Monday, December 8, 2014

NTDS (32): Alive

Rom 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. NIV

When you look at this verse, what comes to your mind first? It is pretty natural, because of the order of the verse to ask, “what does it mean to count myself dead to sin? How do I do that? There have been many messages preached on that subject and many more will come. For most of us it puts our focus on things we should not do because they directly or even indirectly are disobedient to God.

That is good, we should do that. The context of the verse certainly encourages us not let sin reign in our bodies (v12), not to obey its’ evil desires and to not offer our bodies up as instruments of sin (v 13).  But there is much more to the exhortation contained in this verse.

The message that I think has been a little more neglected is contained in the second half of the verse. That is the call to being alive to God in Christ Jesus. What does it mean to be alive to God in Christ Jesus? How does that happen in one’s life?  I believe that we need to focus more on that half of the verse. Why do I say that? Simple, when we focus on the negative too much, we end up in a losing battle, fighting the flesh. Let me illustrate.

When you ride bicycle along the side of the road, what do you focus on. If you focus on the gutter, trying hard not to go in it, what normally happens? That’s right, you go right in. When you focus on the actual road, and ignore the fact that there is a gutter there, you tend to stay on the road.

This is why Paul puts it the way that he does. He says, “count yourselves dead to sin.” Once we have truly considered ourselves “dead” to sin, we can get our focus off of it and put our focus on what we are alive to. Look at the way Paul states it in Gal 5:16, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” NIV

Do you see the order here? The point is to focus on the “road” rather than the “gutter.” If we focus on living by means of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to control our lives, we do not have to waste so much time thinking about what we shouldn’t be doing. If we are living our lives “alive to God,” seeking to grow in every way closer to Him and asking the Holy Spirit to guide our actions on a daily basis, He will direct us to righteous living. Isa 58:11says,
“The Lord will guide you always;” NIV

What does that look like in a practical sense? Being alive to God means spending time with Him daily, in His Word and prayer. It means being in fellowship with other believers on a regular basis. It means looking at every situation in your life through His eyes. This should be the joy of our hearts and the priority of our lives. This is what it means to be alive to God.

So focus on being alive to God and his work in your life, having already counted yourself as dead to sin and enjoy the goodness of being alive in Him!

God bless you


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