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Dying and Living - II Corinthians 4:16-18

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I have some bad news tonight - I'm dying.  It's been coming on for quite some time now.  But before I get your sympathy... 

 

Just a little sympathy?
Thank you.

 

Now that I have your sympathy, I'll have to share it with Joel, because he's dying too.  I'll have to share it with Steve too...  he's also dying.  I'll even have to share it with Lisa, because she's dying.  In fact...

 

Everyone is dying!

Enough of the looks that say, "Thanks for that upbeat lesson, Bill.  That just topped off our day!"  Let me finish!

 

We're also all living!

 

"That doesn't make sense", you say?  

 

"You can't be dying and living at the same time", you claim?

 

Sure you can!  

 

Let's go to God's word to find out how.

 

I. II Corinthians 4:16-18

A. The physical body is dying.

1. We see it every day.

2. The evidence is in the graveyards.

B. We have hope because the soul is living.

1. Everyone has a soul.

2. The soul is separate from the body and is eternal.

a. Those who have died have souls.

b. They will live with our souls when our bodies die.

3. Hebrews 11:13-16

 

II. God has prepared a city for whom?  Those who died in faith.

A. Those who have faith are obedient - Romans 6:16-17.

B. Freedom... from righteousness - Romans 6:20-21.

1. Slaves to sin.

2. Fruit unto shame.

3. The end is death.

D. Freedom from sin - Romans 6:22-23.

1. Slaves to God instead of sin.

2. Fruit unto holiness instead of shame.

3. The end is everlasting life instead of spiritual death.

 

III. Life comes through Christ Jesus.

A. What does "life through Christ Jesus" mean?  (Romans 6:4-8).

1. Obedience to Jesus' teachings.

2. The "old man", the body of sin, dies.

3. Only when the body of sin dies can the freed, righteous soul inherit heaven.

B. Life happens in Baptism.

1. It washes us clean.

2. Not the body, but the soul.

 

As we become Christians, hearing and believing God's word, repenting of sin, confessing the name of Christ, and being baptized in water for the remission of sin, our souls are washed clean, like white sheets.

 

As Christians our souls, like clean white sheets, can become soiled.  When we are in the world and stumble, fall, and run away from God, we sin, making our heavenly inheritance forfeit.  But like the sheet that can be washed and made white again, our souls can be cleansed through confession and prayer to God.

 

The question to ask is not, "What is the condition of my physical body", but more importantly, "What is the condition of my soul."  Please let us know if we can help answer that question.

 

-- William Van Tassel, 2001 --

 


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