Help, I’m Dying

Romans 6: 4, 6

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 . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him.

I wish to share with you today about healing. Now I realize that the verse I chose in order to discuss health and healing looks more like a discourse on dying. Ultimately that reflects the point I wish to make though. Healing is in death. If you want to walk in all of the enormous benefits of Jesus’ triumph, including perfect health, then you must die.

Galatians 2: 20 reads, “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 delivered Himself up for me. This is generically spoken of as dying to self. We are to crucify ourselves, our flesh or worldly selves, and take on the life of Christ, joining with him in holy union so that he lives through us and we live in and through him. Ephesians 4: 22 and 24 give us an even more clear understanding: “In reference to you former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” 

Our old self was crucified with Christ and buried with him but we tend to continue wearing grave clothes instead of donning the robes of righteousness given to us by Christ Jesus. The renewed life is in doing as Paul teaches us in these passages; take off the old self and bury the carcass. Then put on Jesus in his fullness and glory. Jesus told us that in the new age, the age in which we are living, that he would live in us, he is the glory and righteousness within us. “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14: 20). This is the great revelation and triumph of the New Covenant. The Messiah has come, Emmanuel – God with us.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Romans 8: 11). You see, it is God within us which is health and healing to our bodies. The healing power of God is alive in us right now. We just need to live to that truth instead of living in the world and its decay. We shuck off the old self, don the new life in Christ and ask Jesus to fill every cell of our bodies.

If we are inviting Jesus and the Holy Spirit to indwell us then ask them to fill you to overflowing. I am reminded of the freshmen physics course where the professor fills a beaker with rocks and asks the students if it can hold any more. When they answer in the negative he pours in small gravel bits. Oh my, now is it full, can it hold any more? “No,” they proclaim. So the professor trickles in sand. “Okay, how about now?” “Certainly not!” From below the desk top the professor produces a beaker of water and begins to add water to the first beaker.” 

So, I would ask you, “Is the beaker now full?” I suggest that it is not. If the Holy Spirit was the water we could analyze that, as with each medium, the Holy Spirit is filling the negative space or the empty space. I posit, though, that after the water is added to the beaker that there is still room for the Holy Spirit to fit in that beaker. He goes in and fills the molecules and the space between the molecules and he fills the atoms and so on down to the smallest atomic particle. That is the vision I wish to share with you for your body. As you cast off your old self and put on the new self, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you down to the smallest atomic particle. Ask him to saturate every cell of your body with his presence. 

Every day see your old self dead and buried and envision your new life in Christ filled with all that he is. Let your life in Christ permeate you. In death is resurrection. In death is life. I know it is paradoxical but you can handle the paradox because you have the mind of Christ. When you die to self you can live to Christ and when Christ is your life then all of the power of the universe is not only with you but within you. You only have to die.

Die For Me

John 13: 38

“Will you lay down your life for Me?”

This was a question Jesus posed to Peter? How would you answer him? Or are you just glad that he didn’t ask you this question? But then again, this is exactly what Jesus requires of each of us. We are required to lay down our life for Jesus and for the gospel. In Matthew 16: 25 Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Therefore, if we want life, then we must relinquish our life. It sounds like an oxymoron but we surrender our lives and take on the life of Christ, a life in him and of him. Paul revealed in Romans 6: 4 that “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians. 4: 11).

This dying or laying aside of our life doesn’t happen once for all. It is the constant laying aside of our ego laden needs and taking up the life of Christ with its mission of love and servitude. This is not an easy task because our ego seeks always to protect itself but this is the call of Christianity, of following after the Christ and walking in his ways.  

Paul further explained this idea in Galatians 2: 20 when he wrote, “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.” Our life of the flesh has been exchanged for a new life in the Spirit of God wherein we died and were reborn as a child of the Most High, a child of the Spirit. The person we were died and a new person was created in the new birth. Why do we attempt to still live as that old person if he or she died with Christ at the cross? That life we lay down and take up the new life that Christ bought for us at Calvary. That old man was dead in his sin anyway. There was nothing but corruption and decay in his bones but the new man is made in the very image of Christ Jesus, beautiful and radiant.

This is who you are in Jesus but only to the degree that you make a decision to let go of that corpse who is the old you. Believe me, the old man, that old self that each of us knows all too well is decrepit and is better off in the grave. We turned to Jesus and accepted him as Lord because we wanted this new life in him. Most of us were well aware of the state of our inner man. Most of us knew that we needed something, that we needed Jesus to take this sad thing that we were and to make something of it. And that is what he did. He exchanged our lives which were full of decay and death and gave us his life which is the picture of glory and beauty. We died, were crucified with him and were raised up with him in his glory and righteousness but we must make a decision to be renewed in our inner man. God has provided this new life but it is up to us to allow the life of Christ to be born in our inner man. It is not automatic. We have to choose to lay down our lives for Christ. He asks us just as he asked Peter, “Will you lay down your life for me?” This is a question each of us must ask ourselves because this is the essence of the new life, the reborn man and the life in Christ. This death and resurrection in Christ is what happens after we say the sinner’s prayer. We decide that to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1: 21). We choose to let our old self with all of its baggage and problems die and be put away. We give ourselves to Jesus as Lord, pledge ourselves to him and his service and we are raised up in him to a new person full of glory and righteousness.

Let go of yourself. You have died with Christ now bury that old man and let him rest in peace. Don your new life in Christ. Let go of the self-absorbed concerns and turn your life over to him. He will glorify and exalt you when you give your life to him. He will raise you up and give you the abundant life which is your inheritance and which he came to give you. Bury the old man and take up the life Christ has for you.