Friday, September 11, 2015

COLOSSIANS—Dying to Live

Once your mind fully comprehends who is dead and who is alive, the Christian life becomes ridiculously easy.

Most Christians want to identify with "Paul's struggle" as he outlined it in Romans 7:18-25, and say that is the way it is in this life. However, that is only true for those who have not read the entire Book of Romans, nor related this passage to the rest of scripture.

Yes. It IS true for those who do not believe what they have not read.

Paul began this chapter with the fact that we are "risen with Christ." We cannot be "risen" if we have not indeed died.

Most believers today look to their experiences for a standard by which to interpret and apply the Word of God to their life, rather than take the plain teaching of scripture to heart and accepting it as it is.

The plain teaching of the Word is that "you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col.3:3) [see also Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20; 2 Tim. 2:11]

Let me ask you a couple of questions to see if we can put this perspective:
  • Which of the many laws must a dead person obey? 
  • How much trouble can a dead person get into? 
  • How many sins will a dead person commit in a given amount of time?
If you answered "none" for all three, give yourself a round of applause.

So, could it be that your experience of "everybody sins" is more of an excuse to not line up with the truth of God's Word rather than a statement of objective reality?

The Word says you are dead. Experience seems to say otherwise. Which one has more authority in your life? Do you need to tell your experience to line up the Word?

Obviously, yes.
OK. How do I do that?
Good question.

Do what the Word says—reckon yourself dead to sin (Rom. 6:11).
The word "reckon" is translated from the Greek λογίζομαι (logizomai), which found in Strong's Dictionary G3409. It means to account, determine, calculate, think.

We are to determine for ourselves that we are dead to sin. We are to determine for ourselves that we are alive in Christ.

This is the biblical take on "positive affirmations."

The truth of the matter is that your body will begin to line up with what the mind feeds it. We've all seen this in negative manifestation with the hypochondriac who is without a doubt suffering, albeit from psychosomatic illness.

That is why Paul says in verse 2 that we should "Set (y)our affections on things above, not on things on the earth." It is about our mindset.

He also dealt with this concept in other places, most notably the Epistle to the Romans. See Romans 8:5-13, where he discusses the results of the kind of mindset you have.

The conclusion of the matter is really quite simple to understand.

If you are still identifying with Paul's dilemma of Romans 7:18-25, then you have not yet fully "set your affection on things above," because you are still carnally minded (Rom. 8:5).

The solution is to realize and recognize that you belong to Christ, and are dead to sin, but alive to Him. When that truth hits home in your heart, then you will have no problem putting to death "the deeds of the body" (Rom. 8:13).
[See also Rom. 6:6; Rom. 13:14; Col. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:11; 1 Pet 4:2]


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