Dead & Alive
Have you ever seen a Wanted poster in
an old western movie? They
Wanted, Dead or Alive
But I am here to inform you that you are
wanted, dead AND alive!
And it is God
Who wants you dead and alive!
Why do I say that? On what
basis do I make this assertion?
2Co 5:14 For
the love of Christ
compels us, having concluded this: that if One died for all, then all
2Co 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live should live
no longer for themselves, but for the One who died for them and rose
I am convinced
that this is the essence of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The following passage from the
apostle Paul's letter to the Galatian
believers expresses this same notion:
Gal 2:20 I
have been crucified
with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And
that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of
God, who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.
In addition we have this
other statement from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman
6:11) So also account yourselves as being dead to sin, and alive
to God, through our Lord Jesus the Messiah..
Unfortunately, or actually by design
of our adversary, the requirement
of DEATH to self has been lost to most believers in Jesus Christ.
We focus on 'who we are in Jesus', and fail to recognize our basic need
to die to selfishness and pride in order to be free to become slaves of
the righteousness of God. The result is that we live partly for
our fleshly, selfish and proud selves and partly the life of Jesus
peeks through. Various believers have various proportions of
carnality and spirituality according to the depth of repentance they
have experienced in life. The more broken and contrite we are,
the more that God can life in us and through us.
I also suggest that no one
accidentally dies to self. Rather it
is a conscious decision based on hatred for the iniquity we see in
ourselves which leads us to desire for our carnal selves to die in
order to make room for Jesus to live in and through us. It is an
act of desperate faith.
I attended Sunday School this
morning, and heard once again the
teaching that we must learn to love ourselves and others as well as
loving God. I always cringe when I hear this teaching because
it is a typically unbalanced teaching. Years ago I was captivated
by the following passage of Scripture:
Heb 1:9 You
righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this God, Your God, has
anointed You with the oil of gladness beside Your fellows." Psa. 45:6,
As I pondered this verse I realized that God the Father loved Jesus,
Who loved righteousness and hated lawlessness, and so Father poured out
the oil of gladness on Him more than anyone else. And since I
wanted to be like Jesus, I asked Him to impart to me His love of
righteousness AND His hatred for lawlessness!
The result over the years is that I have been able to discern between
true, Godly love and lawlessness. In God's system there is only
one law - the Royal Law of Love. And anything which does not meet
the standard of the Royal Law of Love is lawlessness, or perhaps we can
call it lovelessness. Got it? It is simple enough even for
me to understand!
So, I urge you to become dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus
More later, maybe.