Last Monday I shared two excerpts of scripture that relate to our death in Christ as well as our new life in Him. To recap, here are the excerpts again:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 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 6:3-11
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
One thing that really sticks out to me in Paul’s letter to the Romans is the vocabulary that he uses. In the above passage from Romans 6, Paul uses past tense vocabulary such as “if we have been united with Him” and “our old self was crucified with Him”. This wording is important because it shows that Paul is talking about past events, this means that our old self being crucified is a past event, something historical that happened long ago. We were crucified when Christ was crucified, we were in Him at the time He was crucified.
In understanding that our death in Christ is something historical that happened in the past our prayers can change from “Lord, please kill me and live through me” to “Lord, help me to remember my place in you, my new nature which is Christ”. Our old man has died and Christ is alive through us. Therefore the problem isn’t that our old man must constantly die but that we must remember that the old man is already dead and Christ is alive in his place and walk in that truth.
You may say, however, that Paul “died daily” therefore death to ourselves is a constant thing, something that happens when we wake up every morning. It’s true, we must die daily and put to death the remnants of our old self. We must submit our desires to the Lord everyday because I for one have a lot of hopes and dreams that may or may not align with God’s vision. Those things must be put to death. But i believe that those things are put death naturally when our mindset and focus is on Christ. As we constantly remember our place in Christ and allow Him to live all else falls away.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
There’s so much more to be said on this topic. The above is simply a starting point, understanding our place in Christ is something that is essential to our life. This is something that the Spirit repeatedly reminds me of so I’m sure more posts will follow on this subject. But above all else, seek God on this matter for yourself. Read the above scriptures in their full context and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal this to you and your tribe. I know there is a lot more scripture that directly relates to this, what are some that God has used to teach you these things?
Again, I highly recommend that you read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee for more teaching on the subject of our death and life in Christ.