Wanted, Dead & Alive

Have you ever seen a Wanted poster in an old western movie?  They usually read:

Wanted, Dead or Alive

But I am here to inform you that you are wanted, dead AND alive!  And it is God Who wants you dead and alive!

Why do I say that?  On what basis do I make this assertion?

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this: that if One died for all, then all died;
2Co 5:15  and He died for all, so that they who live should live no longer for themselves, but for the One who died for them and rose again.

I am convinced that this is the essence of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The following passage from the apostle Paul's letter to the Galatian believers expresses this same notion:

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.

In addition we have this other statement from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman believers:

(Rom 6:11)  So also account yourselves as being dead to sin, and alive to God, through our Lord Jesus the Messiah..

Unfortunately, or actually by design of our adversary, the requirement of DEATH to self has been lost to most believers in Jesus Christ.  We focus on 'who we are in Jesus', and fail to recognize our basic need to die to selfishness and pride in order to be free to become slaves of the righteousness of God.  The result is that we live partly for our fleshly, selfish and proud selves and partly the life of Jesus peeks through.  Various believers have various proportions of carnality and spirituality according to the depth of repentance they have experienced in life.  The more broken and contrite we are, the more that God can life in us and through us.

I also suggest that no one accidentally dies to self.  Rather it is a conscious decision based on hatred for the iniquity we see in ourselves which leads us to desire for our carnal selves to die in order to make room for Jesus to live in and through us.  It is an act of desperate faith.

I attended Sunday School this morning, and heard once again the teaching that we must learn to love ourselves and others as well as loving God.  I always cringe when I hear this teaching because it is a typically unbalanced teaching.  Years ago I was captivated by the following passage of Scripture:

Heb 1:9  You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beside Your fellows." Psa. 45:6, 7

As I pondered this verse I realized that God the Father loved Jesus, Who loved righteousness and hated lawlessness, and so Father poured out the oil of gladness on Him more than anyone else.  And since I wanted to be like Jesus, I asked Him to impart to me His love of righteousness AND His hatred for lawlessness!

The result over the years is that I have been able to discern between true, Godly love and lawlessness.  In God's system there is only one law - the Royal Law of Love.  And anything which does not meet the standard of the Royal Law of Love is lawlessness, or perhaps we can call it lovelessness.  Got it?  It is simple enough even for me to understand!

So, I urge you to become dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord!!

More later, maybe.