Friday, July 21, 2006

Killed by Christ??

What does it mean, to be killed by Christ? Isn't the New Testament all about being made alive by Christ? Well, mostly. But here is a passage where Paul draws an analogy to the marriage contract, which loses force when either party dies. We pick up the argument here:

So then, if she [a married woman] marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
Romans 7.3-4
There it is - according to Paul, we have "died to the law." For some years I just sort of read this passage over without noticing the missing step in the analogy.

But then Juan Carlos Ortiz gave a message - probably at a conference though I don't remember for sure - that supplied it. Here it is. If a woman is married to a man, she can be released from him in two ways: He can die, or she can die. Paul isn't saying here that the law died; it says "you also died to the law...." Pastor Ortiz said that in effect "I was married to the law" before he met Christ. To be set free from that, he said, "He (Christ) killed me." Whoa, can that really be? Well, it does say "you also died ... that you might belong to another."

Paul talks a lot about being dead to sin and alive to God, but before hearing that message, it had never occurred to me to think of it in terms of Christ killing me -- or maybe, killing that part of me that was ruled by sin.

The concept doesn't sound complicated, but I can't say that I have it fully integrated into my life, either.

Killed by Christ "that you might belong to another, to him who was raised by the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God" -- that the result of our lives might please our maker. Now that's good news.

posted 7/23

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