We find in the first chapter of John that we are given the right to be called the children of God. We live in a world that says it is harsh to have an “exclusive” way. But we know the beauty of the relationship with God through Jesus. We don’t raise our children by saying there are numerous choices of how to be a child in our house. We start with a relationship, a declaration by God, that we are his children first, and then our lives unfold before us because of this relationship.
In the book of Romans, Paul begins to lay out the truth that relationship is not dependent on the rules, other relationships, or heritage. He point out that Abraham did not have the rules, or the law from the Old Testament. He took God at his word, as we should. We should start with a relationship, and then move from there into obedience.
When a couple makes a decision to get married, that commitment to the relationship begins to change the path those people take in other areas of their lives. Decisions, thoughts, priorities, and other relationships reflect that decision. It is similar to when we choose the relationship offered through Christ.
People need to realize that the work of Jesus is complete. There is nothing more to be done. In his death, we are attached to Him. We are to die to sin, as Jesus died for all our sins. When we become a Christian, we are dead to the sin of our lives. It is not to define us any longer. We might still struggle with that sin, and we cannot expect things to go away immediately. And in Jesus’ resurrection and his current life is to God, so will our lives now be to alive to God in Christ Jesus.
You will never be alive of God apart from a life we have in Christ Jesus. This goes against the world who wants to say that there are many ways to be alive in God. But if any message does not include a life in Jesus, it is false. But we must make it clear to those who have not yet made that choice that it doesn’t matter what denomination, or Bible translation, pastor, or location that defines salvation.
This chapter can also be described as a chapter of death. There are four words that are used referencing death. Words to describe the death of Jesus, but most talking about the death to our sin. We are either dead to sin and alive to God, or we are dead to God and alive to our sin. Jesus is the hinge.
It comes down to a simple phrase, “In Christ Jesus”.
9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)