Late for Our Funeral
A boxer was late for everything. His mother said he’d be late for his funeral. He was. He missed the plane which crashed without survivors March 14, 1980. It was carrying the USA boxing team to Poland for a competition. In a spiritual sense, many of us Christians are late for our funeral. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” (Romans 6:3, NIV).
Those who were baptized into Christ’s death are identified with it. That death to self-centered living isn’t recorded on any death certificate. But God says it already happened when His Son died on the cross. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (verse 6). God did it almost 2,000 years ago to free us from sin’s slavery. We’ve already died. Acknowledging the funeral is up to us. Doing so always precedes real life.
Imagine talking corn seed. When the farmer plants it, it says, “I don’t want to be a cornstalk. I’ve got to be me!” Unless it dies to itself and becomes something else, it’ll never be fruitful. Neither will we. Corn seed dies to itself and takes on a different outward appearance. As new Christians, we look the same on the outside. Our death to self-centered living reveals itself through loving words, attitudes, and actions.
The power to be different on the inside is “through the glory of the Father” (verse 4). The glorious power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to power our God-centered way of life. God’s power flows through Christ into us who are grafted into Him (verse 5).
God’s goal is that we should no longer be slaves to sin (verse 6). From God’s perspective, we sinned in Adam, and we were crucified with Christ. We’re no longer sin’s servants. We don’t have to obey a sergeant’s commands if we’re not in the army. Sin still yells, “Attention!” We don’t have to obey it! God has redeemed and rewired us! All the circuits to please Him and be a light to the world are in place.
It often doesn’t seem like we’re dead to sin. It still intimidates us. The problem is we’re still listening to the barking sergeant. We’re no longer under his authority. We’re dead to his voice. God crucified the old self. God’s word is truer than our feelings. Moment by moment we escape sin’s rule by trusting the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to overcome it.
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