This past Sunday, Pastor Greg preached a message called The Crucified Life. In this teaching he summarized Ephesians 2:1-5 by saying that without Jesus, you’re alive on the outside, but dead on the inside. In other words, someone who is not a follower of Jesus is a spiritual zombie. They are wandering through life with no real purpose other than to do whatever their instinct tells them to do. “Normal” zombies, as we know, naturally want to stagger strangely around town, arms extended, moaning incoherently, and looking for brains to eat. Life for spiritual zombies is similar. Though their diet may differ, they will definitely hunger for sin and seek it out as a zombie does a brain. In other words, a zombie’s gonna zombie. 

Greg went on to say that living the crucified life means daily denying yourself and your sinful desires. Greg mentioned that this is not just “turning over a new leaf” but is instead a total abandonment of your sin nature. This is all or nothing. You can’t be kind of married, somewhat alive, or a little pregnant; you either are, or you aren’t. In the same way, you can’t be sort of crucified to Christ. You must be all in. To live this way is the hardest thing a person can attempt. And if you think this is impossible for you to do, you are correct. But the best news is when we die to ourselves, Christ lives in us and through us (Gal. 2:20).

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. And He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Questions for reflection

  1. Read Eph. 2:1-5. Paul describes the state of unbelievers as being dead. How would unbelievers today describe themselves? Do you think someone who is not a Christian is aware that they are rejecting God and are under His wrath? What is the evidence for your answer? What does it mean in Eph. 2:3 that unbelievers are subject to God’s anger?
  2. Read Rom. 12:1-2. What does Paul mean by “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice”? How would you define worship? How does this relate to living the “crucified life”? Paul mentions “renewing your mind”, what does the mind have to do with worshiping God rightly?