Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.…
This means that a man —
I. BREATHES GOD'S LIFE. There was a man taken out of the water apparently dead. The physician came and breathed into the nostrils and mouth of the poor fellow, and then pressed the breast; breathed in again and pressed the breast. At last he had the joy of hearing a gasp, and then of seeing the opened eye. "Alive unto God" means that God has breathed into you His breath; the breath of life and of righteousness.
II. PUTS FORTH EFFORT. There is a picture in Brussels of a man thought dead of the plague. He was not dead. After a time, awaking, he felt he was nailed up in the coffin, and the picture shows him to be in the act of pushing up the lid. So it is with the man who is "alive unto God." He puts forth efforts, and he repeats them till he is delivered.
III. REQUIRES FOOD, TO SUSTAIN THE NEW LIFE.
IV. DESIRES THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. What efforts some men make to acquire knowledge of earthly things. The Christian, whilst not despising that knowledge, desires especially to know God.
V. RESISTS SIN. There is that fight going on. The unconverted man reasons — "Don't sin, because you may be found out." The devil strikes him down to the ground, and he says, "There is no life in him now." But how is it with the Christian when Satan endeavours to overcome him? He has God's armour on, and the sword of the Spirit, and he stands, because he is alive unto God.
VI. BEARS THE CROSS. Being "alive unto God," and having Christ's love in the soul, we can lift up and carry the heaviest burden with rejoicing of heart, for we have His life; the life that Christ had, that same life is in us. Conclusion:
1. Is it not being alive in faith to God? It is not alive unto creeds, but unto God. It is faith in the presence of God.
2. It also is alive in hope to God — that hope which is the anchor holding on amidst all earth's tempests and all the wild sea's roar.
3. It is alive in love to God. What will not the soul endure for those whom it loves! It imitates the example of those who have its affection.
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.