Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 25, 2014

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God." Romans 6:8-10

There was a certain old recluse who lived deep in the mountains of Colorado. When he died, distant relatives came from the city to collect his valuables. Upon arriving, all they saw was an old shack with an outhouse beside it. Inside the shack, next to the rock fireplace, was an old cooking pot and his mining equipment. A cracked table with a three-legged chair stood guard by a tiny window, and a kerosene lamp served as the centerpiece for the table. In a dark corner of the little room was a dilapidated cot with a threadbare bedroll on it.

They picked up some of the old relics and started to leave. As they were driving away, an old friend of the recluse, on his mule, flagged them down. “Do you mind if I help myself to what’s left in my friend’s cabin?” he asked. “Go right ahead,” they replied. After all, they thought, what inside that shack could be worth anything?

The old friend entered the shack and walked directly over the table. He reached under it and lifted one of the floor boards. He then proceeded to take out all the gold his friend had discovered over the past 53 years – enough to have built a palace. The recluse died with only his friend knowing his true worth. As the friend looked out of the little window and watched the cloud of dust behind the relative’s car disappear, he said, “They should have got to know him better."

If you are a follower of Christ the overwhelming desire of your life is the desire to know Him better. You certainly don't want to come to the last moments of your life regretting that you didn't get to know Him better.

"How do I get to know Him better?" you may be asking.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul answers that question, "You get to know Him better by sharing in His death."

"How do I share in His death?" you may wonder.

Again, Paul has the answer, "You share in Christ's death by an action and an attitude. The action is baptism and the attitude is considering yourself dead to sin."

In the act of baptism you symbolically identify with the death of Jesus by going under the baptismal waters. When you make this public testimony of your faith by your baptism you make a private personal commitment that you will die to sin.

Through the sacrament of baptism you share in the death of Jesus which also allows you to share in His resurrection, as signified by rising out of the water. You have given up your life and now you live unto God through the life of Christ at work in you. Paul says of Christ, "The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God." 

If you have been baptized you have given yourself to knowing Him better through sharing in His death and coming alive in Him.