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Romans 6:1-14

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

In her book It Only Hurts When I Laugh, Ethel Barrett tells how four outstanding servants of God died to self and sin. George Mueller, when questioned about his spiritual power, responded simply, “One day George Mueller died.” D. L. Moody was visiting New York City when he consciously died to his own ambitions. Pastor Charles Finney slipped away to a secluded spot in a forest to die to self. And evangelist Christmas Evans, putting down on paper his surrender to Christ, began it by writing: “I give my soul and body to Jesus.” It was, in a very real sense, a death to self.

John Gregory Mantle wrote, “There is a great difference between realizing, ‘On that Cross He was crucified for me,’ and ‘On that Cross I am crucified with Him.’ The one aspect brings us deliverance from sin’s condemnation, the other from sin’s power.

Recognizing that we “have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20), we should, as Paul admonished in Romans 6:11, consider ourselves “to be dead indeed to sin.” We still have sinful tendencies within, but having died to them, sin no longer has dominion over us. We die to our selfish desires and pursuits. But believers must also think of themselves as “alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:11). We should do those things that please Him.

Victorious Christians are those who have died—to live! - R.W.D.

Our Daily Bread, Saturday, July 30