What does "died to sin" mean?

When the Bible says that someone has died to sin, it means that the Christian has died "with Christ."  It is not that we have actually died physically, but that we are, by faith, joined to the death of Christ on the cross.  It was there, after fulfilling the law (Matt. 5:17; Gal. 4:4), that he suffered death, which is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23) though he never sinned (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15).  By bearing our sins in his body (1 Pet. 2:24), becoming sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21), and because Jesus represented us on the cross (1 Cor. 15:22; Isa. 53:4-6; 1 Pet. 2:24) and died there, when we trust, by faith, in the sacrifice of Christ we are then declared to be dead to sin, dead to the law (Rom. 7:4), and justified (Rom. 5:1).  This death that Jesus underwent, and our identification with it, is symbolized by baptism.

Rom. 6:3-4, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Following is a listing of verses that deal with our being dead to sin.

  1. Rom. 6:2, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” 
  2. Rom. 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”
  3. Rom. 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
  4. Rom. 7:4, “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.”
  5. Gal. 2:19, ““For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God.”
  6. Col. 2:20-21, “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!'”
  7. Col. 3:3, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
  8. 1 Pet. 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
  9. Rom. 6:5, “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,”

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.