The Tennessee women’s prison has an unusual way of baptizing their women. They do it in a coffin. That’s right—a coffin. The coffin serves as a power visual that their old nature, their old way of life, is dead, buried and gone. Now, they are alive in Christ all things are new, including a new nature, and a new start in life. I like that idea. In fact, Billy Graham says, “We should meditate on the truth that we are dead to sin, and alive to righteousness until returning to the old way of living is unthinkable.
For me, the secret lies in Gal 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me, and this life I now live I live by faith.”
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that you and I can keep living as we choose. We need to realize that the old ‘you’ is dead. The old way of living and thinking is gone. How freeing would it be if we got up every morning and repeated this truth until we believed it! It would change our lives—as intended.
So what’s the struggle?
Our struggle is staying dead.
Often, our dead flesh will raise its ugly head and try to influence our thoughts and actions. If we listen long enough to its demands, we suddenly find ourselves at the graveyard fervently digging up our old flesh so that it can perform its sinful deeds. At first, we are excited to see our beloved selves loose and walking about as we give into it’s every command. Then, just when the flesh has completely dominated us again, we start to smell something. The odor of dead, rotten, decaying flesh fills the air and we realize that it is us who “stink-th.” Not only do we stink, but also we feel guilty and ashamed for letting that dead woman loose.
It’s not until you and I are fully persuaded that our old self is dead and Christ has complete authority over us that sin will lose its power. I didn’t say we would never sin. I’m saying that if complete control is given to the Spirit of God living in us then we don’t have to sin.
Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:25