Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An Issue of Identity

One thing that irks me when I listen to Christians speak on living the Christian life is this teaching that we must, "die to self."

In coming to further understand what the sacrifice of Jesus accomplished at the cross, I realize how silly this is to try and kill off the old sinful nature, or as Paul calls it, "old man."

It would be impossible for me to kill my spirit. And whats more impossible is for me to attempt to raise myself from the dead! So, what the law couldn't do, (make me a new creation) God did by sending Jesus.

Salvation doesn't only mean forgiveness of sins. It also means that Jesus, in Himself, kills the old man who is alive to sin. So the question of us (believers in Christ) sinning because we are no longer under the law is absolutely silly! That old sinner that we used to be is dead! And furthermore, God made us alive to Himself by raising our spirit from the dead when He raised Christ from the dead. We were baptized, not into water, but into Jesus' death. And we were raised, not from water, but from the tomb. So Jesus' death was our death. His resurrection from the dead is our resurrection from the dead.

So you see, it isn't that we must "die to self". We don't need to be killed again; we simply recognize that it has already happened in Christ. We don't try to attain some experience of dying. Jesus experienced death for us. His death was our death, and furthermore, we don't try to raise ourselves from the dead; we recognize it has already been done when we believed on Christ.

You are a new creation. You are alive, not dead. It is the dead who will be judged by what is written in the books, and it is the dead whose names are not written in the book of life.

Have you ever wondered how God could let a "forgiven sinner" into His heaven? Sinners do not go to heaven, but they are reserved for wrath. Not by their works, but by their very nature. (Ephesians 2:3)

A sinner cannot produce good. Likewise, a saint cannot produce evil.

Let's say sinners are apple trees and saints are grape vines. Apple trees cannot produce grapes. Why? Because they are not grape vines, but apple trees. Their nature determines their fruit.

3 comments:

Mick said...

-So you see, it isn't that we must "die to self". We don't need to be killed again; we simply recognize that it has already happened in Christ. We don't try to attain some experience of dying. Jesus experienced death for us.-

That's a great way of putting it Matt, keep on preaching the gospel brother! Great word

The Lewis Family said...

Absolutely! I so hear you!

centralityofthegospel said...

Amen to this post!. The law and the old testament points us to Christ. Jesus even told that to us.