November 14, 2008

Dead and Alive

Romans 6:8-14

Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11


We naturally consider life and death to be totally opposite conditions. Yes, some mornings we may complain that we feel more dead than alive, but that is usually a result of a late night and little sleep or the prospect of a tough day ahead. When we speak this way, we know we are speaking figuratively. Death rules out life, and life rules out death—or does it?

Paul tells us that from a spiritual perspective death and life occur at the same time. We are dead to our sins and our sinful nature. But at the same time we are also alive to the resurrection power that enables us to perform the good works God has prepared “in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

In Jesus Christ, we have the wonderful comfort of knowing that we have died to our sin and are alive to God—both at the same time. Being dead to sin means that sin no longer has a stranglehold on our thoughts and actions. And being alive to God means that we give ourselves more and more to the Lord and his ways.

Where do you find yourself in this life-and-death dynamic? Do you experience the triumph of defeating sin’s dominion and becoming alive to God as his instrument of righteousness? The process of death and resurrection calls us to a lifetime of practice—and it happens only by God’s grace.

Lord, by your power, may we die to sin and rise to new life in your name. Thank you for the grace of new life, and help us to live for you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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