FOREVER TRIUMPHANT, Day 13—Lenten Devotionals
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For he who has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:5-11
The victory which is ours in Christ does not belong to us, and it is not a victory that will exalt us. It is not a victory which we will earn—especially not on the basis of our goodness. Indeed, the victory is most ours when we are least concerned with ourselves, with our own goodness and our own success.
FJ HUEGEL: [Most Christians] have not yet stood where Paul stood when he cried, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwells no good thing.” They have not realized that it is their good “self” not yet denied which causes them to stumble. They are willing for their bad “self” to be crucified, not aware of the fact that the good “self” is just as mischievous, for it is still “self” and victory cannot be ours until all of “self” has been assigned to the Cross according to Romans 6.
The Christian, I repeat, who hungers and thirsts after righteousness (the righteousness of perennial victory, full-orbed, the more than conqueror type), is not seeking something that is not already his. In a sense God cannot make it more his than it already is. On the divine side it is a consummated thing. We get nowhere by looking at ourselves. God expects nothing of self but that it be crucified, which judicially it already is. We are not called upon as Christians to die to sin; but to recognize the fact that we have died to sin in the death of Him who, on Calvary’s cross, put an end to the old creation, that in the power of His resurrection He might bring forth the new.
PRAYER: Dear God
I confess that it is myself that gets in the way—especially the part of me that I am proud of. In some ways I am most defeated when I am most successful. Grant me to believe that your victory in me is not dependent on my success. Indeed, crucify my desire for success and all pride in my own goodness and accomplishments, that I may know the victory of Christ’s joyful humility in me.
In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.