“For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:10-11 ESV).
No, dead and alive!
Her name was Tiffany, and she was my first real girlfriend. We met on a youth group retreat when we were in the ninth grade and I was smitten! To this day I don’t remember anything about the retreat except her. In fact, I couldn’t name one other person from that youth group, nor the name of the youth leader, and it was my church!
Everyone else on that retreat was dead to me, but I was alive to her.
We all understand that it was our sin that put Jesus on the cross. “For our sake he [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV emphasis mine).
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ was raised from the dead to life in God.
Baptism represents our death to sin, burial, and resurrection to new life in Christ. “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11 ESV).
God sent the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, to give us new life in Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to give us the power to live lives of holiness, service, and devotion to Him. It is impossible for us to live that way on our own, but through Him we can.
This doesn’t mean that we never sin, but that we don’t even consider sin. What do I mean by that?
We need to treat sin in the same way that I didn’t notice or consider any of the other people on that retreat. Our focus needs to shift. When we look to Jesus with the same singular focus that I had on Tiffany, then we are dead to sin, but alive to Him!
Have you ever been driving, or riding a bike, and noticed something, perhaps out in a field, and then found yourself driving off the road? We tend to go where our eyes lead us. We can keep our eyes on Jesus, alive to Him, and live our lives always moving closer to Him. Or we can allow ourselves to be pulled off course by the things to which we should be dead.
Like Schroedinger’s Cat, we are both dead and alive at the same time. And we need to be reminded, from time to time, that our focus should be on Life.
Blessings on your week!