August 24 - Dying Daily
Paul’s logic is clear: if there were no sin in the world, there would not be any death; if there were no death, the resurrection would totally be unnecessary. The rejection of the resurrection is a rejection of the reality of sin and death. None of us may need the gospel of Jesus Christ if there is no sin in us. The way that God’s salvation is brought to us is through Christ dying for our sins, buried and raised on the third day, all in accordance with the Scriptures. The essence of the gospel is thus: sin, death and life. Death is the key to overcome sin and bring us life.
Paul, even as he was giving an important teaching on the resurrection, mentioned the reality of death in his own life. He was fighting against death that was caused by sin. Because of the sinful intention of the enemies of Christ, he was in danger every hour. In fact, he said that he died every day, fighting the beasts (his enemies) at Ephesus. Paul’s mission was to overcome sin and death in others by preaching the gospel of life. If there were no sin, no death and therefore no resurrection, what he was doing would be totally in vain.
The way to overcome death is not to be afraid of it. Paul was ready to die for the sake of Christ and the gospel. To be afraid of death is a sure sign that we do not believe in the reality of the resurrection. Another way of overcoming death is to stop the cause of death, which is sin. The Law of God tells us why we should all die for the infringement of the Law, or sin, brings death to us all. Listen to Paul’s warning, “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning.” When we can stop sinning, we than can overcome death and have the assurance of the resurrection.
Paul died daily to sin and he was prepared to die for Christ every moment of his day. If we are all sinners and deserve death, then resurrection is our only hope. Because of Adam’s sin, all our mortal bodies must go through physical death in order to receive another spiritual and eternal body from God. Our overcoming sin to the point of death is the way to appropriate the victory of Christ on the cross. When we are not afraid of death and work to overcome sin and its power, we can be victorious over death and sin, the sting of death and the power of the Law.
The final exhortation in this chapter is about being steadfast and immovable in the work of the Lord. The work of the Lord is to overcome sin and death, first in our lives and then in the lives of others. This kind of labor for the Lord will not be in vain for there is a resurrection awaiting all of us. Are you afraid of death? Are you overcoming sin in your own life and bringing others into victory? If you are not doing the work of the Lord, begin now. Ask the Lord on how to begin.
Ps 92:1-8 Job 12:1-15:35 1 Cor 15:29-58 Prov 21:30-31