Death and Life

Sunday, January 28                          

Life and death are coupled in many ways.  The Bible has a lot to say about both.  But I ran across a statement by D.A. Carson, Praying with Paul (p. 63) that caught my attention.  “. . . open-eyed death to self-interest . . .  is the hallmark of Christian living.”  The concept he challenges us with is made possible by Christ paying for our sins, and the new life that springs up out of a new relationship with God.  It’s called a  “new birth” because we were once spiritually dead and are now spiritually alive.  God has provided all the tools to live a godly life, but Carson is saying that we need to appropriate God’s grace by facing our self-interest head on, reckoning it to be dead.  This is precisely the message that Paul gives us in Romans 6.  The grace is there, but we need apply it.  The last part of Carson’s statement is that this willful act on our part will result in a godly life.  Other passages of Scripture express the same truth in terms of loving one another, bearing fruit, or living a holy life.  All of these are facets of the same truth.  Our sinful nature will be changed into a godly nature.  That is a work in progress.  It will never be completed in this life, but it should be so noticeable that it draws people to the Lord.  It’s a work of grace, but it calls for human effort.  I’m reminded of Rom. 12:1.  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God . . .”

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