Dead and Dying

How can something be both dead and dying? Something is and that something is what the Bible calls “the flesh.” When a person receives Jesus, the old life; the self-life; the big “I” is crucified, put to death. This is what Paul was talking about in Galatians 2:20, when he wrote, “I am crucified with Christ…..” Legally, Spiritually speaking, “I” am dead! Our old self, our flesh, inherited from Adam, is judicially dead! Its doom is sealed! In practice, however, the self-life resists crucifixion and will fight against submitting to crucifixion. It will continue to do so until its ultimate removal. When Paul used the word “crucified” in the verse above, he spoke of an action accomplished in the past but with the ongoing necessity of dealing with it in the present. Self has been crucified by a judicial act of God; it must be crucified daily in our lives. Paul uses himself, in Romans 7, as an illustration of this dual reality. If we read the account, we might see it simply as a life of conflict where two opposing natures win some battles and lose some battles. However, in Verse  24, the Apostle asks, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body (the old self-life) of this death (or this dead body; this old nature)? In Verse 25, he tells us Who can and will deliver us. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord….” Jesus, living in the believer in the Person of the Holy Spirit, brings the Word of God to bear on our lives. As He does, as it is internalized in us, the “old” loses ground and the “new” gains ground. This is why Scripture, understood and applied is not optional, but is an absolute necessity. If the Word of God is not taken seriously, it is very unlikely that a person is saved. Does the hymn, “I Surrender All,” by Judson W. Van DeVenter, reflect your own surrender? “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His Presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all. All, to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” Selah! In a genuine Christian, the old life is dead and dying (losing ground, weakening, fading, struggling, but gradually dying, practically. It is coming closer and closer to its judicial death! Ron

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