“Are you saved?"
Ask a believer that question and he'll answer with a quick, “Yes!" But ask him if he knows exactly what he's been saved from and you may run into some confusion.
Most of us realize that we've been saved from spiritual death, snatched from a hell-bound train. We know our salvation has changed our final destination. But what many of us don't realize is that we don't have to simply sit around until then, spiritual suitcases in hand, waiting to die and go to glory.
God intended for us to begin our trip to heaven the moment we were born again. And sin should be the first territory we leave behind. That's because God has given us His very own righteousness and authority. It is part of our great salvation.
Christians are discovering that we have authority in the Name of Jesus to resist sickness, disease, poverty, demons and fear. The Scripture says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). But before we can effectively resist the devil, we must first submit to God and obey Him.
Jesus has already paid the price to free us from the dominion of sin. When we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was raised from the dead and confess Him as Lord, we are saved according to Romans 10:9-10.
Colossians 1:13 tells us that at the moment of our salvation, we are delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. This is not something that happens when we die. We live in that kingdom now.
When you are born again, the old sin nature that used to be on the inside of you dies. A new nature created in righteousness and true holiness is born. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The very life of God Himself is the substance of that new man. Righteousness—being in right-standing with God—not sin, is now your nature. That righteousness is imparted to you by the Holy Spirit through the new birth.
Your spirit is instantly changed when you are born again, but your mind and your body are not. It's your responsibility to fulfill the righteousness that is imparted to you. You do this by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2)—this change of thinking reveals to us what God says in His Word. It transforms our entire lives as we believe and obey. It enables us to walk out the will of God and walk in His blessing.
You see, Romans 6:6 says it's in knowing this that we will no longer serve sin. Our spirit is already dead to sin and re-created in righteousness. That inner righteousness becomes outwardly apparent when you renew your mind to this fact and act accordingly.
The moment you are born again, sin loses its hold on you. Just as death lost its dominion over Jesus when He was raised from the dead, so sin loses its dominion over you.
No sin is so powerful that it can dominate the person who knows he is dead to sin. Drug addiction, alcoholism, sex sins, evil habits—all lose their power to control those who consider themselves dead to sin.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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 (Romans 6:11-13).
It's not enough to consider yourself dead to sin. You must reckon yourself alive to God. That means when sin calls, you don't answer. You answer when God calls! You are motivated by the new man on the inside of you, not by the old man that you once were!
You can have so much of the life of God flowing out of you that when you walk into a place, the demons there shudder and tremble in fear at your very presence! That's what the Bible says about Jesus. It says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
One translation says Jesus went about healing those who were overpowered by the devil. You are not overpowered by the devil! You have power over the devil.
But if you get your attention on other things, you will let the Word slip and sin will dominate you. Hebrews 2:1, 3 says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
The Word in your heart causes you to walk after God instead of after the world. We've got to give the more earnest heed to the things we learn in the Word of God and not let them slip.
We cannot escape sin and the effects of sin if we neglect the great salvation the blood of Jesus has provided us. Sin and its consequences will continue to have dominion over us. But if we will continue with the Lord, our great salvation will bring us into a state of soundness—spirit, soul and body!
And God wants you to walk in the fullness of your salvation. He wants you to be whole and sound in every area of your life. But you cannot enjoy that salvation now without renewing your mind to the fact that you are dead to sin. And deliverance from sin is the very beginning of our great salvation.