Romans 6:6-10 – For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
For this passage of scripture, instead of going into a verse by verse study, I want to show you a physical picture of this passage in the Old Testament. But let’s note a few things before we dive deeper:
- We were dead in sin but since Christ has died and rose again, we are now dead to sin.
- We are not only free from the penalty of sin but also the power of sin.
- Through His death we are justified from our sin. Through His life, we are sanctified unto Him.
- Our mindset should be this: Grace is not a freedom to sin, it’s freedom from sin.
- Verse 6 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” The phrase “might be done away with” means “rendered inactive” or “paralyzed.” Sin is not destroyed completely but is inactive and is no longer our authority. The only power it has over us is the power we give to it.
Romans 6 and Judges 4 are uniquely linked. The Old Testament gives us a physical picture of what Romans 6 gives us spiritually. In Judges 4, there is a picture for us of how we can defeat the old man or old nature in our lives. (Note: Read all of Romans 6 and Judges 4 for yourself to see the whole picture.)
Judges 4:1-3 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
- Jabin represents Satan and Sisera represents the old man (old nature).
- Just as Jabin keep Israel in bondage through Sisera, Satan will keep us in bondage through the old man.
Judges 4:6b-7 – “Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.” (God speaking through Deborah)
Judges 4:14 – Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?”
- We see in this passage that God has given the command and also the victory. We also see that God went ahead of them in the battle. Following God into the battle may be tough but He always goes before us and will give us the victory. When the old man comes knocking at the door, God will give us the strength to persevere and overcome. Jesus has already gone before us for he was tempted and tried in every way and did not sin (Heb. 4:15). Trust Him as He leads you to it. Trust that His strength will lead you through it. And trust that He’s already gone ahead of you and has given you the victory.
- Background to this passage: In Judges 4:4-10, Deborah (the judge of the Israelites) and Barak (leader of 10,000 Israelite troops) were to lead the Israelite army against Sisera. Barak wouldn’t go unless Deborah went with him. The Lord then told him that the honor of the victory would not go to Barak but to a woman. (We will see later that Jael gets the honor of killing Sisera.)
Judges 4:11 – Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
- The Kenites had an alliance with Jabin (Judges 4:17).
- Heber’s name means “crossed over.”
- Heber had separated from the Kenites and had “crossed over” to live with the Israelites.
- Spiritual application: we were once Heber. We had an alliance with Jabin or Satan and was commanded by Sisera or the old man. However, once we came to know Jesus Christ, we crossed over into the new life or new nature. Sisera is no longer our commander and we no longer have an alliance with Jabin.
Judges 4:16-17 – Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. 17 Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite,because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.
- Sisera flees the battle site and sees a tent that he had once had peace with. Isn’t that true of the our old nature? It likes to show up on our doorstep, knocking for us to let him in.
Judges 4:18-20 – Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up. 20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”
- Just as Sisera was ordering Jael around, the old man likes to order us around. Sisera also tells Jael to lie for him if someone comes looking for him. The same is true for the old man. He will always tell you to lie to others that he’s not active in your life.
- But Jael doesn’t give Sisera water, she gives him milk. In the Bible, the Word of God is described as milk (1 Pet. 2:2). When the old man comes to our doorstep, we are to give him the milk of the Word to overcome.
- Jael fills up Sisera’s belly with warm milk and covers him with a warm blanket. Sisera will soon become drowsy and fall fast asleep.
Judges 4:21-22 – But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. 22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead.
- The tent peg represents the nails that Jesus took and His work on the Cross. The hammer represents the Word of God. Just as Jael used the tent peg and the hammer to kill Sisera, we can take the nail of the Cross and the hammer of the Word and pound it into the temple of the old man and have victory! Sisera no longer has authority in our lives for we have the new nature of Jesus Christ.
Judges 4:22-23 – On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.
- Romans 16:20 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
- Revelation 20:7-10 – 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
- Even though Satan has not been destroyed yet, he will be. And what a glorious day that will be when the tempter, accuser, liar, deceiver, and murderer will be destroyed forever and we will live in complete peace with God!
In our new nature, may we always remember that when the old nature comes knocking on our doors that we have the Cross of Christ and the Word of God to overcome. We are no longer dead in sin but we are dead to sin and alive to Christ! Hallelujah, amen!