11 "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Romans 6:11 (ESV)
We assign a lot to a person's particular rank or status in life. People are labeled and assigned status based on things like job titles, salaries or even simply age.
This happens in the sports world, too. Freshmen are last on the totem pole, expected to clean up equipment, pick up dirty towels and maybe even fill up the water for practice. By senior year, status is at an all-time high, and all of that stuff is in the past. (But should it be, servant-leader?)
We begin to believe more in ourselves as we become comfortable with who we are and realize our potential. We remember the time, work and effort we put in each spring, summer, fall and winter. This creates a confidence about who we are and what we are capable of, and allows us to better focus our time, attention and effort in the right direction, on the right things.
The same effect happens as we come to know, love and appreciate our status with God through Jesus. Prior to a knowledge of God and Jesus, I thought differently, acted differently, pursued things differently. I lived in sin. And though I didn't know it, living that way ultimately leads to death (Romans 6:23). There may be moments where I feel alive and that I am living life fully, but these sensations won’t last, no matter how much money I have or what job I possess. The end of sin is clear … death.
But praise Jesus! He has made being ALIVE in God possible again. We can see life as Jesus sees life, live as He lived and live life abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus sets us free (John 8:36) and opens the door to a life of true meaning and purpose: to glorify God and be satisfied in Him.
But Paul says we must "consider" this, remember this, believe this. Jesus did all the work, but I still have to bring it to mind regularly and allow my status of life in Christ to direct my thoughts and actions. Through Jesus I am now able to present myself to God to be used in His kingdom as an “instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:13). Here I can leave death and my sin behind. And just as a senior grows more confident and assured, so I can become comfortable and secure in my life in Christ and what God is able to do through me as I spend more time with Him and His Word. (See Ephesians 3:20)
When was the last time you checked your status? Are you living in death or living in life?