Wednesday, November 24, 2010

death and life as daily metaphors

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14

This is a personally significant area of the Book of Romans. Paul has argued in Romans six that the death of Christ has brought about a positional change for the believer. Our old sinful self was crucified with Christ so that we no longer are enslaved by sin (Romans 6:6). The result of this is that the physical death of our bodies is no longer something to be feared for its eternal consequence. Death is no longer the problem it once was (Romans 6:8-9) because we will live with Christ after the death of our bodies. In the final sense, death loses because of Jesus.

But then there is this significant continuance of our lives until that time when we are with Christ. There is a daily effort on our part to deal with the residual effects of our fallen natures... the part that is personally still here until we enter eternity. The Christian must daily make some considerate effort to fight this. We must consider ourselves daily with the final outcome: dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Paul says we can choose to let sin reign or we can choose to let Christ reign. It is that simple. If we choose sin, we will obey personal sinful passions to our detriment. And I know what lurks in my heart when I do not focus on my Lord. It ain't pretty! I have to fight it daily by surrendering to the Lordship of Christ. Sometimes I don't do so, and sin leaves a damaging mark on my life or my relationships. Paul taught that the believer must regularly present the very limbs of his body as God's instruments. That conscious effort helps keep sin from having dominion over the day.

Take these hands and feet today. Use them for Your service. Take this tongue and speak in and through it. Take this mind and fill it with Your thoughts.

"Take these hands and let them move, at the impulse of Your love"
"Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for Thee"
"Take these lips and let them be, filled with messages from Thee"
"Take my heart, my God, I pour, at my feet its treasure store"
"Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine"

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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