Posts Tagged burial

Say “Yes”

Galatians 2: 20

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Here is the result of our death and burial. We have a new life. This newness of life came with our communion with Jesus in his resurrection. What, though, makes our new life any different from our old life? I mean, what is the point of a new life if it looks like the old one that we buried? Paul points out the way. This new life, the life that Jesus bought for us but that we are living out in our mortal bodies is not one of solitude, isolation or independence. The life we now live is the life of Christ within us. We live by faith and in the love which he showed when he gave up his life for us. Now, we give up our life for him. Our lives, these lives which we have dedicated to the Lord, this life which he bought for us at Calvary, we live intertwined in the Christ who loves us and gives us life. We live his life because he is alive within us and we are renewed. We say, “Yes,” to Christ and he fills us with his resurrection power of life and liberty.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,” (Colossians 2: 6 NIV). These verses make sense on the surface of our brains but when we really consider them, they are much more complex than we may first appreciate. However, this verse really is at the heart of the Christian message. This life we live we live in and through him. Doing just that makes all of the difference in our existence.

I was thinking yesterday about raising teenagers. There are so many things that you want to caution them about; drugs, sex, alcohol. I found myself thinking that loving them could end up sounding like a litany of “don’t’s.” How effective is it, I wonder, just telling children not to do this and not to do that. There must be a better way. Then I thought, maybe they need to understand that they are too valuable, too prized to damage their lives with things that will hurt them. Then I realized this is the same message that pastors must consider.

It is no good for pastors to spend Sunday after Sunday telling their congregations what not to do. Besides, we all know the list of the things we ought not be doing. The real message is you are too beloved to do these things. I want you to say, “Yes,” to Christ, to living in him. Christ is true liberty. He is true peace and happiness. When we focus on loving him and, just as importantly, his love for us, then we don’t need those things. We don’t even want them. In truth, they become repugnant to us. And if you want to know the whole truth, they are weak copies of the true pleasures in life. Getting drunk or high will never give a person the high they can experience in the presence of God. If one ever experiences being in the manifested presence of God, then alcohol and drugs lose their attraction. All of the world’s pleasures attempt to mimic the exultation we feel in Christ but they always fall woefully short.

So, my plan is to continue to encourage you into an ever deeper relationship with Christ. Crucify and bury the old man with his fleshly desires. Receive the fullness of the renewed life that you have in Christ. It’s not about saying, “No,” to sin; it’s all about saying, “Yes,” to Christ. If you do and if you continue to, then you will not have a sin problem. Those things will just lose their hold over you.

Christ is calling. What will you say?

Newness of Life

Romans 6: 4

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Yesterday we looked at the sixth verse of this chapter which was about crucifying our old self. As we see today, that is not the end. After self is crucified, it is supposed to be buried. The problem many of us have is that we keep digging up that old man. The newness of life, however, is in our death, burial and subsequent resurrection, not in digging up the dead.

We die “so we too might walk in newness of life.” Picture the old you, the you that you grew up knowing, nailed to the cross with Jesus. It may be a bit macabre but it also highlights an important spiritual reality. Watch as the deceased “old you” is removed from the cross and laid in a tomb with Jesus. You are dead and buried. Then see what happens when Jesus arises from the dead. Are you awakened by his stirrings? You arise with him. The old life is gone but here is a new life, a renewal through Jesus. You are born of his resurrection and of his new life. You are a new creature in Christ, old things have passed away.

Get a picture in your mind of how this new you looks. Is there a new countenance to your face? Do you perceive something new or different about yourself? This dying to self and burying the crucified flesh is not just a cute story or analogy. God would tell you this is the real deal. He is trying to show you the reality of what is happening in the spiritual world. You can have newness of life – you were meant to, but it comes in this strange wrapping of death, burial and resurrection, I mean actual death, actual burial and actual resurrection. Although these are spiritual realities that does not make them any less real than physical realities and in truth, they are more powerful than the physical because the spiritual realm trumps the physical.

If you can wrap your head around these verses and not treat them as mere analogies, then you can arise with new breath and every fiber of your being will react to the new life within you.

Dead and Buried

Colossians 2: 12 – 13

[H]aving been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.

Because of and through your faith in Jesus, you have died, been buried and raised by the power that is at work in God for Jesus. For the power that raised Jesus from the dead, is alive and has renewed you too. If you have given your life to Jesus, then your old self has died and been buried. The life you now live is a new life in Christ Jesus. It is his life that we live because we are a part of Him. And for goodness’ sake, don’t go resurrecting that old man. He is dead and stinks. Leave him in the grave. Live a new life; one in Jesus. Live the life that Jesus bought for you. You are a new creature. The sin of the past has been buried and so have the habits of the past. Leave them with that old, dead flesh. All that was in the old person was only leading you to death and destruction. The new life that Jesus has purchased for you leads to life everlasting as well as victory here on this earth. Don’t let the devil trick you into considering your past and your old self. That person has died and all those problems died with him. Let your mind consider the glorious life that Jesus has given you, a life in Him and with Him. Let your mind stay on that so that your joy can be made full.