We have always come across the word “rest in peace” whenever someone is dead and no longer existing among us. Many people would give you a smack in the gob when you wish them to rest in peace, which is because the stereotype says it is dead people who rest in peace. As much as I wouldn’t want to question the stereotypes, I would agree to some certain degree that some certain dead people are resting in peace. Not all dead people are resting in peace because as long as I have experienced it, there are different kinds of death one can experience and I happen to have experienced one and I can gladly say that since that day of my death, I am resting in peace and joy… Nothing is sweeter than experiencing that death because it is a way to freedom!
One would be wondering how I would be bold to say I am dead; another person would be imagining those scenarios in Hollywood movies where the dead rise to become vampires or other imaginary creatures. Well, those are movies but I am talking about something I have experienced and am still experiencing. I am resting in peace because I am dead to violence and harshness of this world; I am joyful because I am dead to sorrows. That is to say, I no longer exist in the world of sorrows, sins, sickness and all those negativities that has always had me in chains! Because I am dead to them, it is no longer possible to be bound by them again. They may look for me but won’t find me… They can only find the grave where the old me was buried and they will always find the inscription that reads
“For George through the law is dead to the law, that he might live unto God” Galatians 2:19
Many people are confused on this subject of being dead to sin and alive to Christ and those confusions have been imported into Paul’s question that says “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1). Many have go on repeating those questions expecting that it will be answered by those people. Paul however never meant that we should be confused towards the question; he never even meant it to be answered. He was only trying to tell us how much dead we are to sin… Let me ask then. How much dead are we to sin? Always dead! Paul answered his question in the proceeding verse. Hear him
“By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” vs. 2.
We must understand this very well before it can sense to us. We cannot continue in sin because we longer exist to sin and sin no longer exists to us. It is that very simple. What does it mean to continue in sin? It means to dwell and live our lives in sin. The only people who can continue in sin are people who deny Christ as their Lord and savior! Because new life can only be found in Christ.
How saved are believers? Believers are always saved! It is once saved, always saved! As long as you remain a believer, you are always saved… You are always dead to sin and alive to Christ. Paul wrote with absolute sureness
“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God” (verse 10)
One may argue that Paul was writing about Christ but the next verse said
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Verse 11)
Isn’t it becoming clearer now? We are dead to sin not because of what we’ve done but because of what Christ has done. In the same manner, we are also alive to God, not because of what we have done but what Christ has done. Now, in verse 12, Paul encouraged believers to live their new life in Christ. Since we now have a new life, our actions ought to be new. It doesn’t happen automatic, it happens by subjecting ourselves to act on God’s word. We are simply learning to live like the “new” us. Just like a French man who grew up in England would have to learn French anew in order to prove how “French” he is, every believer needs to learn how to live his new life in Christ.
I started by declaring that I am dead! Yes! I am very dead to sin and all its associates but I am very much alive to God and His righteousness! That means sin doesn’t know who I am anymore and the law has no hold on me again. Because I have been set free from the law, I am resting in peace. Oh what a lovely thing to rest from all the burdens of the law and this world. The writer of Hebrew describes this experience as thus:
“For anyone who enters God’s rest also rest from their works, just as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:10)
Just there at the grave of my old self, sin may try to know if I can come back to it, the devil may apply all his available ‘wisdom’ but another inscription will pop up and it boldly reads;
“For sin shall no longer be George’s master, because George is not under the law but under grace” (Verse 14)
I know it has become much common and easier to wish people who left their mortal bodies rest in peace but it is a factual truth beyond every argument that all who believes in Christ has entered into a peaceful rest from all their labours because we are dead to the law and dead to sin.
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