"Dying of Self"
March 19, 2006Email to a FriendPrint
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 19, 1972.
In Edward S. and Elizabeth H. Fox’s book, Christ Is God’s Middle Name, children talk about God. On page 12 there is this conversation with Pete: “Who is God, Pete?” “He is against the devil.” “In what way is God against the devil?” “God is good.” “And the devil?” “The devil is bad.” “Then they mustn’t get on too well together?” “They fight all the time.” “Where?” “In people.” “Do they ever fight in you, Peter?” “Yes.” “How do you know?” “I can feel it.” “How can you feel it?” “I get all uptight.” That’s what Pete says.
There are a lot of uptight people around these days. They thrash around, with the battle going on inside them. What has to happen? They have to die with Christ, die to sin. Being baptized into Jesus Christ is not just a formality. It is dying with Him. It is becoming a member of His body. It is having Him live inside you. You have been baptized, said Saint Paul, into Christ Jesus. When that happened you were baptized into His death. The old self has to die in order that a new self can live and come alive again. It actually happens when people are crucified with Christ, and Christ lives in them. This is what the cross of Christ does to people. It destroys the old and creates the new.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who gave his life for Christ, used to say: “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” That’s what it takes. There is no other way.
Lord God, take us from death to life with Your Son, Jesus Christ. Give us faith to die to ourselves and live completely for Christ. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.