14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.Romans 6:14 (KJV)
What does this verse mean? To answer this we first need a bit of background to give us the proper perspective and correct interpretation.
The Christian life is a life unlike any other because it is a new life. It begins much like the human life, at birth; that is a new birth.
This is the context and background from which the term “born again” comes from. More specifically it stems from John Chapter 3 in which Jesus meets with Nicodemus, a Jewish Pharisee.
3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.John 3: 3-6 (KJV)
The new birth is a spiritual one which supernaturally takes place when we come to Jesus in belief and faith, asking Him to save us and forgive us of our sins.
From the moment we receive His gift of salvation we become embodied with the Holy Spirit and our lives begin to change, for “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
When our new life as a Christian begins (with our new spiritual birth) we gain citizenship in heaven (“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”) and an eternal perspective (“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”).“The new birth is a spiritual one which supernaturally takes place when we come to Jesus in belief and faith, asking Him to save us and forgive us of our sins.”
This new perspective enables us to see things as they really are. We see ourselves for what we really are and all the things in this world take on an entirely new meaning.
We see people as they really are, souls lost in need of a savior, and we view life goals differently for now storing up treasures in heaven is our new goal and our new desire.
20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Matthew 6:20-21 (KJV)
Time for an important note; the change that takes place when one is born again, while instant in its effect of saving us, is not always an instant one when it comes to changes in our lifestyle and habits.
Even though we are born again at the moment of faith it often takes time to come to terms with and understand our new life in Christ, the Christian life that is.
6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
From the point of salvation until we leave earth for heaven, our new Christian life is a constant refining process of sanctification, or becoming more like Jesus, which will be perfected when we meet Him in heaven.
Sanctification along with our new standing in Him (being redeemed and justified) and the Holy Spirit working in our life are what bring about change in the long term in terms of our earthly life.
Even if the change is not instant it is nonetheless dramatic. Why? Because being born again allows us to no longer be under the dominion of sin. How is that?
Our old self has died, for you cannot become a Christian without having the person you once were put to death and the new person born.
6) 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.
7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.Romans 6:6-7 (KJV)
Those are magnificent words; death leads to freedom from sin!
However the death of the old man, that is our sinful unregenerate man, can be scary to some. Just why though would that be?
Because salvation involves a transaction. Jesus died for you so that you may be saved, justified, redeemed and sanctified. This though comes at a price.
38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39) He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.Matthew 10:38-39 (KJV)
Salvation involves leaving behind all that you know, all of the things familiar and comfortable to the old man, to your old life. You must and will lose things. That is scary for some.
The potential is there to have to put to death your old life, friends and family if they do not align with your new life in Christ. It also means putting to death your old lifestyle and, what is more, it means putting to death what you love; your natural inclination to sin.
12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:Romans 5:12 (KJV)
You see everyone is infected by sin at birth. Ever since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden man has been plagued by his natural sinful condition. No matter what we say or do, no matter if we are Christian or not, sin is always there.
Those who deny sin call it a mistake, those who are overwhelmed by it seek relief from guilt and those enslaved by it know not of how it is destroying them and are ever more allured by it.“Those who deny sin call it a mistake, those who are overwhelmed by it seek relief from guilt and those enslaved by it know not of how it is destroying them and are ever more allured by it.”
Sin is what we are born into; it is the great problem of man brought on by the first man, Adam, due to his rebellion (original sin) against God.
5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:Colossians 3:5 (KJV)
Sin is a very enticing thing. It holds us all in its grip from our first birth until we come to Jesus and even then we are still left in mortal and sinful bodies (the flesh).
Becoming a Christian means giving up the inclination or desire to sin, it also means consistently putting sin to death in your life as a Christian. Those are hard words but true words.
Ask yourself this? Am I ready to have my sinful man crucified with Jesus when I believe on Him and ask Him for forgiveness and to be Lord of my life? Am I willing, as a born again Christian, to consistently battle against my own lusts and sins?
Sin is powerful, so much so that it separates us from God for all eternity if not forgiven through us coming and asking Jesus for forgiveness and placing our faith and trust in Him. You see, in spite of all of sin’s power, Jesus is the only remedy!
24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.1 Peter 2:24 (KJV)
Jesus is the only remedy for our sin problem, both the natural sin we are born into the world with and the sinful flesh that we still wrestle with in this life even though we have been born again as Christians.
Just before, I asked if you were ready to have your sinful natural man crucified with Jesus and consistently live battling sin in your life as a Christian. Now you must reverse that equation.
Do not ask if you are ready to give up sin, ask if you are ready to live unto righteousness. You must change your desire, lose the desire to sin and cultivate the desire to be righteous, to be born again. By His stripes we were healed. Ask yourself, am I willing to give up sin for healing?“Ask yourself, am I willing to give up sin for healing?”
Every time, no matter how strong the pull of sin in your life is, no matter what you have ever done, salvation is worth it.
Healing is worth it, eternity is worth it, righteousness is worth it and being restored in relationship to your original Creator who loves you and is for you is worth it, beyond anything else in the world.
Let us now return to our main verse.
14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.Romans 6:14 (KJV)
Once you are born again and become a new man in whom all things are becoming new, sin no longer has dominion over you. Grace enables us to live free from sin’s dominion over us as Christians.
That is true freedom. Freedom from slavery to sin’s destructive habits, freedom from guilt, and freedom from death. Remember:
20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
Reader, once more if you desire to become a Christian, that verse is what it is all about.
Jesus loves you and gave Himself for you to save you from sin. Christian, if you are still struggling with sin, and you always will in this life, look at our next verse.
16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.Galatians 5:16-18 (KJV)
Where are you at in your Christian life right now? Does sin have dominion over you? Now you might be wondering why I am asking that, for doesn’t the Bible say it shall not have dominion over you?
We need to understand what dominion means; it refers to sin as lord or master over you (Greek 2961 “kurieuo” in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Royal Publishers Edition, 1975).
Our main verse then is saying that sin shall not be lord or master over you. When we view the verse with this in mind it demonstrates a way by which we can fall into sin while still a Christian.
Besides a lack of putting sin to death in your life and the flesh’s constant battle against the spirit, is that we allow sin to have dominion and lordship over our lives. Why would we do this?
Because Christian we have not fully lost our desire to sin. Our old man has died yes, but we still live in the flesh while on earth. The difference is we are no longer slaves to sin as before, now we have the way out through service to a new Lord of our life. Let’s finish by looking at our main verse in context of its surrounding verses.
12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.Romans 6:12-14 (KJV)
Here is the solution, Christian. Do not let sin, in whatever form it may be, be the lord of your life and instead yield to God.
Do not let sin reign as a lord in your life that you should obey it as a lord and master of your life. Rather obey God and righteousness.“Is the desire to sin still present with you? Lose that desire each time it comes back to you, lose the desire to sin and replace it with a desire to serve your true Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Let His grace be your help and guide through the Holy Spirit. Remember, you are alive from the dead.
Is the desire to sin still present with you? Lose that desire each time it comes back to you, lose the desire to sin and replace it with a desire to serve your true Lord, Jesus Christ.
And to the reader who is not yet a Christian, lose the desire to sin and instead desire righteousness and healing and come to the Savior Jesus who is waiting with open arms for you. Amen.