May 02, 2024

From Death to Life

Romans 6:1-14

Our old self was crucified with him so that . . . we should no longer be slaves to sin. . . .

—  Romans 6:6

Obtaining my Canadian citizenship was easy—well, for me, at least. (It took more effort on my mother’s part!) Being born in Canada qualified me for Canadian citizenship. However, becoming a citizen in the kingdom of heaven is more complicated. To be a citizen in God’s kingdom, we must die and be born again.

In Romans 6 and in other passages, the apostle Paul speaks of being crucified with Christ, dying with Christ, being buried with Christ, and rising with Christ. Jesus teaches that unless we are born again, we will not see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). As Paul explains in Ephesians, we are “to put off [our] old self”—our old sinful nature—and “to be made new . . . to put on the new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Dying and being born again calls for a radical change in how we think and act. But this is not a transformation we can manage on our own. As Paul puts it, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). God gives us new life through the Spirit, putting the old sinful nature to death. And even before that, the Spirit of God moves us to recognize our sin and our need for new life. So we pray in repentance and ask God for forgiveness, trusting in his power to save us through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit, put to death every part of our sinful nature, and bring us to live all of life for the glory of God. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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