FROM DEATH TO LIFE

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2018

(Part 20)

FROM DEATH TO LIFE

November 2, 2017

Today’s reading:  Romans 6:3-9

Christians are unaware of their destiny. Especially as it pertains to the cross of Christ. We are disciples of a suffering Servant, a sacrificial Lamb, One whose glory was in ignominy. When we are baptized, we not only become children of God, but also disciples of Jesus whom we are to follow. And we follow unto death. “Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (v.3).

Our destiny is greatness in Christ, but our baptism into new life in Christ is premised on baptism into death. “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (v.4). We need to die before we are raised up.

Now the glory of God was manifested in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Death could not hold him. “We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.” (v.9). In the same way, we all will die, but that is not the end. We will be raised from the dead. “For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.” (v.5). To experience the greatness of resurrection, we must experience a death like that of Jesus. That is to say, dying according to the will of the Father, in purity as a spotless lamb, in self-emptying and self-denial.

All this is to say that we die to self. We reject the attraction and hold of sin in our lives. “We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.” (v.6). We are to be a new creation. We are to attain to the holiness of God.

What then do we look forward to? “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” (v.8). If we have died with Christ, for Christ, in the way of Christ, then we shall be raised at the resurrection and live with him eternally in heaven.

That is being destined for greatness.

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