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Saturday, August 2, 2014

"It Is Not Death to Die"

Photo by: amenic181

They say that “dead men tell no tales.”* There are a few more things they don’t do:
                     Feel emotions

You see, a dead person isn’t working any more. He’s only a shell. He can do nothing.

There are some curious verses in the Word of God. How about these?
  • For he that is dead is freed from sin (Romans 6:7).
  • For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God (Galatians 2:19).
  • For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
  • For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

Obviously, these verses aren’t talking about physically dead people. The verses are plucked out of contexts that explain them. Consider these passages:
  • God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:2, 8, 11).
  • For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die (1 Corinthians 15:22, 31, 36).
  • And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:1, 5. Quickened means “made alive.”)
  • It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11).

Spiritual death came upon all people when Adam and Eve sinned. (See 1 Corinthians 15:22, above.) But the good news (the gospel) is that Jesus can make us alive spiritually through His death on the cross. He paid the price for our sins when He substituted His death, a pure offering, for what should have been our penalty. When we are willing to turn our backs on our own sins, ask humbly for forgiveness, and acknowledge Jesus as Savior, then Jesus saves us. We find life in dying to ourselves. We find life in Jesus.

The same goes for the Christian’s life as he continues to walk with God. When we die to our own selfish wants and desires and put God and others first, we find freedom and satisfaction in doing right. When the Apostle Paul said, “I die daily,” he was speaking of this dying to sin and self. He used the image of a seed sown. It “dies” and new life springs forth. The life is already hidden in the seed, but the seed has to die in order for the plant to sprout. (See the 1 Corinthians 15 passage, above.)

Have you died to sin so you can live in Christ? Have you asked Him to save you from your sins? Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:24).

Do you die daily to sin and self? Do you live to serve God freely and unhindered? Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

“It is not death to die.”**


* From the title of a 1938 British thriller film, based on a 1935 novel titled “The Norwich Victims” by Francis Beeding.

** From a hymn by Henri Malan (1787-1864).

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