Dying To Live

J. D. Conley
January 22, 2017

Faithful Christians live their lives in preparation for death. They take these words of Jesus to heart, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4). God's children understand the Lord's metaphorical use of the terms "day" and "night," as life and death, and live accordingly. For the Christian, his or her life on earth is consumed with living for others, which in reality is living for Christ, (Matthew 25:40). Living for others is the Christian's work. Since we belong to Christ, we are not our own, (1Corinthians 6:19-20). Thus, we so live that we might die in a right relationship with Christ.

However, God's servants also die to live. The kind of life described above wherein we live to die, can also be seen as a life that is dying to live. The apostle Paul spoke of this kind of life when he said, "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:12-13). The Christian duty described here goes against the grain of human nature. The majority of the world lives after the flesh, i.e., for the gratification, comfort, pleasure and amusement of the physical body. So widespread and entrenched is this pursuit, that Paul depicts its practitioners as "debtors." Paul reminds us, [perhaps "warns" is better], that we owe no debt to this sort of hedonistic lifestyle, and should resist any compulsion that would pull us in that direction. He lets us know that to live after the flesh only results in spiritual death. Paul constantly warned and admonished that the Christian life is not to be touched with any fleshly contaminants, (1Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-5).

But, if we die to live, and "mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." If we refuse to be debtors to the flesh, then by necessity we become debtors to God. Let us as God's children get busy dying to live. By dying to live the real meaning of life and joy will be ours, not only in this life, but in the life to come. A condensation of (Romans 8:12-13) is given by our Lord in (Matthew 10:39) when He said, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."