Here’s a special announcement… over the next several weeks as we head toward 2015 I will be sharing a series called MAN. It is about men and women who know and seek God and some of the truths about us. God has done so much to change our destiny, to give us purpose and fill us with His joy and His best. Today begins this journey.
“I see dead people.” That is a phrase from a movie by the title of The Sixth Sense. But I want to take us in a direction about how God brings death our way when He fills us with new life, His life by the gift and love that flowed through Jesus.
Someone who is dead has no movement, no rights and no future, yet when we talk about spiritual death, there are two directions that could be possible. Spiritual death can be seen as eternity separated from God because there was no payment for that person’s sin. Or this person never accepted and knew Jesus. The other possibility is the person who accepted Jesus, and their old self died with Christ on the cross. This person is new, a new person and has a new destiny and life that is the life of Christ flowing through them.
Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”… 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Being human is no easy task. In fact there are all different kinds of issues that come with being human and with dealing with life. There are struggles. There are ups and downs. There are choices along with lots of pain.
Yet there is a way to deal with the pain in a very proactive way. That pain or the pain of being human and dealing with other humans is best dealt with when we die. Yep. I said it. Death does away with pain.
That is a fact that we all can understand, but the spiritual connotation of it really is different. We die by allowing Christ to become our life. We lose our will and desire in the desire of Christ and His living through us.
A person who is still alive has massive feelings and aches and pain. But the person who begins to live for the good and glory of another person looses their feelings and even their pain to a certain extent. In the passage about Paul shares with us the battle between trying to attain spiritual life through the law and getting it through God’s grace. On our own we will fail. With Christ we will win and live a new life.
This might not explain all the nuances of what death is like, but I believe that verse 20 of Galatians 2 is pretty clear.
We have died in Christ. When Jesus went to the cross, my sin and humanity went to the cross and died there.
Now we live by Christ living through us. His life was exchanged for our lives. His life is living through us because of God’s unending and unexplainable in human terms.
We begin to understand and to really live when we grasp that we lost our old lives in Christ and by God’s grace. There is joy in death. That seems very strange. Death works in us when we let sin hang on and let shame and heartache run through us. By allowing the life of Christ to flow through us we begin to live. I live in Christ, or better yet Christ lives through me.
That is how I am really dead and have come back to life.
Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!