God Wants You Dead?

God Wants You Dead? August 1, 2022

I heard an intriguing phrase recently:

God wants you dead.

Pointing, Finger, Gesture, Index Finger, Hand, Push

Image via Pixabay

Now, as with all things, context is very, very important.

Does God really want us dead?

In a way, yes.

But not in the way the phrase typically first hits ya.

“Death to self” is the churchy phrase that we use to talk about this.

The idea comes from a few different places in Scripture:

 

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Mt 16.24-25)

 

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Rom 6.4-8)

 

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2.20)

 

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5.24)

 

Now, it may indeed be possible that we are called to lay down our literal life for the Gospel, as the apostles did.

But there are also verses that speak to a reality where, even if we do not literally die for Jesus, we are still called to “die” nonetheless.

“Death to self.”

It means that if Jesus is Lord, I am not. My will must submit to His will.

It means that if I belong to Him, then my old sinful side dies, like He died, and that I am given new life in Him, just as He was raised to life.

It means that if Christ is within me, He gives me this new life, as my old self has been crucified.

It means that my flesh, with its passions and desires, is put to death.

Now, as with so many aspects of our sanctification, we are both “already” and “not yet” there.

Christians live in that tension of “already/not yet.”

We are already dead to our old self, our sinful side, our former life.

We are already alive in Him, forgiven, set free, living a new life in Christ.

These things have already happened.

And yet we also know experientially that we are not yet walking in the fullness of these things.

Some old habits hang on. Some old mentalities persist. Some old sins linger.

So we seek to put these things “to death.”

With prayer, fasting, confession, Scripture, accountability, healing, the filling of the Spirit, the pursuit of God – we seek to live more and more fully into our new lives in Christ, and less and less from our old, former, sinful self.

In this way, God does indeed want us dead – that old, fleshy part of us.

The part of us that is super unhealthy and toxic and selfish and sinful.

That part needs to die.

But it is not just that it needs to die – it’s that it needs to be replaced.

We lose the old to embrace the new.

We lose the flesh to embrace the Spirit.

We lose the sin to embrace the holy.

New life in Jesus is better than anything we’re holding onto.

May we “die” in all the right ways, and receive His life more and more in all its glory.

 

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