The justification of the unrighteous produces passivity only among those who have recklessly misunderstood the thing.
The more closely the apostle Paul’s argument approaches the unmerited favor of God to his rebellious children, the more energetic becomes his summons to align our understanding with that which God has pronounced to be true about us.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The rhetorical questions, the imperatival tone, and the use of the verb logizomai (to consider or reckon) that abound in Paul’s letter to the Romans conspire to urge the believer to an almost athletic feat of mental recalibration.
To be declared just in the light of the redemption that Jesus has won for us on the cross, we see in Paul’s prolonged and intense discussion, does not automatically lead to a changed self-awareness nor to the righteous life that ought to ensue.
Rather, we are called to align our thinking and our conduct with the new reality of sinners-cum-righteous.
Perhaps in no other context is freedom at once so free and so demanding.