Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Dead to the World

 Scripture:  Romans 6 v 11 - 13: "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

Colossians 2 v 20: "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances."

Being dead to the world is a common saying that means being in a deep sleep.  But in the Biblical sense it means something altogether different.

We are united with Christ in His death, and in His resurrection, which gives us eternal life now.  When we die we will pass immediately into the presence of God and our Heavenly existence will be all we ever hoped for.

To be sure we can achieve this blissful state, we need to realise and accept that the world must lose its attraction as we turn our eyes upon Jesus and follow Him on a spiritual path.  The world system must become alien to us, and no longer applicable to our new life in Christ.  As Paul says do not yield your body as an instrument of unrighteousness to sin, this opens the door to death - the wages of sin is death.

You step into harm's way through sin.  If you continue in sin your relationship with Jesus suffers until whatever near death experience confronts you, is powerful enough to bring you to your knees.  Every sin has consequences we would rather not deal with.  Like being caught shoplifting.  It's very embarrassing.

Let's look at human rights which people fight over incessantly.  We are a new creation in Christ, we are no longer only human, but are part of the divine Body of Jesus.  We are, or should be, subject to the will of God in everything.  Our rights are covered by the New Covenant of God, as written in the Bible.  If we call Jesus Lord, it means that He has complete authority over us.  He wants us to forsake the world, become dead to it, because it is a deadly trap.

God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours.  We still think on the finite level while He is on the infinite.  He has no boundaries and can magnificently interact with every human, or new creation, at once and constantly.  His love promises us: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8 v 28.

Everything works together for good when we are fulfilling His purpose!  That is the secret of being a new creation.  We must be dead to the demands, hungers, attractions and principles of this world, and conform to the higher order of His will and purpose for our lives.

It may not be comfortable or convenient or even sensible to blindly obey His commands but He knows what happens next and has the wisdom we lack.  Nothing happens on this planet that He does not know about.  He allows certain contrary things to afflict us to fulfil His purpose.  He knows the future and how to prevent worse disasters.  

Think pandemic.  Is He allowing this to trouble us because He enjoys seeing us suffer?  We are His children, no one wants to see a child suffer.  If our children are disobedient, we discipline them, even punish them.  They could be sent to their room to think about their behaviour, and or be denied outings or access to friends.  Until we are satisfied they have learned the lesson.  God is doing the same to this world for gross disobedience.

Jesus said the sign of the end would be like the days of Noah.  A handful of righteous people escaped the Flood.  The people in Noah's day were exceedingly sinful.  Pretty much like the world today.  The pandemic is not total wipe out but it is changing our pace of life considerably.  We are being sanitized physically and spiritually because God does not want to lose us.  This is the opportunity to reset the world and preach about the love and life of Jesus Christ.  Many more are listening.

My human rights give me plenty to demand and complain about, but my divine rights leave everything in the Lord's hands.  I trust Him with everything and He has never let me down.  I may not see the sense of some actions or decisions, but there is always an unseen higher purpose.

So let's have a deeper understanding of being dead to the world.  The world is sinful, unruly, corrupt, greedy, sexually explicit, addicted, warlike, slanderous, and full of disease.  There is no such thing as world peace.  That's an oxymoron.  Peace comes from Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace, it is  fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The world's peace is a tranquilizer, cigarette or a bottle of whisky.  That wears off and becomes addictive, but the peace of Jesus remains forever.

Seek the Lord to find your true purpose.   As you come in line with His will and purpose, He will reveal it to you.  He does not withhold anything, but rather waits until the world has lost its grip and you become dead to its lure.  Only then will He be able to control the circumstances around you, and let you flow into them, to achieve what He created you to be and do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, open our eyes to the dangers of living in two kingdoms, where we still cling to the world while being a citizen of Heaven.  Let us choose to die to the tempting pleasures of this world so we can find the narrow path that leads to Life.  Teach us to love, give and pray till it hurts.  We are Your children and part of each other.  We want to live the life and purpose You have chosen for us.  In Jesus' name. Amen.