“There’s a part of you – the born-again part, your spirit – that’s dead to sin. That’s why it bothers you now when you sin. The ‘wilderness’ part of you – your soul – is your unrenewed mind, out-of-control emotions, and stubborn will.” ~Joyce Meyer
“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? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 6
OH BELOVED, IT IS TRUE.
Each of us, even when we have begun to walk the path that He has set before us, have moments where we fall far short of the glory of G_d. Oh, we know that we are forgiven. That is not the issue of this entry. Rather, the question is what we are to do about the fact that we are forgiven.
The Christian life, from the outside, or from the inside view of someone who is not yet grown in their walk, can look like a ticket to let us do whatever we want to do. After all, Christ has paid the price for our sins. This is absolutely true. Our sins are forgiven. And we can do whatever we want. But a libertine will pay the price in this life, and on That Day, when we stand before Him to give an account.
So yes, we know that sin has consequences. But, as we grow, something else bothers us about our failure. We don’t like it. We actually begin to loathe our sin. We hate it. And we want nothing to do with it. And this, this growth of His Spirit’s work within us, is where Paul is going in the passage above.
Recently, I was praying in the morning. I had some things to confess. There are still parts of me that I just wish were not there. I am still very able to be impatient with my family and students. I am still very able to be angry in self-righteous ways. I still am very able to lust over nearly anything: a body, an opportunity, an object, or a situation…. I. Want. It. Now.
As I was praying, I was confident in His forgiveness, but I began to feel the shame of my falling short. I began to feel the loathing towards my old man. It is just so tiresome to be a man who GREATLY desires to please my Saviour, and to fall short – so often.
But, then, in one of those special moments – where we get quiet enough to listen – He answers. His sheep know His Voice. It is beautiful. So clear. So real. So true. And He answered me. He said, “You don’t understand just how dead you are.”
The Holy Spirit was simply prompting me back to all the places in His Word where it tells me that the old me is dead. Galatians 2:20, 5:24, 6:14, Colossians 3:3-4, 1 Peter 4:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:11, 2 Corinthians 4:11, 5:17 are just a few of the passages.
CAN WE SEE IT?
Dead men don’t sin. Dead men don’t live in shame. Dead is dead – bury it. For our L_RD Christ Jesus has already done this in His own Body. He has taken us (shame and sin included) down into His death. It is gone, and it is done. And the fact that this corpse wants to flop around and act alive sometimes, is no reason to buy into its rigor-mortic twitching.
Again, this reality does not free me to go off and do more stupid things. It does not give me license to sin, any more than electricity gives me a license to electrocute myself. Oh yes, I can give myself the shock, but there is no need. For, the old man within me is dead, and the new man He has made me desires to live in true freedom.
Hopefully this is something we can see. Of course, sin is a bad idea. But, that we fall into it sometimes, and then live in shame are two sides of the same coin. Both are the promptings of a dead man. And the dead need to be left for dead. Then, we are to see who we really are: Alive in Christ, forever, whole, and free. This really does make all the difference.
So, are you bothered by your sin? Good. Confess it. Forsake it. But leave where it belongs: with the dead corpse of your old man. Tonight is your night. Time to understand just how dead you are. This alone will show you just how free you really are in Him.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: If Christ has died for me – ungodly as I am, without strength as I am – then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it? ~ Charles Spurgeon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. Proverbs 15:30