Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

My paraphrase of this text is:
Allow yourselves to be convinced by the Spirit that through being identified in Christ you did in fact die to indwelling sin being forever severed from that old sin master and you are in fact alive to God being joined forever to the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Many try to reckon they are dead to sin without first knowing the facts. However, there can be no reckoning without first knowing. There is no being convinced of certain facts without a prior awareness and understanding of those facts. Trying to reckon without knowing is not faith—it’s only wishful thinking that can only yield continued defeat.

Knowing involves the fact of your union with Jesus and therefore your union with His death. You died in Him when He died to sin. Your death, then, is in the past not the future. Be convinced by the Spirit that this is so. This is reckoning.

Christ’s death is fact.
You have been placed into Christ is fact.
Therefore, your death in Christ is also fact. …Reckon!

For Paul, “I die daily” may have been primarily in reference to persecution. Yet to face a daily threat of persecution would necessarily involve a soul-level death to self, too. Whatever Paul meant by this statement, there is a sense where we daily reckon ourselves to have died with Christ and so in that sense alone die daily. In Romans 6:11, the imperative reckon is in the present tense. This shows it’s not just a one-time reckoning, but rather, an ongoing reckoning. From the first illumination by the Spirit that convinces you that you died in Christ (which is sudden and immediate, bringing immediate blessing and life out of death) to the continuous and progressive reckoning which flows from this initial illumination (and allows the Spirit to keep filling you with life out of death), reckon.

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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