We Died In Order To Live!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:11
The passage above denotes a profound truth that is often obscured from our attention. Knowing that we have been baptized into Jesus’ death to sin is only part of the necessary information that leads one to victorious living.
The fullness of the Gospel represents our baptism into Christ’ death which causes us to be made alive through His resurrection in order to experience the same newness of life that is found in Christ.
This work of God is called “resurrection life” and it is totally free from the dominion of Satan, sin, self, corrupt world, the flesh and the Law of God.
In Rom 6:11, Paul urges believers to consider themselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Couple this with his statement in Gal 2:20, that we have been crucified with Christ but yet alive and it implies a bit of a contradiction. How can we be both dead and alive at the same time? The answer to this is found in the same verse “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” We are judicially declared dead to sin’s power but it only becomes a reality in our lives as we consider it to be a fact and by faith count on Christ to live this life in and through us.
Why is this truth hard to grasp? For 2,000 years this liberating truth have been prominent in Paul’s teaching particularly in Rom chapters 6-8, Galatians and Colossians. However, only a few believers have grasped this reality in their daily experience of coping with temptation, challenges and the lust of the flesh through Christ’ liberating power. Why is this so? I believe there are several reasons.
- Instant Maturity
As much as some believers would like it to be, there are no short cuts to spiritual maturity just as there are no short cuts to emotional and physical maturity. Time and the experience of trial and error go into preparing us for an acceptance of these deeper life truths. If we have any notion that there are even the least things we can do ourselves to improve our status with God and strengthen ourselves against the power of sin, then we will miss God’s solution that has delivered us in Christ.
- Misguided Focus
Another reason why believers fail to grasp the reality of their freedom from sin’s power is because so much of preaching and teaching today is focused around our sinfulness and not around Christ’s righteousness and forgiveness. If we are ‘sin’ conscious continually, then we can’t be ‘Son’ conscious. Sin consciousness only lead us to self condemnation and self effort to overcome the consequences of sin. However, Son consciousness continually remind us of God’s love and our acceptance in Christ through His baptism and death.
- Renewed Mind Rom 12:2
Only a renewed mind can grasp and experience the truth of salvation rendered to us by the absolute finished work of Christ. When we come into the family of God by our rebirth through Jesus’ baptism (water), death and resurrection (Spirit), we bring with ourselves the accumulation of attitude, behavior, outlook, complexes and experiences of perhaps years of living without Christ and His influences. All these have combined to make us the person we are. Now suddenly the Bible tells us that we are a new creation in Christ. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come. God also says He now sees us as holy and blameless in His sight because we are accepted in the Beloved. 2 Cor 5:17; Col 1:22; Col 3:3. We must have our mind renewed for our behavior to change into the likeness of Christ. As He is so are we in this world.
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