IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: DEAD TO SIN, ALIVE TO GOD THROUGH CHRIST
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Christians are alive unto God in the reign and realm of God. They were dead in sin, but now have been raised together with Christ into an entirely new sphere.
Every Christian knows how hard it is at times to live the Christian life. Though we desire to please God in everything we say and do, we often fail. The reason for our failure lies in the fact that we still have to deal with an inner nature called ‘the flesh.’ The flesh is the sin nature that we inherited as descendants of Adam and it involves our affections, attitudes and actions. Though this spiritual battle is often intense and relentless, it is not without victory.
Christian life are connected with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we are one with Him, therefore are we beloved of the Father, therefore are we redeemed from death and Hell, therefore are we separated from the world, therefore are we dead to sin, therefore do we live unto the Lord and therefore do we confidently expect a final triumph over all our adversaries until the last enemy of all shall be put under our feet! You get nothing, dear Brother or Sister in Christ, except as you get it through Christ! Apart from Him you would be miserable, poor, blind and naked—as you were until you came to Him. But in union with Him you are rich to all the intents of bliss. All things are yours because you are Christ’s and while the Father views you as one with Christ, He will bless you—and while you view yourself as one with Christ, you will be conscious of the blessing and, at the same time, will be led to devote yourself more completely to the pursuit of holiness and the fear of God.
“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hat no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”—Romans 6:8-11
The first fact here very clearly indicated is that Jesus died. He who was divine, and therefore immortal, bowed his head to death. He whose human nature was allied to the omnipotence of his divine nature, was pleased voluntarily to submit himself to the sword of death. He who was pure and perfect, and therefore deserved not death, which is the wages of sin, nevertheless condescended for our sake to yield himself up to die. This is the second note in the Gospel scale. The first note is incarnation, Jesus Christ became a man; angels thought this worthy of their songs, and made the heavens ring with midnight melodies. The second note is this, I say, that, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He died as a sacrifice. Methinks, after many lambs from the flocks of men had poured out their blood at the foot of the altar, it was a strange spectacle-to see God’s Lamb brought to that same altar to be sacrificed. He is without spot or blemish, or any such thing. He is the firstling of the flock; he is the only one of the Great Master; a right royal, heavenly lamb. Such a Lamb had never been seen before. He is the Lamb who is worshipped in heaven, and who is to be adored world without end. Will that sacred head condescend to feel the axe? Will that glorious victim really be slain? Is it possible that God’s Lamb will actually submit to die? He does so without a struggle; he is dumb in the shambles before the slaughterers; he gives up the warm blood of his heart to the hand of the executioner, that he might expiate the wrath of God. Tell it. Let heaven ring with music, and let hell be filled with confusion! Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, the Lamb of Jehovah’s Passover, died. His hands were pierced; and his heart was broken; to prove how surely the spear had struck the mark, the vital fluid flowed in a double flood, even to the ground:—Jesus died. If there were any doubt about this, there were doubt about your salvation and mine. If there were any reason to question this fact, then we might question the possibility of salvation. But Jesus died, and sin is put away. The sacrifice smokes to heaven; Jehovah smelleth a sweet savor, and is pleased through Christ the victim to accept the prayers, the offerings, and the persons of his people. Nor did he die as a victim only. He died as a substitute.
He undertook, and must go through. Sweating great drops of blood, he nevertheless flinches not from the dread assault. Wounded in hands and in feet he still maintained his ground, and though, for obedience sake, he bowed his head to die, yet in that dying he slew death, put his foot upon the dragons’ neck, crushed the head of the old serpent, and beat our adversaries as small as the dust of the threshing-floor. Yes, the blessed Substitute has died.
But Jesus rises: this is no mean part of the Gospel. He dies; they lay him in the new sepulchre; they embalm his body in spices; his adversaries are careful that his body shall not be stolen away; the stone, the seal, the watch, all prove their vigilance. Aha! Aha! What do ye, men? Can ye imprison immortality in the tomb! The fiends of hell, too, I doubt not, watched the sepulchre, wondering what it all could mean. But the third day comes, and with it the messenger from heaven. He touches the stone; it rolls away; he sits upon it, as if he would defy the whole universe to roll that stone back again. Jesus awakes, as a mighty man from his slumber; unwraps the napkin from his head and lays it by itself; unwinds the cerements in which love had wrapped him, and puts them by themselves; for he had abundant leisure; he was in no haste; he was not about to escape like a felon who bursts the prison, but like one whose time of jail-deliverance has come, and lawfully and leisurely leaves his cell; he steps to the upper air, bright, shining, glorious, and fair. He lives. He died once, but he rose again from the dead.
Inasmuch as Jesus died, he is now living. He does not, after forty days, return to the grave; he departs from earth, but it is by another way. From the top of Olivet he ascends until a cloud receives him out of their sight. And now at this very day he lives. There at his Father’s right hand he sits, bright like a sun; clothed in majesty; the joy of all the glorified spirits; his Father’s intense delight. There he sits, Lord of Providence; at his girdle swing the keys of heaven, and earth, and hell. There he sits, expecting the hour when his enemies shall be made his footstool. Methinks I see him, too, as he lives to intercede. He stretches his wounded hands, points to his breastplate bearing the names of his people, and for Zion’s sake he doth not hold his peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake he doth not rest day nor night, but ever pleadeth—”Oh God! bless thy heritage; gather together thy scattered ones; I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.” Believer, this it a cluster of camphire to thee, a bundle of myrrh—be thou comforted exceedingly.
Trembling penitent, let a living Savior cheer thee. Exercise faith in him who only hath immortality. He lives to hear thy prayer; cry to him, he lives to present that prayer before his Father’s face. Put yourself in his hands; he lives to gather together those whom he bought with his blood, to make those the people of his flock who were once the people of his purchase. Sinner, dost thou believe this as a matter of fact? If so, rest thy soul on it, and make it shine as a matter of confidence, and then thou art saved.
Ought you not, you living ones, to be perpetually repeating the great life-word, depending upon the Holy Spirit to put energy into it. Do, I pray you, seek to win souls, and from this day separating yourselves from the world as to its maxims and its customs, plunge into the very thick of it wherein you can serve your Master, plucking brands from the burning, and winning souls from going down to the pit.
Through Jesus Christ alone are we made “alive unto God. ” If we are dead to sin, then it wil lose its power over us. If we are alive to God, we will respond in love and obedience to his Word and his Spirit
May the Lord bless this simple word this morning, for his name’s sake. Amen.
Help us to live this day as dead indeed to sin and alive indeed to you, O Lord. You are the source of our life and the focus of our life. All of the spiritual exercises that you animate in us are directed back to you as the object of our affection and praise. With renewed minds and wills, let us serve you out of pure heart faithfully.
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