Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The Church of Rome has always hated the doctrine of justification by grace alone. Since the days of the Reformation, she has asserted that such preaching will lead to licentious living. Of course, this is not a new charge against the gospel, for Paul had to face the same accusations in his day. Now it seems that todays popular carnal Christian theory is giving credence to Romes allegation. In our day a person can make a decision for Christ without being made a disciple of Christ. He can be saved from his present troubles (or so he hopes!) or saved from hell, but never need to be saved from his sinful vices. Paul addresses both of these fallacies in the sixth chapter of Romans by proving that justifying grace will reign in the life of the true child of God.
By our union with Christ in His death, our old man is crucified with him (v. 6). As Christ died to sins guilt, sins condemnation, and sins reign, so did we! That is, by bearing our sin on the cross, He destroyed all that sin could do to us. Not that our sinful nature was eradicated, but it lost its power to dominate us, for he that is dead is freed from sin (v. 7). Can it be any plainer than Pauls declaration in verse 14, For sin shall not have dominion over you?
What does this say to those who claim that this doctrine of free justification leads to immorality? And what does it do to the theory of the carnal Christian, which says a man can be saved and never leave his sinful habits and wicked living? Most certainly, these notions are left high and dry. Thank God for the sanctifying power of the truth of justification! For how shall we who have been freed from the horrors of sin by the awful death of our Redeemer live any longer in sin? Let us therefore yield ourselves as servants of God unto holy living.