We must die

We must.

Sin demands payment. New life is dependant on it.

No death…no life. 

“If you would gain your life, you must lose it for my sake.”

There are some “Christian blogs” and “Christian churches” that really don’t believe that. They really don’t believe in dying to the self. They are really ALL ABOUT AFFIRMING  ‘THE SELF“.

Instead of using God’s Law as a hammer to crush the rebellious ‘self’, they prop up that ‘self’ by making him/her believe that he/she is really “NOT ALL THAT BAD”…and with a little cleaning up(a little help from the church) they can become what they really ought to be. OR..they don’t even bother with any of that and they just say “anything goes”. “There really is no sin (sin is an old fashioned “bible word” – we know better now) so just do your best, it’s all about love and acceptance, and trying , and giving, and being tolerant”… yada ,yada, yada.

The trouble with both those errant views is that NO DYING takes place.

Good Friday was (is) all about ‘death’. 

It was about what we really think of God (in the end). He shows up in His goodness and mercy and love…and we stake Him to rough timbers untill every drop of life runs out of Him.

Jesus knew this would happen to Him.  He knew (and knows) what’s in our hearts.

And yet He went freely to that death.  He tells His followers that we must also die.

We must die to thinking that we can do anything without Him. That we are “not that bad”. That we can take the stench of sin out of ourselves. That we can, by just trying our best, become better in His eyes. We must die to all of that.

That cross tells us that we will die. It tells us that there is no escaping death. No easing it, no skirting it.

And that is what God’s law does. It puts us to death. That we might have remorse for our sin. That we might be humbled, repent and believe… at least for a while.

Then, when we are sufficiently dead…can raise us again to new life…even as the Father raised our Lord Jesus on that Glorious morning.

________________________________________________________________

That view is not very popular today. It makes God’s Law into a demand (which it is – laws that do not demand anything really are not laws) and many despise not being able to live any way they want to, without guilt.

It also takes the religious “God project” out of the hands of those that like religion. That enjoy playing the game of  ‘religious self improvement’.

“Yeah, Buts!”…start your engines!!!

Are the “yeah, but’s” trying to stave off death?

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14 Responses

  1. I am guilty. That is why I pray every day: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. For without the mercy granted to me in baptism I know that i will die twice.

  2. Jim R.,

    Jim, that is a great prayer.

    I pray the same prayer. I know that He has forgiven me. I know that He loves me. But I also know how I have squandered the gifts He has given me and made a mess of things.

    I am baptised. He has had mercy on me and continues to have mercy on me…a sinner.

    Thanks be to God that I will only die once. But until then, I die many little deaths each day, and God uses those deaths to keep me in His true faith.

    Thanks, Jim.

    – Steve

  3. Anselm of Canterbury said often of his detractor’s, ‘You have not yet considered how great the weight of sin is.’ They don’t understand how much there is to overcome.

    The Apostle Paul’s exhortation to, ‘…..work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12, 13). God is sovereign, yet man is responsible.

  4. IKe,

    My responsibility isn’t doing all that well.

  5. Steve,

    Jesus said, ‘apart from Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).

  6. Ike,

    Right on, Ike!

    Thanks be to God that He is responsible enough for the two of us (and everyone else, too)!

    Thanks, my friend!

  7. That view is not very popular toady. It makes God’s Law into a demand (which it is – laws that do not demand anything really are not laws) and many despise not being able to live any way they want to, without guilt.

    The point of the death of the old flesh is that you become a new creature in Christ, and there are so many things you just would not WANT to do. Your new heart rebells against the old ways. If you did sin, you would be driven to repentance.

  8. Willohroots,

    “The point of the death of the old flesh is that you become a new creature in Christ,…”

    That’s it Will. But since we do not want to die, the law must DO IT TO US.

    That’s why throwing the law overboard, or watering it down is terribly wrong.

    We need to die.

    Thanks Will!

  9. “Whoever loves his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Jesus

    “Assuredly thou canst not have both joys; to revel in the delights of this world, and to reign with Christ hereafter.” – Thomas A Kempis

    “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24

    “The cross is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men. The cross of Roman times knew no compromise, it never made concessions. It won all its arguments by killing its opponent and silencing him for good. It spared not Christ, but slew Him the same as the rest. He was alive when they hung Him on that cross, and completely dead when they took Him off of it. That was the cross the first time it appeared in Christian history. With perfect knowledge of all this, Christ said, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself take up his cross and follow Me.’ So the cross not only brought Christ’s life to an end, it also ends the first life, the old life of every one of His true followers… this and nothing less is true Christianity. We must do something about the cross, and there’s only one of two things we can do – flee it or die upon it!”– A.W. Tozer

  10. I like how Paul handles this in Romans…

    He makes the case that the idolatrous Pagan is rightly under the wrath of God for abandoning the true God and creating substitutes (1:18-32)

    Just in case the Moralist might be inclined to heartily agree about the Pagan, but think that he’s OK because he’s moral, Paul nails him in 2:1-16. The moralist is also rightly under God’s wrath because he quickly condemns the idolatrous Pagan, but is really guilty of the same things himself. In fact, he fails to live up even to his own standard of what he knows is right and wrong, and so God’s wrath is justified against him as well.

    Now the religious person might think he’s even better off. He is neither an idolater nor a moralist. He is a good Jew (or “Christian”!) and he knows his Bible, so surely God will smile on him right?

    Wrong.

    In 2:17-29, Paul nails the religious/Jewish person too, because “you who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law”. (2:23). The law nails the religious person.

    Paul finishes the whole crowd off in 3:1-20 and seals his case that no one is righteous and everyone is a lawbreaker with these words: Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

    Since nobody actually keeps either Mosaic law or even their own moral standard (“law”), the law serves the purpose of indicting EVERYONE. Which is why I need the Gospel, which Paul goes on to make the case for in 3:21 and on…

    Whether I’m a priest, a prostitute, or a little old lady, I’m drowning and I need a rescuer. A savior. Jesus.

  11. Steve,

    I also fear and have seen myself a version of “I must die” which is nothing more than the old man “trying to “I must die””. This happened in Luther’s day as well. The DEATH Word lay in the “nothing left to do”, for some erroneously TRY to die to themselves and as such merely feed the old Adam with great food in order to survive.

    The old Adam in us is a true scoundrel par none other, he will continually adjust in order “to live” (survive), and if that means “I must die” then the old Adam has no problem whatsoever putting THAT into his ever growing and changing program.

    Only at last at the Cross when Jesus says “it is finished” and it is so without another word, does the old Adam begin to feel the noose around his neck. “The doer must die in ALL ways”. This we cannot do to ourselves but God must “do Himself” to us. THIS we hate, because it truly requires to truly trust in pure nakedness and THIS the old Adam cannot cause because after all is said and done, he is not God.

    L

  12. His Word slays us amd His Word raises us.

    Indeed, He does do it all.

    All that is needful He gives to us. Accomplishes for our sakes.

    He is an awesome God.

    Thanks, Steve, Larry, and all.

  13. First of all I’d like to give thanks to God for this iniative(using internet the right way)to spead the word of our Master and to edify one another by giving one’s opinion based on the bible…The old must die indeed! This is the what makes the difference between the You-out-Christ and the You-in-Christ (II Corinthians 5:17, I Corinthians 11:25) Christ has chosen You,He can’t just choose You and let you down,He’s responsible for anything(John 15:16)your abilities, weaknesses, desirs…they’ve a sort of died IN Jesus…friends, no single scripture applies to You and I,rather every scripture applies to The King JESUS in You and I (I Thess. 5:24) so the New man is not you(don’t try anything orelse you’ll be miserable,don’t trust yourself Jer. 17:5)it’s all about Jesus that has called (I Thess. 5:24) God is faithfull!

  14. Sth. MADERA,

    “… no single scripture applies to You and I,rather every scripture applies to The King JESUS in You and I (I Thess. 5:24) so the New man is not you(don’t try anything orelse you’ll be miserable,don’t trust yourself Jer. 17:5)it’s all about Jesus that has called (I Thess. 5:24) God is faithfull!”

    Amen! Very well said!

    I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your insights with us, Sth. MADERA.

    May our Lord bless you and keep you!

    – Steve

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