“Alive Unto God”

When is the believer “alive unto God”? Of course it’s at rebirth, which occurs during the receiving of faith in the Lord Jesus. What does “alive” mean? It means one is no longer in the “second death,” which is the eternal “lake of fire,” for the saved have “passed from death unto life” (Jhn 5:24), e.g. “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9).

At rebirth the believer possess “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3), thus the issue now is in the lifelong lessons learning to walk in this new and holy realm, in order to manifest it, which glorifies God to others; for the drawing of the lost and the strengthening of the saved.

How believers live their lives reveals at what level of maturity in Christ the Father has them. The encouraging and comforting thing to realize is that since the blessing of salvation possessed by the redeemed has come not by their effort nor performance (other than being a recipient) but in the way of a gift. Therefore the gift cannot be affected by anything the saved will do (thankfully).

A grave misunderstanding is in the concept that believers are to first live in the manner which God desires of them in order to possess and retain salvation. This stops short of the conception that living unto God requires first possessing His Spirit and then learning—via His Word—to understand and apply what God desires.
- NC

“Alive Unto God”

“Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Rom 6:11). It is an immense thing to see how we are “alive unto God.” I think a great many are trying to live to God. That is, they want to reach it in their responsible life, instead of seeing that it is “in Christ Jesus” (already living unto God via the life of the Lord Jesus – Col 3:4, which is progressively manifested by the manner of walk—NC).

I believe that many conceive of living to the Father as being in their responsible (in their own efforts—NC) life down here; that is, they think that it is in a life of practical righteousness and holiness (legalism—NC) that they are to live to the Father. The “likewise” is either forgotten or misunderstood, it would seem (“likewise reckon” intends that the believer, since rebirth is also already dead to sin, which will be manifested by the life lived—NC).

The Lord Jesus has died unto sin, and lives unto God. He lives not only personally free from sin (He was ever this), but He is outside the whole range of sin. He lives unto God in scenes where sin can never come, and where all things are of God. His death and risen life are my title to live unto God in the same sphere.

Such is the grace of God that I may appropriate the Lord Jesus’s death, and count that I have died unto sin. It is appropriation that tests us. How often we stop at admiration! It is as we appropriate that we become spiritually robust. It is only thus that I could reach “alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” Death unto sin is not the terminus—it is the station in route—the terminus is “alive unto God in Christ Jesus.”

I could not live in sin, that is, in the life of Adam (sinful nature; old man—NC) and live unto God in Christ Jesus at the same time (Mat 7:17, 18; Jam 3:11, 12). I must have died unto sin, by reckoning upon my death in Him (understand my present death in Christ—NC) in order to be able to live unto God in Him. “Dead unto sin” is not that I abstain from sinning (though it be a great desire, it’s an impossibility—NC), but I quit the life of sinful Adam altogether, by the appropriation of the last Adam’s death unto sin (not practically but considered now being in the position of Jesus’ sinless life—NC), and count myself as a new creation alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

The result of this is that in my responsible life I yield myself to God, and my members as instruments of righteousness to Him. It is because I know what it is to be “alive unto God” that I can do this. A good many are reversing the process. They are trying to live to God by putting the responsible life right (counting on their efforts instead of realizing we are already “alive”—NC). What a blessed thing it is to be under grace!

As we are attracted to the Lord Jesus by His love, we find His death between us and our “old man,” and between us, the world and Satan. This is the way of real deliverance (not only actual in our position but also in our conscience—NC), and happy freedom from what is evil here in ourselves and in the scene around.

- C A Coates

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Aug. 17:

“Paul devoted two full chapters to establish our freedom from the fallen Adam. Romans Six sets forth our freedom from the dominion of Adamic sin; Romans Seven explains our freedom from Adamic law.

Whereas our liberty was won on the Cross, it is worked out in our daily life and experience by the Holy Spirit. On the Cross, by the Spirit, in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Miles J Stanford