I'm a Dead Man!

This sounds like a line from one of those shoot-em up stories where the character who is speaking laments having gotten involved with the local gangsters, and having turned away from the habits of the bad guys, realizes his life is just about over. Those against whom he has turned are out to get him: they will see to it that he will breathe no more.

The Christian has reason to say the same thing, “I'm a dead man,” because, according to the scriptures, he has died to himself to be alive in Christ.

Paul Died to Himself

Paul, having written (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit) first looked to himself, being sure that he, himself, was following the very commandments that were given him to write. Remember what Jesus said regarding the moat and the beam in the eye (Matt. 7:3-5)? When one considers the life which Paul lead after his obedience to the gospel, he was one who was very conscientious as he went about preaching the gospel.

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

In all that he taught, and in all that he did, it is certainly evident that he had given up his whole life and all of his personal ambitions to fulfill his commission to preach the gospel to every creature. Indeed, he was crucified along with Christ. In so doing he found his life; completely committed to the cause of Christ, regardless of the consequences to himself. The life he lived was because of his faith in Jesus, and the promises for which he hoped.

The Christian Has Died to Sin

How interesting it is that many who become Christ's disciples forget that it was their own sin that put Jesus on the cross of Calvary. One who continues in his old life (just as if nothing had ever happened, and everything is just the same) continue to do the very things that made Jesus become that perfect sacrifice in the first place, almost as though that heavy price that Jesus paid was of no account.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

How dare anyone abuse the grace of God, expecting Him to forgive those sins to which the child of God just has not stopped! That is the epitome of ungratefulness.

The Christian Has Died to Self

1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

The song “I'm Redeemed” expresses great appreciation and joy for the fact that Jesus paid the price for my sin. What does it mean, to redeem? Basically, it means to buy back. We once belonged to God, but then we made ourselves His enemy (James 4:4). But, Jesus paid the price to buy us back: we now belong to him.

The Christin Has Died with Christ

Gal 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

The Christians who have died with Christ have done so by baptism. As verse 4 proclaims, those who were baptized were buried into the death of Christ. Now, everyone knows the living are not buried, only the dead. In this figurative burial, one has died, along with the life of sin. The life that awaits after the figurative resurrection, also along with baptism, there is a new life to be lived.

So, it should be with all of us who, having heard the gospel message (Rom. 10:27), believed it (Acts 16:30-33), have confessed that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and have been baptized (Mk 16:16) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), will have given up a life of sin, and to the best of our ability resolve to sin no more.


The Christian finds life in his own death.

Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Matt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What a paradox! That we would find everlasting life in our giving up our own selfish, willful lifestyle, to commit ourselves completely to the Lord's will, being useful to him for his work and purpose, really strikes at the core of modern philosophies. Go for the gusto? Gotta look out for number one? Jesus said that if we give up our life for his sake we will verily find It!

Curtis A. Little, Royse City, TX

Curtis A. Little
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