“How will anyone dead to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2).
This is the vital question. Have we died to sin? Is that our experience? This is a critical issue since, Paul goes on to say; “For the one dying has been acquitted from sin: (Romans 6:7). Therefore, in order to be free from sin, we must enter in to that death experience; if we haven’t been set free, then we haven’t died. It is only through the crucifixion of the flesh that the prince of this world can be cast out; this is what Jesus showed (John 12:31-33).
The kingdom of God comes without observation, Jesus said (Luke 17:20); so does the kingdom of darkness. It is subtle and deceptive; Satan’s guile creeps upon us without any conscious alteration in our state; it is like putting on weight; you don’t know it’s happened until you step on the scales and make the unbelievable discovery.
Christians generally live their lives in neutral; they are ruled by Christian habits of conduct and behaviour. While a moral response to the gospel is fundamental, you cannot live your life in neutral; you are either wholly in, or wholly out, of the kingdom of God; abiding in Him and obeying His commandments, or not; there is no half way position.
The only way to resist the subtle creep of sin is to live positively and consciously in the presence of Christ; that does not mean to be a Christian but to live in Christ; – every thought, every deed and every word – deriving from Him. We have authority to do so from Christ Jesus Himself; “Abide in Me” He said (John 15:4) and the verb “to abide” is in the imperative; it is a command not an option. This is a salvation issue; for the one who does not abide in Him is cast aside and he withers and all of those are gathered together to be burned in the fire (John 15:6).