Paul states very clearly that the believers in Jesus are raised up together with Christ, but he makes this statement in the context of the cross. It is there that he also states that we have been buried with him and that the body of sin has been put to death. This is found in Romans chapter 6.
Therefore, to be raised to life is to be fully dead. If you are fully dead you will fully live, but if you hold back, if you refuse to die, if you resist death in certain areas of your life, then in those areas you will surely die.
This is what Jesus and Paul wrote to give us instruction so that we would know how to participate in Jesus’ resurrection. Yes there is a resurrection to come, but there is resurrection life for you to walk in now as well!
If we don’t define and understand what it is to be fully dead we will not taste of being raised to life. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus in chapter 10 of his book, where Jesus talked about the cross before it happened. This is interesting because it was a prophetic announcement that the disciples at that time would not have understood.
Matthew 10:38-39 – …and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
So let’s define what you put to death when you embrace the cross and are buried together with Jesus. You could say these are the three things that are put into your coffin of victory.
First of all, this death is a death to following sin and its desires. That is, you count yourself dead to sin. You no longer cooperate with sin. You no longer listen to the appeal of sin. You turn your attention away from sin, refusing the bait. Refusing to listen to it. You present your body to God, no longer obeying the desires of sin.
Romans 6:11 – Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Certainly, all of us know that sin is attractive to our fleshly nature, and we know that sin wants to reel us in. We know that the enemy puts bait on his hook and casts it in our direction, and if it were not attractive of course we wouldn’t fall for it. But the bait is very attractive to the old carnal nature. That’s why we must see that sin is placed on the cross, and then in the coffin.
The way the enemy works could be understood in the picture of a natural meal. Often we aren’t hungry for something unless we allow ourselves a morsel. An appetizer will wet the appetite and get our saliva glands pumping. Soon we are eating an entire meal, when just a few minutes ago we were saying we weren’t hungry. So it is with sin. It is critical that we don’t allow the appetizer. It is critical that we don’t start to taste the bait. Once we start to taste the bait, we might very well fall for eating the whole meal.
We are destined for a new life of joy and peace, not the life of sin that ends in death. Of course it’s not necessarily a physical death: it’s a death to peace in the heart; it’s a death to joy; it’s a death to intimacy with the Lord, and so many other vital things that cause the soul to thrive.
One problem that presents itself is that sin is enjoyable. Your flesh loves to sin. Your flesh is attracted to this realm. This is why the first morsel must be avoided. The truth is, the pleasure is only there for a short a season.
The church patriarchs cherished the riches of knowing Christ and the riches of their future reward much higher than the temporary pleasure of sin. This is key to putting sin to death and keeping it in the coffin. There is greater treasure in walking the Spirit-led life compared to walking the flesh-led life.
In Hebrews we’re told about the Jewish patriarchs, and specifically Moses.
Hebrews 11:24-26 – By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
In conclusion you will taste of resurrection immediately and simultaneously when you refuse sin. I can’t define what sin is for you (though certainly the works of the flesh as defined in Galatians 5 are a good starting point), but my guess is you know exactly what we’re discussing when we discuss sin. And, yes, this includes the Ten Commandments because we have a grace within us that exceeds the Ten Commandments.
When you are making those moment-by-moment choices to deny sin, you will be participating in the new raised up life of Christ that you are ordained for!
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