Thought for Thursday

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Romans 6:8

One of the most startling paradox statements about us as Christians is that we have to be dead so we can live. Our text says that. Imagine somebody speaking to you and declaring that the only reason why they are alive is that they are dead. It doesn’t make much sense when put that way. And naturally speaking, referring to our physical bodies, it is pure nonsense. But our text is not speaking of our physical bodies.

At the moment we were saved, we received everlasting life (John 3:15,16). That is what we always speak about concerning our conversion: we pass from death unto life. But we also die. When God places us in Christ, He also declares us dead to sin. And that is an eternal position that will never change. We are also given the ability, through the work of the Holy Spirit, to die to sin in our everyday life. We are given power to resist temptation, to cease the old habits of our unconverted days, to reject the things from our former life that marked us as enemies of God. It may take us awhile to fully display our death to sin, and some Christians put little effort into doing so. They are the losers, because it is only by learning to be dead to sin that we can appreciate our new life.

Our new life in Christ is far more rewarding and exciting than any life lived in sin. One of the great spiritual blessings God gives us with our salvation is the ability to understand and follow the Word of God. The Scriptures are opened to us, enabling us to grow in our knowledge of God and to become more like our Lord and Saviour. When a child of God looks into the Word of God and sees the Son of God, the Spirit of God transforms him into the image of God, to the glory of God. Our life in Christ means not only the reality of victory over sin and guidance in our daily lives, but everything that is the very best for our lives. In His infinite wisdom, God knows what is best for us and what will lead us into the greatest fulfilment and happiness. That can be a hard lesson for us, but it is one well worth learning.

Looking beyond this life, we can also rejoice in God’s promise that because we have died to sin, we can also live with Him forever. What will Heaven and the presence of our Lord be like forever? Our imaginations are not capable of giving that question an answer. But we can accept it as fact because of God’s promise. And that gives us hope that can give us joy every day. And that hope is a very real part of our living in Christ.

Dead to sin: that’s good! Living with Christ: that’s even better! Or it can be if we allow Him to live through us. – Jim MacIntosh

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