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I Died

Christ died for me, and I died in Christ.

Pascal said, “Everything which happened to Christ should come to pass in the soul and in the body of each Christian.”

The apostle Paul declared, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Again, he wrote, “You died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2).

Who died? I died.

In God’s reckoning we are even now delivered by our vital union with Christ. That vital, intimate relationship filled the mind of the great apostle.

“I have been crucified with Christ.” “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).

What was true of Paul is true of every believer because we are “in Christ.” Our spiritual union with Christ is entirely independent of all conditions of time and space. And in depth of intimacy there can be no difference between the believer of today and those who knew our Lord on earth, since "by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13).

Paul writes, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death” (Rom. 6:3). The water baptism by immersion is a symbolic picture of an even greater spiritual baptism when we were placed in the body of Christ when we first believed on Him as our Savior.

“In Christ.” “I am crucified with Christ.”

Have you gone back to the cross of Jesus and conceived of yourself so identified with Him in His death and obedience unto death that when He died you died? Jesus Christ paid your death penalty in full. You are now free to live the Christian life.

The apostle Paul’s one obsession was Christ. “That I may know Him.”

Is your one obsession to know Christ in His suffering, His death, His resurrection and glory?

Our spiritual union with Christ is entirely independent of all conditions of time and space. Since we are one with Him by faith then our death in Him was real.

Martin Luther wrote, “Believing in Christ, I am by faith crucified with Christ; so that all these things are crucified and dead with me.”

Paul is not referring to the atonement because no one including the believer can atone for his own sins. It took the sinless blood of Jesus to pay our debt. There is nothing in us worthy of making atonement for sin. It is Christ alone, never Christ plus anything in or of ourselves that makes us right with God. However, there is for the believer a fellowship that can be entered into Christ through identification with His death.

The apostle Paul tells us to “reckon” upon the fact that we died in Christ. The word means “to take into account, to calculate, to estimate.” The work of Christ is imputed to our account. We are to believe that it really is true in our lives. Christ has put His righteousness to our account, and furthermore, the power of sin no longer has dominion over us.

Paul doesn’t tell us to feel as if we were dead to sin, but act on God’s Word and claim it as a fact. Reckoning is a matter of faith that results in action. Reckoning is not claiming a promise; it is taking God at His word and acting on a fact. God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us that we are dead to sin and alive unto God. Therefore, He commands us to act on that truth. Even if we do not act on it, the facts are still true. Because sin and death have no dominion over Christ, and we  are "in Christ" sin and death have no dominion over us. Jesus Christ not only died "for sin," but He also died "unto sin." That means Christ not only paid the penalty for my sin, but He broke the power of sin in my life. Sin no longer is the master of our lives. It no longer controls us. We are dead in Christ, and alive to His righteousness.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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