Made in God’s image and worth saving: That’s who we are to God. Also, we are counted dead to sin with Christ.
7 The fear of the LORD [understanding who He is and who we are in relation to Him–we are His children!] is the beginning of knowledge…
Yesterday, we looked at the first of two truths that shed light on Romans 6:11, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” One is that we are made in God’s image. The other is that in Christ, we are counted as dead so that death no longer holds power over us. We found that God loves us dearly and would not abandon us to our corruptible fate. Instead, He rescued us! Today, we look at the second truth and how He rescued us.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Again, from Athanasius:
1. Although being himself powerful and the creator of the universe, he prepared for himself in the Virgin the body as a temple, and made it his own, as an instrument, making himself known and dwelling in it.
A temple is wherever God lives (manifests Himself), so when God took up residence in a baby, that baby’s body became a temple of God. “Immanuel” means, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). We, too, are temples of God the Holy Spirit, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
2. And thus, taking from ours that which is like, since all were liable to the corruption of death, delivering it over to death on behalf of all, he offered it to the Father, doing this in his love for human beings,
In God’s love, Jesus gave Himself over to death–but, He did not see corruption! (see Psalm 16:10)
3. so that, on the one hand, with all dying in him the law concerning corruption in human beings might be undone (its power being fully expended in the lordly body and no longer having any ground against similar human beings), and,
Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He rose from the dead.
4. on the other hand, that as human beings had turned towards corruption he might turn them again to incorruptibility and give them life from death, by making the body his own and by the grace of the resurrection banishing death from them as straw from the fire.
Death is the consequence of rebellion. Mankind has lived in rebellion since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Jesus vanquished death and now seeks to turn mankind back to Himself, to incorruptibility (no more fear of death), and to walk in the light of His love.
Because Jesus died for all, it’s as if we have already died. It’s simply a matter now of turning from darkness to His light, a shedding of the old person and taking on the new person. Paul said in Ephesians 4:22-24,
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
In death, we became finite–but, so did sin! We could not go beyond death, but neither could sin. Jesus did, and He takes us with Him beyond death, beyond sin!
Paul says in Colossians 3:3, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” And, in Romans 6:4, “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.” Have we realized the fullness of new life, yet? No, but we surely will when these bodies die. In the meantime, we consciously put off our rebellious ways and walk in step with Jesus. Daily. Hourly. Continuously. If we get out of step, He helps us get back into step. The Christian life really is that simple. It’s all about our personal relationship with Jesus.
Abba, living dead to the world but alive to You is difficult because our eyes deceive us and our feelings betray us. May we come to You every day so that You can give us new sight, spiritual sight. Renew a right spirit within us, O Lord. We need You every hour, every minute of every day. Amen.