“Our unity with Christ… is terribly important and perhaps the most critical doctrine of salvation in Paul’s writing.” —James Montgomery Boice
In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes an assumption about his readers. It’s such a foundational truth that he whips it out there before he gets to the guts of what he really wants to say—a fundamental principle that every one of us needs to know before we can apply what he has to say next:
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him… —Romans 6:6
Underline those words in your Bible and in your heart.
Our old, unregenerate personhood, the sinner with a heart of a rebel that we were before we knew Jesus, the person who was under bondage to sin, is dead. Please note that the verse is in the past tense. The old self was crucified. The person we used to be before we trusted Christ was put to death and buried. It’s done! In fact, read Romans 6 and 7 and you will see that Paul goes out of his way to make sure we understand this truth!
Paul wanted his readers to know this to such a depth that it would change their lives in very practical ways. (We will get to some of those in the days ahead. It’s awesome stuff, I promise). Sure, there are many questions that this foundational principle brings up, such as, “If my sinful nature is dead, why do I still sometimes sin?” (We will get to that, too). But before the answers make any sense, we must accept what is clearly taught in this passage: Your old self was crucified with Christ!
Do you really know it?!
God, this seems like something that I can “know” without really knowing it on a practical level! I accept it in theory; now move in my heart in such a way that I can accept it in reality! I want to live this truth, but I can’t unless You live it through me. Renew my mind, transform my life according to Your Word, Lord. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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