“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” KJV
“In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God.” New Century Version
“AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins” AMPC
There is no life in Christ Jesus without the death of the former life of sin. In fact, the continuous experience of life outside Christ, after you have been saved, brings upon you the accumulating death that sin normally incurs to a climax (Romans 6:23), and if continued long enough, a climactic spiritual death that occurs as a final judgment of the sin that has ruled for so long.
The final death that breaks the dominion of sin was the death of Christ, our substitute; and by our deliberate union or identification with Christ, we, who have come to Christ, have now passed from (spiritual) death to life.
Hence, it is those who realize that they “…were dead in trespasses and sins” who can experience resurrection to a better life, the life of Christ. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin…” (Romans 6:11). The deed has been done. Victory over sin and all the effects of sin have been achieved by Christ. There is nothing to be done again. It is now left for you to reckon it as the truth and make it the principle/rule for your life henceforth. The death of death occurs when we refuse to reckon the perfect work that was done. (Death of death is not used here as Death dying but as a double situation of death)
We have received all that we are in the new creation through our union with Christ. The only way to freedom from any besetting sin at work in your life, as a Christian, is not to cry or pray “warfare” prayers or go for deliverance. The right way is to recognize your union with Christ, the fact that you ARE one in Christ, in His death and in His resurrection.
So that when you pray, you will not be begging God to save you from what He has already saved you from in Christ; you will only give thanks to God and then “pray” that understanding into your spirit man. It is treasonable to think or declare that something else needs to be done to set you free from your peculiar sins. Christ has done it; your faith in what He has done is what brings you experientially into Union with Christ, where you will literally experience the victory that is accustomed to your new position (Ephesians 2:5-6).
Reckon means “to take into account, compute, impute, to take an inventory, having the like force or weight…” The same weight of consideration you give to the death of Christ is to be your consideration of your own death to sin. And the same force with which He was raised in resurrection is to be seen as how you have also been resurrected into newness of life. If you don’t take the inventory of all that Christ’s death has purchased for you because of your identification with Him, you will keep struggling to pay for your freedom again, as if the full price was not paid by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Now, as many as believe that they are saved by grace, and still refuse to reckon that they are dead to sin, and “…alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11) are doubly dead. It is a mighty blindfolding that has come upon them, that makes them unable to see the perfect work of redemption. This blindness is usually because they are not taught (Romans 10:14) or they refuse to believe if they were taught (Hebrews 5:12). They are dead twice because, even though they are dead to sin through Christ’s death, they cannot practically experience the resurrection life UNTIL they “reckon” – accept, believe, confess – their death to sin through Christ.
And since they do not come alive into the newness of life, their death to sin, not being reckoned – accepted, appropriated, believed – becomes double death. That is the death that the nature of sin in their lives have already incurred, which invites God’s wrath, and the “unused” or unreckoned death of Christ for them, which reactivates the verdict of spiritual death upon them afresh.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened…And have tasted the good word of God…If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” KJV
Not accepting the death of Christ as the end of your sin (and the power of sin over you and the former desires you had for sin) means you reject that perfect substitutionary and sacrificial death of Christ, of which you must now come under the judgment/wrath of God afresh, to become confined to (a life of) spiritual death. If you don’t believe that the death of Jesus is the end of sin in your life, you have rejected God’s means of perfect deliverance from sin, by which you were justified, and you must now appear before the court of heaven alone, as it were, to receive the full wrath of God for your sins. The destruction that results is self-inflicted and needless. And it is the only destiny for those who choose to set aside the righteousness of God, to establish their own righteousness, by trying to “work” for victory over sin, rather than accept the work that has already been accomplished by God in Christ (Romans 10:3-4).
John 3:18 KJV
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
*NOTE: Until you have reckoned what Christ has done, and settled into your new position in Christ, you do not have the appropriate foundation to receive the building blocks of further instructions of “what to do” into your life (Ephesians chapters 4-6). The instructions of how we are to live, in scriptures, are building blocks for a life that already have the foundation upon which to build the structure of Christlikeness. The foundation is Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11) and our understanding of what He has done for us (Ephesians chapters 1-3)
Picture credits: ekklesia muskogee dot org, Jacob’s Well NJ, Pinterest