about here. I can enter $15 because that is what I have in my pocket, likewise we can "enter" that we are dead to sin because we are dead to sin. It is not that I hope by entering $20 when I have $15 will somehow remedy the deficiency. It won't! Reckoning will not make $15 into $20 and it won't make you dead if you are alive. God commands us to reckon that we are dead because we are already dead, not because by reckoning we are dead we will become dead.

The Command "Reckon ye"
          Reckoning comes naturally after knowing, but "Reckon ye" is a command. There is a definite attitude to be taken. We are to put down " I have died," and then abide by it. I was in Christ on the Cross. It is a fact. Therefore I will reckon it to be true. This is always and only true in Christ. "If you look at yourself, you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith, not in yourself, but in him" -Nee To-sheng.

        Paul is telling us in Romans 6 that we are to know and then reckon.  "We know that our old self was crucified with him (Christ)... so you must also consider (reckon) yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:6; 6:11).  The knowing must come first but then we are to reckon on it; write it down and live by it. 
         Next time we will be looking at how reckoning and faith relate to each other and we will discuss two of the greatest challenges to the faith of the believer: Temptation and Failure. Until next time, Dearly Beloved, continue in prayer that we may all know and reckon on what God had done for us in Christ Jesus.

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