Alive and then Dead
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
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 know it can seem confusing but it really is not. You must understand what kind of death and what dead means according to scripture and when it is good and when it is bad because all death is not bad. When I was younger and did not know Christ Jesus and had no understanding of God and lived my life in way I wanted to I was alive to my will but I was really the walking dead. So how did this happen and why and just how did I get dead to begin with? All very good questions to be sure and ones that really do have an answer and a clear one at that.
As our verse above states the offence of one caused many to be dead. It’s like an illustration I read not too long ago that showed how this happened. In this illustration the man said he was driving his family to have a family outing where they were going to eat at the park and enjoy the day. Sounds great, right? But, unfortunately, the man made a wrong turn and went a long way out of the way from the park they were to be going to. Now he made the mistake…one guy… but the bigger problem was that he had his family in the car and through no fault their own they all ended up at the wrong place because they were all in the car together. Through one man’s misdirection the whole suffered.
It is the same for mankind.
I know you may be thinking, “That stinks! How did this happen?” Glad you asked. Let me show you right here in the book of Romans.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
The idea that the sin nature was inherited is a totally new concept to many Christians, but it is a fact none the less. The majority of people believe it’s what they do that makes them sinners. But this verse clearly teaches that sin entered the earth through one man, Adam (also see Romans 5:15-18), and death is a result of that sin (Romans 5:15). It is not our individual actions of sin that separate us from God (separation from God is spiritual death). It’s that sin nature that separates us.
Our sins don’t make us sinners. We were born sinners (remember the car story) and we sin because that is our nature. Paul said this in Ephesians 2:3 “And were by nature the children of wrath.” This is why we “must be born again” (John 3:7). We received our sinful nature through our natural birth, and we only receive a new nature through a spiritual birth. You are saved by grace through faith! Paul makes this very clear and he also made a comparison of just how great this grace was in its working in Romans 5:7.
Paul, in an effort to show just how great this love of God is and how it is shown to us through grace, makes an illustration. One of the greatest expressions of love a human can do is to lay down their life for another. But then Paul went further still and illustrated that yes, it is possible to image people giving up their lives for others, that happens and has happened many times. But the shocking thing and the thing that is inconceivable is that a person would give up their life and lay it down for a sworn enemy. And yet this is exactly what God did as we can read here in Romans 5:10 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. And because this is the case of what was done for me and for you let me ask you, how could we ever doubt the goodness of God towards us? (Wommack, 2015),
At this point where Paul was making those comparisons, he made another to make the same point. Many teachers do this. They say the same thing only in a slightly different way as to bring more understanding to the subject. And in so doing he added as it were a parentheses and inserted Romans 5:13-17 and to really get a clear picture of what Paul was saying it is very helpful to skip this parenthetical section of Romans 5:12 to 5:18 and read it like this.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 5:18 – Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
I Have Been Alive and I Have Been Dead……Dead Is Better Because It Made Me Alive
In other words, Paul is saying that in the same way that we all inherited the sin nature independently of our own actions (we were passengers in the car), we also inherit God’s righteous nature, not because of what we have done but through the new birth provided to us through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. We became sinners through what ONE man did and we become righteous through what ONE man has done. We see in 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. And in being a new creature in Christ Jesus we became alive in Christ and dead to sin hence the title of the article: I Have Been Alive and I Have Been Dead……Dead Is Better Because It Made Me Alive
Maybe this will help like a timeline:
• Alive to sin – I was born with the nature of sin
• Dead to God (separated/spiritual death)
o Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. The death spoken of here is spiritual death resulting from sin. People without Christ may be physically alive, yet they walk around in the state of spiritual death. Scripture describes this condition as being alienated from the life of God, controlled by the old nature, having no hope, being by nature the children of wrath, and controlled by the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-6, 12, 4:18; and Galatians 5:19-21).
• Alive to God (new birth) – Being quickened, or made alive, with Christ reverses the effects of spiritual death. All that had once alienated us from God is gone, and we are now seated with Christ Jesus in the very presence of God (Colossians 3:1).
• Dead to sin – Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Also see Col.3:3
o (which made me)
• Alive to God through Christ and made righteous and my life is hid in Christ, Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Paul was saying that his deliverance from the Law (which is the strength of sin – see I Corinthians 15:56) is not through unlawful means. The Law demanded death for sin because the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23 (Ezekiel 18:4 and 20), and Jesus fulfilled that requirement by dying in our place. Now it would be unlawful to punish us once our debt has been paid. That would be double jeopardy. So then how do we live? We live the same way that Paul, who was alive then dead then alive again, lived. (Wommack, 2015)
Looking at 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.
And again in Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Please look at a very important word here, although it is a small word it has big meaning. “OF” Paul said he was living by the faith OF, not faith IN, the Son of God. Now don’t take me wrong I do not believe it is wrong to say we place our faith in the Son of God, but Paul was clear here saying that he was living by the faith OF Jesus and again repeated it in Gal. 2:16 as seen above. We use the faith OF Jesus and where do we get it? Well, the same place as Paul and as every born-again believer gets it from, the Word of God, Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Most of the oldest transcripts read, ‘faith comes by hearing the word or message of Christ. ( See examples below)’ We heard the report and faith came to be born-again, we continue to hear the message and in hearing we do and faith is, therefore, the doing.
And so we as believes are alive and full of the life of God and we live by the faith of God who loved us and gave His life for us. And as Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made alive) together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. And looking a bit farther into His Word we can see even more and this is really exciting because we can see such a great truth here (but I must warn you at this point, if you are still wearing your religious glasses take them off now so as not to incur religious action that could cause blindness to the truth…..)
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
This is speaking of past, present, and even future sins. All our sins have been dealt with through the sacrifice and atonement of Christ. And if you are saying, “Wait! Future sins can’t be forgiven,” you better think again. Jesus died for our sins 2,000 years ago, before we ever committed sins. If you think sins cannot be forgiven before they are committed, then your sins aren’t forgiven. Keeping in our minds and hearts 2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. As a Christian we will suffer some hardships and failings but God is so good that even when we fail, He remains faithful to us (2 Timothy 2:13). Paul used a series of opposites to put our hardships in perspective. If we die, we live (this verse). If we suffer, we reign (2 Timothy 2:12). Though we falter in our faith, God never will. Always remember the rewards are greater than the sacrifices. As a child of God we can’t lose for winning. (Wommack, 2015)