You Are Dead!
The state of the true Christian is truly blessed — but few clearly perceive it, and fewer still live in the full enjoyment of it. We are so earthly, so carnal — whereas we ought to be heavenly and spiritual. As united to Christ, as identified with Christ — our thoughts, desires, and affections should be set on those things which are at God's right hand. So Paul taught the Colossians, saying, "For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Coloss. 3:3.
THE DISTINGUISHING PECULIARITY. "You are dead."
Dead to SIN — which was laid on Jesus, punished in Jesus, and put away by Jesus. It no longer reigns and rules in us as it once did. It is not our element, or the business of our life. We do not enjoy it, and indulge in it — as we once did.
Dead to the WORLD, to which we were once all
Its pleasures no longer charm us,
its pursuits no longer fascinate us,
nor do its threats alarm and terrify us.
Dead to the LAW, Jesus having fully obeyed it for us. It has now no claim upon us, having received full satisfaction. It does not now fill us with fear and dread, as we can now present an answer to it.
We sin — but are not under the power of sin;
we are in the world — but are not of the world;
we love the law, wish to do all that the law commands — but, are not under its power, or exposed to its penalty.
To these things we are dead, and were killed to them by a
sight of . . .
the law in its severity,
the gospel in its glory,
and Christ in his excellency.
THE GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." The state of the Christian, is a resurrection state. He died in Christ. He died with Christ. He died through Christ. He is now raised from the dead — leaving the world, the law, and sin behind him. His present life is hidden — it is secret. The world knows him not — nor does it, nor can it understand his life.
His is a life of faith upon the Son of God.
His is a life of communion with Christ.
His is a life of obedience to Christ.
Its joys and its sorrows, its conflicts and its conquests — are secret.
His life is hid with Christ in God, it is therefore safe. Nothing can destroy it. Nothing can endanger it. Nothing can touch it. It was God's gift, the effect of his paternal love. It is Christ's care — and he has identified it with his own. It is in God's hand — the safest place in the universe. Our treasure, our happiness, our eternal all then is safe! How can it be otherwise — hid as it is with Christ in God?
Believers die to present things. It may be gradually — but they do so really. Just in proportion to their faith in Christ, and fellowship with Christ — will they realize a death to the world; and will come to look upon it, as having crucified their Lord, and as being in a state of hostility and enmity with God. And just in proportion as they realize that they are dead to the world — will they live in high and holy fellowship with Christ.
Believers live with Christ. They are raised up
together, and are made to sit together in heavenly places in him. He has
their hearts, their thoughts, and their desires with
him. He has won their love — and has become the great object of their
faith and hope. They . . .
are in vital connection with him,
receive their supplies of spiritual blessings from him,
and wish to live wholly and entirely to him.
For them, to live is Christ — and to die is gain.
They are entirely dependant upon him. The babe is not more dependant on its parent, the branch is not more dependant on the tree — than the believer is dependant upon Christ.
They draw all their chief comforts and enjoyments from him. He is the life of their life, and the joy of their joy.
Believers are in God's keeping. This is their safety. This is their grand distinction. He keeps them as the apple of his eye, and hides them under the shadow of his wings. Their life is hidden in God — no stronger idea of security can be given.
They are safe — if God can make them so.
They are honored — if identification with God can confer honor upon them.
They are distinguished — for of none but believers, are such things said.
And now, O my soul, are you dead unto the WORLD? Is Christ more to you than all the world, or than a thousand such world's would be?
Are you dead unto the LAW? Do you look away from all your own doings and feelings — to Jesus Christ alone, for life, pardon, peace, and complete salvation? Do you look to Christ only, and always — for your acceptance with God, and realize that you are complete in him?
Are then dead unto SIN? Has it lost its power to charm you, to rule you, and to lead you away captive? Do you hate sin as the murderer of your Lord and Savior, turning from it with disgust and abhorrence?
Gracious Lord, give me a more full, complete, and perfect deliverance from sin, the world, and the condemning law; and grant that I may be made thoroughly holy, unearthly, and evangelical. Teach me not only to see — but to realize in the depth of my soul's experience this death; and also that my life is hid with Christ in God. O for a deeper experience of this great and precious truth, that I may not live as too many professors do — with very little difference between me and the world that lies in the Wicked One! Merciful Lord, for the glory of your great name, give me deeper sanctification, and more thorough conformity to Christ!