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Christ died, You can too

God died, so that you can too.

While we were still enemies, Jesus died for us. Paul has showed us that God wants to make us righteous, holy, and blameless. He wants to make us friends instead of enemies.

How does he do that? Well, all Christians commit suicide.

A simple question comes up, here. If God forgives all the bad things I do, can’t I just keep doing all the same things I was always doing and let God forgive me?

Paul says the Greek equivalent of, “HELL NO!”

How come? Well, the old person is dead. All Christians commit suicide. We do it at our baptism.

“You who were baptized into Christ were baptized into death.”

At baptism, we are united with Christ in his death. We become so at one with him, that his death becomes our death. Paul even tells us that the old self was crucified with him.

The liar.

The cheat.

The drunk.

The adulterer.

Whatever you thought was your identity was killed at your baptism. Now you are one with Christ. That evil person was killed. You have a whole new identity.

No more shame. No more guilt. No more being far from God. No more alienation.

A real change took place. God killed the old you that was filled with evil. He gave you his very life. He made you one with him. His death is yours. His resurrection is yours.

“The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So also, you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Here is the essence of the Christian Gospel. You are broke. You can’t fix yourself. But God will give you a whole new life. His death will be yours. His resurrection will be yours. New life will be yours. Your whole identity will change. No longer evil and dirty. A saint. One with brand new life.

Christians commit suicide. They gain their lives back. It’s better than they ever could have imagined.

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10 Responses

  1. Man, posts like this really make me want to hear you preach sometime! Unfortunately I only have 3 more weeks for that to happen. Thanks for the awesome reflection bro!

  2. thanks for the kind words. I’m bummed that you happened to miss the few weeks I preached. I’m also quite bummed that you’re leaving.

  3. Isn’t there something unique about Christ’s death that I cannot “do it too”? Does Forgiveness, pardon or justification have anything to do with the essence of the gospel? Is “you will change” good news or “your sins are forgiven”?

    • And you will change is good news. So is your sins are forgiven. In Romans six, the former seems to be stressed.

      • I have no ecclesial relation to you, just a concerned on where your focus seems to always be on change, higher life spirituality and baptismal fixation. I am just seeing this stress on change that feels more NPP than Paul. The promise that God will in the end change you (in glorification) is an aspect of the good news, (telling us we should change is not, it is law) but you can’t get there except though forgiveness (Romans 4-5) or else when we do not find change in ourselves, we end up echoing Paul in Romans 7 – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? and we must be reminded “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Condemnation deals with judgment and forgiveness. Forgiveness and Christ’s perfect keeping of the law on our behalf is good news in the midst of our sinfulness. A stress on “you can do it, God/Christ can help” is more American and Home Depot than Christian.

      • And I must admit, I have no idea what NPP means. 🙂

      • NPP = New Perspective on Paul

      • You know, I haven’t read an ounce of new perspective. Anyone I’ve told my ideas seems to think I’m aligned with NT Wright, though. I’ll take it. He’s an Anglican giant.

        I am thankful for your comments. God is continually reminding me not to be a reaction. American Evangelicalism has ignored union with christ to focus on forensic justification. That doesn’t mean I should make the opposite error. Although, the issue may be simply that I was out of town when my lectionary hit rom 4-5 and I tried to go through them way too quickly to catch up.

  4. Again, thanks for the comments. I wanted to make a couple points for clarity’s sake.

    1) The position I am advocating looks nothing like, “You can do it. God can help.” I don’t believe that. That is an un-Christian idea. The work of salvation is accomplished by God. No one can contribute anything to her salvation. Any good works we do flow directly out of the new nature he gives us and the work of the Holy Spirit.

    2) The work of salvation is accomplished outside us, but it also happens within us. Jesus’ work purchased our forgiveness. He died the death we deserved in our place. He paid the price for our sins.

    However, that is not all Jesus’ work did. He also became sin and killed our sin nature. At conversion, a believer becomes completely united with Jesus in His death, resurrection and ascension. This is every bit as important as our forgiveness and both forgiveness and union are essential parts of conversion. One without the other is incomplete. Neither one is more important than the other. I reject any choice between the two and any attempt to argue that the Gospel should be limited to forgiveness and not include union with Christ.

    Hope that clarifies my position for any theology nerds that are curious.

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