Friday, January 21, 2011

In Christ: Dead and Alive, Before and After

Before following Jesus, we are both dead and alive.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh...
Colossians 2:13a (emphasis added)

For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
Romans 6:5 (emphasis added)
As followers of Jesus, we are both dead and alive.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:1-2 (emphasis added)

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses...
Colossians 2:13 (emphasis added)
Before following Jesus, we were both dead and alive: we were dead to God and alive to sin and the law. In becoming followers of Jesus, we both die and come to life. We die to sin and the law and ourselves (the flesh). And we come alive to God.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4
This kind of language isn't merely an illustration or analogy to help us understand how the gospel transforms us, as if to say, "Think of it as though you died when you became a follower of Jesus or like you were dead and came to life." This is describing what the gospel actually does in our lives when we experience its power. "You have died", Paul says. It's an indescribably deep, powerful, mystical, and supernatural reality that is experienced through our union with Christ. Are you a follower of Jesus? You died. Whoever you used to be is dead (Romans 6:6). Or at least he should be (Romans 6:11-12).

So which dead man do you resemble most? Which living man are you most similar to?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

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