I Die Daily

 

1 Corinthians 15:31

“I die daily.”


The person who comes to Christ must “die” to sin (Romans 6:2, 10) and continue through his physical life as “dead to sin” (v. 11).  The members of our physical body must be considered “as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).  At the point of conversion, the sinner is “buried with Him [Jesus] through baptism into death” (Romans 6:4).  This “death” to sin must be a lifelong commitment and continuing experience.

Because of this moral and spiritual “death” to sin, some people cite Paul’s experience and say that he was determined to “die daily” to the lusts, passions, and enticements of sin.  Just as Paul was determined to daily die to sin, so every Christian must do this.  However, is this what Paul really means?

The context would lead us to think differently.  In the previous verse, Paul asks, “Why are we also in danger every hour” (1 Corinthians 15:30).  In the following verse, Paul asks, “If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? “(v. 32).  He is arguing that his lifetime of suffering for Christ reveals his firm belief in the resurrection from the dead.  He was willing to suffer persecution, rejection, and physical abuse because of the future resurrection of the body—which is firmly grounded in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (vv. 12-22).

In a similar vein, Paul asks the Romans, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).  Christians are “being put to death all day long” through manifold sufferings—even to the point of actual mortal death, in some cases.  But we conquer through Jesus Christ, the risen and living Lord!

Although we must “die” to sin at the point of repentance and salvation, and although we must “die” to the continuing practice of sin through life, we should not use 1 Corinthians 15:31 to prove this fact.

Richard Hollerman

 

 

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