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Some have interpreted Paul's words, "dead to sin," to mean that a true Christian will be totally insensitive to sin and its attractions. Such an understanding overlooks the fact that it wasn't so in the life of Jesus. In His life on earth He was genuinely tempted, in that He felt Himself drawn toward some aspects of the wilderness temptation and His mind and body found going to the cross repulsive. And universal human experience identifies with Christ's reaction. To put it bluntly, born-again Christians still feel such things as the pull of appetite and unlawful attraction.
Paul's point is not that Christians are dead to sinful impulses but that they will not be walking in the way of sin. He notes that Christians do not let sin "reign" in their lives. It is one thing to be tempted or even to commit an act of sin and repent of it, and quite another to be a slave of sin. John Wesley caught Paul's idea when he wrote that sin "remains, though it does not reign."
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