“Knowing this …we believe …reckon …present …obeyed” (Romans 6.6, 8, 11, 13, 17).
These five verbs within Romans 6 demonstrate the process by which we have power over sin as children of God. This is the process by which we bear fruit to holiness for the glory of God. Unfortunately, we often circumvent this biblical process. So, faith is an inseparable part of this process of overcoming sin.
- There is something we must know. That is, we must be well-acquainted with a very important fact. Our old man was crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin (Romans 6.6). Those who die are freed from sin!
- There is something we must believe. Romans 6.8 says that “if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” We shall live with Him in Heaven, but that is not what this passage is emphasizing. We shall live with Him now on earth. We must believe that the resurrected Christ lives in and through us in the present (see Galatians 2.20). This is eternal life: to know Christ and believe that He will grant us resurrection power to live a life well-pleasing to God because of our dependence upon His Son.
- There is something we must reckon. We have the righteousness of Christ and power over sin. Therefore, we must count that as true and start living an eternal quality of life. This is an imputed reality. But for all of it’s potential, I must count it as such. If we have a million dollars in the bank and never use our debit card, who is responsible for such foolishness? We are! Bank on it. You are indeed dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus! Live out the life that you have …or don’t and keep spinning your wheels.
- There is something we must present. Present is used in the sense of dedicating for service. We must present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead. That is, we must dedicate ourselves to His service. What does this look like (see Romans 6.12-14)? It’s a life of righteousness to God. We behave in a Christlike way because we are no longer law-driven but grace-driven.
- There is something we must obey. Now, we have reached the step of obedience. Know, believe, reckon, and present all lay the foundation for obedience. Christians go from one extreme to the other. They usually begin with obedience, but it is an obedience that is self-reliant and flesh-driven. They have returned to self-righteousness. This is sin leading to death. However, if we know that we are crucified with Christ, depend upon His life at work in and through us, appropriate that life for our own by counting this to be true, and dedicate ourselves to the service of God, only then is our obedience Spirit-filled. This allows us to demonstrate the righteousness of Christ in the things we think, do, and say. Thus, we glorify God and not self. This is “obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6.16).