Dying, We Live

It’s the word of the cross that gives us freedom, victory, forgiveness, and a changed heart. It’s in Christ and Christ alone that we can be born again to hope. It’s in being crucified with Christ that we are raised to new life. And it’s in being united with Him in His suffering that we find resurrection power. 

I may not know what your struggles are, but we all have them, and we are all sinners. But in Christ, all who believe are washed clean, made righteous, and called sons and daughters of the King of kings. The Father is the gentlest and most compassionate of parents, and He is a Shepherd who loves us too much to let us be destroyed by our sins. He calls us to repentance, faith, and surrender because that is the only place where we can be made whole, to the praise of His glorious grace. 

I think Ken Ham explains our sin nature, the power of the gospel, and our new identity so well in the following points. He specifically mentions homosexuality and LGBTQ identity, but the truth can be applied to any sin or any identity we lay down at the cross:

“1. We are all fallen with sinful hearts and evil dispositions and tendencies from infancy. Because of our sin nature, every person is born into sin and with a heart that desires darkness, not light and righteousness. Just because a person has debased desires from youth doesn’t make those desires right, natural, or acceptable—it is still sin, according to God’s Word (and this is not true just for homosexuality—it’s true for every sin!).

“2. We are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24). Scripture never tells us to pursue our natural desires. Instead, it says those desires are wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), and the only answer is repentance and faith in Christ, who gives us new and eternal life. When we joyfully embrace Christ as Savior, we’re given a new power to say “no” to sin and to pick up our cross and follow after him, no matter the cost.

“3. We’re called to a new identity. Our culture says you are your sexual desires—your identity is wrapped up in your sexuality, hence the plethora of gender and sexual orientation identity options. But Christ says you are a sinner in need of a great Savior. When you turn from sin and trust in Christ, you are given a new identity. It’s not grounded in your desires but grounded in Christ and what he has done for you on the cross when he freely forgave the sin debt you could never pay. If you are in Christ, he is your life (Colossians 3:4) and you are a new man or woman in him (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

“Our culture says that we’re ‘born this way,’ but Christ says, ‘You must be born again’ (see John 3:1–17). It’s only through new birth that we’re reconciled to God, given a new identity in Christ, and given freedom over slavery to sin—including those sins that have tempted us from our youth.”

When we entrust ourselves to God, we must surrender our lives totally to Him. But in our surrender, we find the Prince of Peace and the beauty of holiness. May we find our eternal treasure in Christ indescribably greater than all the broken promises the world has to offer. 

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'”

Matthew 16:24-25 NASB