The exchange that we are dealing with here is between the old man and the new man. The old man died in Christ on the cross, so that, by exchange, the new man might live in us now. This is a theme that runs through the New Testament, but it is dealt with very infrequently in many sections of the church today. The contrast between the old man, who died on the cross, and the new man, who has been resurrected with Christ, is brought forth through the resurrection of Jesus.
Our old man being crucified in Christ is a historical event that actually took place at a specific moment in time. I think it tremendously strengthens our faith when we view it in this way. It is something that actually did happen. It is true, whether we believe it or not; it is true, whether we know it or not. But when we know it and believe it, it has a tremendous effect on our lives. In Romans 6:6, Paul stated that “our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Many modern translations say “annulled.” I prefer to say “rendered ineffective; put out of action.”
The slavery of having sin as our master is terminated in our lives when we realize that the old man died and that a new man now lives in us. But if we do not realize this, believe it, and act upon it, there is no full escape from the slavery of sin. This is the only way out of the bondage or slavery of sin.