Dead man walking

posted in: News and Updates | 0

by Steve DuPlessie

So if you are trusting today in God’s love, grace and mercy declared at the cross in the death of Jesus for you―if you believe that and you’ve already been baptized―then your baptism was a symbolic one-act play of you dying when Christ died and then you rising to new life just as Christ rose from the grave. This concept―that you died when Jesus died in your place―is called living the crucified life.

So, the apostle Paul is saying here, if that’s you―then live the new life! The crucified life! Galatians 6:14 tells us…

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and … I to the world.” “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” – Colossians 3:2,3.

Over and over Paul tells us that to die with Christ means to be dead to the controlling influence of the world around us, to be dead to the power of sin to control you, dead to the controlling opinion of others, and instead, to be alive to the grace and mercy of God. Baptism is not the goal, not the end of your spiritual journey―it’s just the public announcement of beginning of new life in Christ!

When Jesus said that his followers are to take up their cross daily and follow him, he meant exactly this: dying daily to the very natural impulses of selfishness. Dying daily to the urge and power of sinful habits. Dying daily to the priorities and pace, the passions and perks of a worldly lifestyle. We get the idea for “living the crucified life” from Galatians 5:24 …

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”

The crucified life is dead to the habits and power of sins that entangle and enslave us: dead to worldly opinions that distract and detour us; dead to indulgent selfishness that is idolatry because it replaces God in our lives.  So again in Galatians 2:20, the apostle Paul wrote…

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The crucified life is a life not of joyless boredom or super-saintly other-worldness. The crucified life is not rigid religious stuff, or some sort of extra-holy clueless detachment from culture.

No, the crucified life is first, a life that notices and appreciates and depends on God’s grace and mercy in your own life every day―and then lives in that grace, free of self-condemnation and self-hate and free of judging others. I don’t know about you, but I need God’s grace every hour of every day.

Second, the crucified life is a life that realizes how lost we are without the cross and lives every day in the deep shadow of that cross―refusing to get caught again in patterns and habits that disappoint our Father in heaven and destroy our conversation with him.

Third, the crucified life is the life that daily realizes the costliness of sin: it was our sin, my sin, your sin, that nailed Jesus to the cross―that brought him public shame and physical pain; that caused his feeling of separation from his Father in heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:21 …

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

And fourth, the crucified life is a life that has killed, put to death, executed the natural self―the old sin nature―that sits on the throne of your life and installed the living Christ on the throne of your life instead. We read that in Romans 6:6 …

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…”

Oswald Chambers wrote “If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us.” When we come to Jesus, repenting and believing, then the old life is dead, the new life has begun…

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation―the old has passed, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

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