the saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; [2 timothy 2:11]
in God’s economy – death leads to life.
in this small passage is the power of the gospel: one truth, three life changing implications. the truth, in God’s economy – death leads to life. the implications, well, let’s unpack them one at a time.
1. when we die to the belief that we can save ourselves and trust that Christ alone can save us, we receive eternal life with God. the first implication: we must stop believing and living that we can make our self right before God (be saved from our sin.) this first death must occur in us or we can never have the abundant life God offers us in Christ. the next two implications hinge on this first. Christ alone must be our Savior.
now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. [romans 6:8]
for by grace you have been saved through faith. and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [ephesians 2:8-9]
2. in Christ, when we physically die, we will live forever in the presence of Christ. our right standing before God, is won by Christ’s death. when we join him in his death, trusting he alone can save us, we are brought into eternal relationship with Christ. but here on this earth, our relationship with him is a little like a zoom call. we are in his presence, but something is missing. the reason zoom calls are getting old (have been for a while) is that we are not in each other’s presence. one day when these zoom calls end, we will get to be in each other’s presence and it will be … so good. one day, when we die, we will get to be in his presence face to face and it will be … more than good. it will be the fullness of life that we have always longed for … with God!
for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. now i know in part; then i shall know fully, even as i have been fully known. [1 corinthians 13:12]
3. when we die to our old sin nature, the life of Christ grows in us. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” [luke 9:23] “take up his cross” doesn’t mean to bear a burden or make a sacrifice. a cross was a place of death. period. there is life in Christ – abundant life. one day, we will live face to face with the One who is life and we will know, really know abundant life. in the in between, Jesus says we can know more and more of his life here. BUT in God’s economy, that life comes as we die to our old sin nature.
put to death therefore what is earthly in you … put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [Col 3:5, 10]
… if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. [romans 8:13]
for we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. [2 corinthians 4:11]
and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [galatians 5:24]
in God’s economy – death leads to life. “if we have died with him, we will also live with him.” think and pray on these questions today. and, may God use his Word and these questions to bring life from death.
- have you died to saving yourself, trusting Jesus to be your only Savior?
- do you believe that through Christ – death on this earth means you will be face to face with God for eternity?
- what part of your sin nature is God calling you to put to death so you can know more of his life? (colossians 2:5-10 might be a good place to read and think thru to answer this question.)
come LORD Jesus, our Savior and God. help us today to believe that in you, death leads to life. help us today to die to self so we can know more of your life. yes LORD, we want more of your life!
~ john ryan