DEAD OR ALIVE?

March 19, 2024

DEAD OR ALIVE?

Our Glorious Salvation, Part 2

I was once discipling a man who had come to Christ years earlier but had never realized all that had happened to him. Each week he became more excited as he discovered what God had done for him. He told me, “I feel like I received a glorious present years ago, but I am just now unwrapping it!”

If God’s grace has saved you through trust in Him, several astounding, eternal changes have occurred.

A NEW POSITION

Your spiritual position before God has forever changed. You were once sinful, condemned, and cut off from the presence of God. You couldn’t do what God desired because you were separated from Him. You were enslaved to sin as a ruling principle.

Now, as Romans 5 describes, you have peace facing God! You can stand in His throne room anytime and are invited there because of the introduction you’ve received through Christ by faith. You now stand in a state of grace, forgiven, uncondemned, and welcomed!

A NEW MAN

But there is more. If you are in Christ, the old man you once were has died. Paul describes this “old man” in Romans 6. Think of the word translated “baptism” in these verses in its original meaning: immersion.

Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism (immersion) into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with (literally, rendered powerless), so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:4–7).

When Christ died on the cross, who you were in your sins was joined to Him. He stood before God on the cross and bore the penalty you should have endured, the righteous judgment of God against sin. This penalty was separation from God and is heard in Christ’s cry on the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” The One who had forever been with God was separated because of our sin.

But that old man was not only represented in Christ’s death, but also in His resurrection. Our old man was condemned and put to death, but was also raised to new life! We are now alive because our sin problem has been forgiven and the life of Christ is in us.

Here are the glorious results of what Christ has done. When we come to faith in Christ …

  1. We are immersed into Him, joined completely to Him.
  2. We have become alive with His life!
  3. Who we used to be (sinful, condemned, separated from God described as “our old man”) is forever gone. We will never be that man again!
  4. Sin (as a ruling, reigning principle that we couldn’t escape because we were separated) has been “done away.” This phrase literally means “rendered powerless.” We once were bound to sin. There was nothing else we could do because we were dead. Now, we can choose to sin, but we don’t have to. Sin, as a ruler, has lost its ultimate, dominating power over us.
  5. We are freed from sin (as a ruling principle), and grace is now the ruling principle in our lives!

OUR NEW ABILITY

Because we are a new man and will never again be the old man (separated, condemned), we can live a totally different way. We have a choice in who we serve and how we live that we never had before.

Even so, consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Ro 6:11–14)

We can now …

  1. Consider (“count it as true”) that we are dead to sin as a ruling principle, and we are now alive to Christ and His grace.
  2. We can “present not” and “present.” Every day, we have the choice to present the members of our body (our eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, mind, etc.) to God. He can use our members as “instruments (literally “weapons”) of righteousness. Instead of our bodies being used to advance unrighteousness, we are a mighty weapon in the kingdom of God.

You will never be the same if you are a new man in Christ. You can sin (and will sin because of the temptations around you, the work of the devil, and the weakness of your humanity), but here is the truth: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIN ANYMORE! You are no longer a slave to sin as a ruler, but you are a slave to Christ and His grace.

You have a choice and a power that you never had. You have been made right because of Christ, and you can use each day for His glory, others’ good, and your growth!

Hallelujah for our salvation!

 





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