December 8 (Daily reading: Romans 4-7) Watchman Nee (1903-1972), a leader in the house church movement in China, spent his last twenty years in prison. His book, “The Normal Christian Life” (Tyndale House, 1977), describes some steps of the Christian life identified by some key verbs in Romans 6-8.
KNOW: “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with (Christ)” (6:6). When? When Christ died on the cross and when we received Him. It is not something we do, but something we know: God accomplished it in Christ! Without Christ, we were “helpless” (5:6), or “powerless” (NIV). But now, crucified with Him, “in order that our body of sin might be done away with,” it is Satan who no longer has power over us, “so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (6:6).
CONSIDER: “Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (6:11). We conclude that, once you know you have been crucified with Christ, you can consider yourself dead. When you know that the old sinful nature has been rendered powerless, you can choose to live as someone “alive to God in Christ.”
OFFER: “Offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life” (6:13, NIV). We give the members of our body to God as “instruments of righteousness.” Our daily activity should be offering Him our thoughts, our words, our actions, our steps, what we see, what we hear, everything! After all, we are “enslaved to God…resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life” (6:22).
WALK: We “do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (8:4). Walking in the Spirit is the natural walk for Christians. We have been crucified with Christ; the body of sin is dead, and now we walk as those who are alive to God in Christ—filled by His Spirit!
– Al Gary