As many writers have pointed out, a dead person does not react to anything. Any pleasure that he enjoyed in life will not affect him anymore once he died. You can switch on the television show he loved best in life, but a dead person will not see nor listen. You can offer him the food he loved or the drink he enjoyed but he won’t even take note. Yes, a dead person is fully “dead” to all he held dear in life. Nothing affects him any more.
So also Paul is telling us to count ourselves dead to sin. Before we came to Jesus, sin affected us in everything we did. We easily fell to temptation. We found it most difficult to say “No” when sin appeared attractive to us. But after having come to Jesus, we are called to maintain a constant attitude of “counting ourselves dead to sin” (Roman 6:11). That means that we’re given not only the choice but also the power to say “No” to sin.
How did this happen. We need to understand that we died with Him on the cross (Romans 6:8) . It was not a physical death as far as we are concerned, but a death to sin. Our old self was crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6). Our old self stands for all the wrong and sinful habits and attitudes we had. This crucifixion of our old self happened so that we will no longer be slaves to sin. See, a slave has no freedom. He has to obey at all times. There is no choice for him but to obey. BUT with the death of Christ we have been freed from that bondage. Now we have the right, the choice, and the power to say “No” “to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12 NIV).
Is that easy? Certainly not. Is it impossible? Not at all. Because we were united with Christ in His death, and we are united with Him in His life as well. That is why Paul continues to say, not only “count yourselves dead to sin” but also “alive to God in Christ Jesus.” That means we not only say “No” to sin but also allow Jesus to live His life in us. It also means that we now obey God and not the evil desires that come to us.
One practical way to show our obedience to God is not to offer the parts of our body to sin. Instead we are to use our body for good deeds. This is because sin is no longer our master. So let us continually count ourselves dead to sin. Make it a daily habit to remind yourself that you are dead to sin. When temptation knocks, act like a dead man towards it. At the same time, be alive to God and what He desires you to do in life