Dead Men Walking, The Walking Dead, or Buried and Back Again sounds like a title to a low-cost, post-apocalyptic horror movie. You can just imagine these zombies hiding in the dark shadows waiting for dusk to wreak their havoc on the rest of the world. These types of movies have always had their cult following but lately they have infiltrated our pop culture. I would have never have considered myself one of “The Walking Dead”, however-If you see me in the morning before I have some coffee you would think I am practicing for the lead role in one of these movies.
In Galatians Paul writes that all those who are in Christ (in one sense) are dead men walking. Gal 2:10 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Romans 6:9-11 says “For we know that Christ has been raised from death and will never die again—death will no longer rule over him. And so, because he died, sin has no power over him; and now he lives his life in fellowship with God. In the same way you are to think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.” Colossians 3:4 says ” For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
When Jesus died, we also died. Jesus rose from the dead into newness of life. We also rose into newness of life with Him and in Him. Our old nature was buried with Christ never to rise again firmly buried in the grave. His death dissolved all the things (sin) that prevented us from knowing Him. This sin was dealt with and removed and was replaced with His righteousness, the of Christ. We can now be free from sin because God is not dealing with our sin anymore because He already dealt with that on the cross. So because of the cross anyone who is in Christ is dead to their sins. When God deals with us He deals with the new man, not the man who died and was buried. In order for us to be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven we have to be born again. (John Ch 3 ) Our spiritual rebirth will bring us out of our old sinful nature into a place of righteousness and renewal. He doesn’t see or recognize that person we used to be anymore (the one still in the grave) the Father now sees us in the Light of His Son. 2 Cor 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” In Acts 17:28 the Apostle Luke writes about Jesus “For in Him we live and move and have our being”.
Many reading this may then wonder why they are still struggling (as I am) with our old nature. At times it screams at us like a spoiled child demanding more attention. Other times it will unrelentingly pull at us, dragging us back into the grave where it was buried fighting for rebirth. Paul explains that this battle often rages continually in even the most spiritually mature people. Even Paul struggled with his old nature. He laments that he does what he doesn’t want to do and, in fact, does the evil he detests so much.
In Romans 7:15-19 Paul wrote “I do not understand what I do; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don’t want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don’t do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do.”
Even though our old nature seems not to want to give up its last breath we can celebrate and about the great and glorious news about the gospel. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 2: 9-10- says “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” This statement is past tense. It has already happened. We have already have been made complete! If Christ now lives in us so then does all of His fullness. This then frees us of seeking our righteousness from our performance. We have already have been made righteousness and we are sanctified in and because of our rebirth in Christ. WOW!
This is an ongoing process by which God continually develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. As we grow and mature we can expect victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” in which it resides—the old man, old nature and its flesh. The old sinful person is dead. The new person in Christ has been reborn. Your sin is nailed to the cross, and is breathing out its last. A new day has dawned, and you have been raised to new life in Christ.