1998-08-04 - Daily Dying
1 Corinthians 15:31...I die daily. (NASB)
I hear a lot about living well, living better, living longer. I hear little about dying well and dying better. Paul has both these in mind here. To prepare to die well is to live well. This is true in several ways.
In one sense Paul could say more personally than any of us that he died daily. If you remember, in 2 Corinthians 11:22-28, where he reminds the church at Corinth about his numerous beatings and imprisonments, shipwrecks, and such like these. Paul was in constant peril because he preached the gospel. He died daily.
Our profession of faith does not expose us in the same manners to the potential loss of life or liberty. But do we not all die daily? Are we not in jeopardy of dying every hour? Are we not liable to thousands of accidents every day? The human body, while wonderfully made, is still amazingly frail. Are we not always dying?
Also like Paul we can say that we die daily in this manner. It is as if, while we live and nourish our bodies, death is still invading us. And death can invade us in subtle ways, especially in spiritual matters. We are often guilty of taking our comforts, hopes, and opportunities and burying them. The separation of body and soul is but the finishing stroke of death, but even now, we die daily.
There is another way that dying daily we have much in common with the Apostle Paul. In Romans 6:2, Paul writes, "How shall we who died to sin still live in it." or again in Romans 6:11 Paul writes, "Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
There is a moral crucifixion that Paul is here speaking about. The Christian dies daily as he or she puts sin to death throughout the course of life. "Our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." Romans 6:6
Being wise in life means preparing for whatever life might send our way. But to have wisdom that is divine is to prepare ourselves from being surprised by death. Looking around us and seeing the harsh realities of mortality should prepare us to join Paul and die daily in each of the 3 ways mentioned above.
"The mind of a Christian ought not to be filled with thoughts of earthly things, or find satisfaction in them, for we ought to be living as if we might have to leave this world at any moment." John Calvin
Soli Deo Gloria,