Thought for Thursday

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God… mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth. Colossians 3:3,5

One of the hardest parts of building a house, which we did in 1975, was the ceilings. Nailing the strapping to the trusses was difficult enough, but when it came to putting the 12-foot sheets of gypsum drywall on the ceiling, we were overwhelmed. It took the two of us just to get the heavy sheets up, but when we got them there, it was backbreaking and nearly impossible to hold them in place long enough to get the nails in. We were making a mess of it until a good friend stopped in and suggested me make ourselves a couple of dead men. They were simple enough… just a board a bit longer than the height between the floor and ceiling, with a cross piece at the top. With the dead men, we could easily lift the drywall sheets to the ceiling and brace them firmly in place to nail them. We were very grateful to learn about the value of dead men. Our text today also lauds the merits of dead men of a different kind.

Before we were saved, we were dead in trespasses and sins. Our salvation brought new life to our souls, but it also brought about a new form of death. There are two aspects of this new death: positional and conditional. Positionally, God sees us as dead to the world, dead to sin, dead to temptation and the lusts of our former unregenerate life. But conditionally, we are rather different from a perfect, dead-to-sin condition. We still dwell in mortal, sinful, dying bodies that are attracted to sin and disobedience. That is why the apostle reminds us in verse 5 to mortify our members. The word mortify means to put to death, or to reckon as dead.

Our souls are bound for Glory, as certain of arrival as if we were there now. But our physical members are still upon the earth, and will remain unredeemed until the rapture. We need to place them into the same dead-to-sin state as our redeemed souls, as much as possible.

Just as our deathbed will bring us into the presence of the glory of our Saviour, so too will mortifying our members bring us into the joy of His good pleasure, as we use those members to serve and praise Him as we ought. – Jim MacIntosh

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