Posts Tagged old man

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.

Funeral Pyre

Romans 6: 6

Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.

I had a dream last week which I would like to share with you. As the dream opened I saw myself carrying what I understood to be an urn of human ashes. I did not know whose ashes they were but knew that I was supposed to spread them for the deceased. Suddenly, there appeared before me a statue of Jesus. Have you ever seen a statue of Jesus? I have not but I imagine it would be one of him humbly attired, standing with an expression of peace and compassion adorning his face. This was not that statute. This was a statue of a heroic Jesus. He was standing with one foot on a rock, head lifted and chest thrusted out much the way Captain Morgan commercials depict people. I was surprised at this pose. Jesus’ hair was shorter than expected and his face looked toward the horizon with a slight smile and a victorious expression. I remember thinking, “Well, that makes sense,” even though I was initially surprised. Then I understood to scatter the ashes all around the base of the statue, which I did. That was the end of the dream. Okay Joseph, what does it mean?

It wasn’t until I awakened that I realized the ashes were mine. Have you heard the expression, “dying to self?” God was calling me to crucify the old man, incinerate his ideas, plans and ways. I was drawn to lay the charred ashes of my former self at the feet of the victorious Christ. You and I are supposed to stand with him in victory but we cannot do that in our old selves. We must cast off the old man and be renewed in Jesus’ victory and resurrection.

We fight bitterly to hang on to our old selves but in the end, there lies the path of destruction. When we stand with Jesus, the ashes of our former self trodden under foot without a thought, we stand on high ground reaching toward the horizon ourselves. No sin, no pain, no slight or injury from our past mars the glory which shines upon our faces because they have been incinerated. Our faces reflect Jesus and the glory the Father has given him since the beginning of time. We are in Jesus and have already overcome. Just die and you will live. You will truly live for the first time in your life. All of the shackles will fall from your heart, your body will feel light, young and strong and you will have the wind of the Holy Spirit in your lungs. Just die, it is the healthiest thing you can do.