It is not enough to believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead. We must believe that our old Adamic nature died with Him, was buried with Him, and by believing in His resurrection, we too are “raised to walk in a newness of life.”[Romans 6: 4].
This is what He requires us to do. It is not difficult to believe that Christ existed and went through what the scriptures said He went through. “Even the devils believe in one God and tremble” [James 2:19]. But He is requiring His followers to go all in, to lay it all on the line, to get skin in the game. And we do that by giving up our old lives, ambitions, haunts, addictions, habits–you get the idea. He tells us to “count the cost” to see if we have the right stuff to complete the spiritual growth process He wants us to go through in order to become like Him. I’ll repeat that: to become just like Him.
We must first realize that the moment Christ expired on the cross, your sin nature and mine died along with Him. That was us dying there. He took our sins upon Him and through death eradicated them out of existence. All the sins of every human being, along with the old nature that gave rise to the sin, died when He died [Romans 6: 1-15]. This is precious knowledge that is seldom heard on Sundays around the world.
And then Christ was buried, and with Him was buried all the sins of mankind. Your sins and my sins, along with our old sinful nature that generated the evilness in the first place–they died and were buried.
And then we believe that Christ rose from the dead. But it wasn’t just Him that rose, but we rose too! He is so merciful to provide a way for us to have a new life–before our physical body goes back to dust. He rose, we rose, by believing it so. He said it; He wrote it; we are now just to believe it.
So it is not just believing that only Christ rose from the dead. We rose with Him. But all we have are His words promising this new life if we believe the above. We must believe words that express this truth, written down by Christ’s followers almost 2,000 years ago. And that takes faith, which is believing having not seen the evidence beforehand.
The Seed Germinates
When we really believe in our own death, burial and resurrection, which happened simultaneously with His, then the light of truth ignites within our hearts. It is like when a seed is planted in the garden. The warmth of the sun combines with the moisture in the earth and then–a miracle happens.
The old seed ceases to exist in its original state. It dies, losing its old identity. Its old outward shell goes back to dust as its new inner life springs out to the light and warmth of the sun. We as God’s offspring are given birth like those garden seeds. It is a miracle.
The original spiritual Seed is the Word of God. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. An author writes the script. And this Author wrote the play of Life having Himself come in flesh and give Himself as a ransom for all of us. And He would be the Word of God enacted on the earth. And that Word became the Seed. And when that Word is believed by us–about Him and us as outlined above–then we become “new creatures in Christ.” We become part of the enactment of the Play. We are in it! Or rather, He is in us, enacting the love one to another, which is His nature and is an integral part of the Script.
““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12: 24). That wheat seed that Christ was talking about was Himself. If He does not go to the cross, then He would remain alone. But if He dies, then many more grains–just like Himself–will be produced. He would have reproduced Himself through the self-sacrifice.
The same thing is true for man. If a person chooses to not die with Christ, then he will face the lonely, dusty tomb of death.
But if we choose His way of life, then our old sinful heart dies and we are freed from its clutches. We were slaves to sin and sinning, but we now are liberated from the slavemaster sin.
And like that seed in the garden, through belief in the word of promise that the Son/Word/Seed proclaimed, we newly sprout up with the very power of the Creator surging with life through our new being.
Sprouted Wheat Grows into Grain
We like freshly sprouted wheat are together become potential grain that the Master mills into flour which He uses to make the spiritual “bread of life.” But we must grow to full maturity till we “come to seed” and can become flour for baking that bread.
For all this to happen, we must grow from that little sprouted blade of wheat. Christ explains that the kingdom of God is like the earth that brings forth fruit of itself. A man sows the seed, and it comes up–“first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head” (Mark 4: 28).
Brothers and sisters, we are His seed; we are God’s children. And we are meant to grow. That is our destiny: to become just like Him and to be used to make the bread of life. If we are not growing into maturity, something is wrong!
To mature like this, we must “purge out the old leaven” and the false teachings that well meaning people have passed down to us. We must be ready to “dig deep” and study His word diligently and do it in the face of the opposition that will come–mostly from those of our own family and circle of friends and acquaintances. Kenneth Wayne Hancock