I wrote this a week or two ago…and didn’t post it. I think I need the reminder of it now.
Somehow or other I ended up going through Hebrews this week, and this morning I read Hebrews 9:17 – “For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.” Somehow this struck me differently than it has in the past. I guess I’m more familiar with the later verses that say that it is blood that enacts a covenant. But when I read this now, I interpreted it to mean that the covenant is meaningless or powerless until after I am dead. How fortunate it is, then, that there are these verses!
Ephesians 2:1 – “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…”
Ephesians 2:5 – “Even while we were dead in our transgressions…”
You see…I am dead, and that is the only reason I can claim the new covenant promises God has made! Here’s the whole passage:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We all want that…the surpassing riches of His grace. But so often the devil tempts us into thinking that we have to maintain some sort of spiritual status quo to receive it…something on some platform high above where we generally feel we are.
But the status quo is dead. We are not supposed to be striving to get ourselves up to the top, for dead men don’t strive. We’re just not all that good are remembering how dead we are, or that death can be a very good thing when God gives us the revelation of it.
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
You see, it is only when we really realize just how dead we really are, that we are then able to say, “For I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Then we can tell the devil when he comes against us, “He who has died is free from sin!” (Romans 6:7) Therefore, “You have no power over me!”
And it is then, when we begin to see ourselves as being “free indeed” (John 8:36), that we begin to “know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
This is how only dead men and women are truly capable of thriving…