By Evan Pyle


I am writing this article to address those times that we Christians grow weary in our walks and are feeling “dry” spiritually. It is a problem I face regularly. I know that if I fall into a pattern of willful sin my love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12) and the solution to this is obvious: repentance and change. But what of those other times when that nagging dullness seems to creep over me for no apparent reason?

2 Corinthians 1:8-9:
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

It seems Paul and his companions experienced such trouble in their walk that they even despaired of life. Yet they had something that caused them to trust not in themselves in those dark times, but in God. That something is identified as the “sentence of death.” What kind of “death sentence” could cause one to quit trusting in oneself and instead trust the Living God?

2 Corinthians 4:10:
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

2 Corinthians 6:9:
As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

How are we to make sense of this and what does it mean to our Christian walk? Before we are saved we are on a literal death row because of sin and our corrupt nature.

Romans 6:23:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 2:1:
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

We are now saved, but how are we any different from the description of these two verses? Don’t we still sin? Haven’t we therefore earned death, and continue to earn death? But how is it we haven’t died and are no longer on the death row of eternity? I’m sure you will say that this is Christ’s work of grace for us that has saved us from such a death and you are right.

Romans 5:10, 21:
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life...

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through Jesus’ work we have been granted a new blessed kind of death, a death that is cause for praise and rejoicing... death to sin. And along with this death we are raised to a new life, a brand new kind of life that doesn’t resemble the old.

Romans 6:2-4:
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

I have counseled with believers many times who dismiss certain repeating patterns in their lives as “that’s just the way I am... I’ve always been that way.” If we see what the Lord is saying in these verses, we know that this is a lie. Why? Because that “same old used-to-be,” referred to in the Bible as the “old man,” has died. If your old man has died, how can you claim to remain in bondage under him? If he is dead, you are free.

vv. 6-7:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Our work is to consider these things to be true. To act as if the old man really is dead. To act as if I am a new creature in Christ. To walk like I am no longer under bondage to “this is just how I am” and instead live my life yielding to God and his Will.

v. 11:
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When we seek to please God, or “get right” with him by our own will and feeble efforts, we are stubbornly hanging on to that life that is dead. The harder we try the “behinder” we get. The harder we try, the more death creeps over us. Our joy evaporates and we wonder where our close relationship with the Lord has gone. But when we die to that old life that is dead we bring forth fruit of the life of Christ. When others see us they no longer see us trying to be a good Christian. Instead, when they see us, they see Christ himself. By faith we live Jesus’ life and we experience an aliveness and a joy that can only come from above.

Galatians 2:20:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.



From the December 2002 issue of The Vine & Branches