A fact of life is that death must occur in order that others might live. If animals didn’t die, where would our meat supply derive? If plants didn’t die, no one would have fruits and vegetables to eat. If the aged didn’t die, eventually there would be no place for the next generations. In all things in this present life, death is as necessary as life.
Christians must face the same fact of life. If Christ had not died, no one could attain eternal life. If the apostles and early day Christians had not sacrificed their lives, we would not have the gospel with us today.
Even so, we today must die in order to live again. Every Christian must lay down their lives, and be buried with Christ by baptism in order to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4). “Though we are dead in the flesh, we are made alive in the spirit by the power of God” (1 Pet 3:18). Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
Every Christian must lose this life, and sacrifice it so that others might have hope of eternal life. Christians must cease to live in the pleasures of sin and do the works of God. We must study the Word daily in order to be approved of God, workmen who rightly handle the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). When we as Christians put on the whole armor of God, we are not only set to defend ourselves against sin but also able and set to defend the gospel of Christ (Eph 6:11-18 f; Philip 1:15-18). We must be able to teach and to preach in season and out of season the unadulterated gospel of Christ (2 Tim 4:2-5).
Christians not only suffer for preaching the gospel but also suffer just because they are a Christian. They can expect to be slandered, hated, despised, mistreated, imprisoned, and even killed just for being a child of God. They can expect to endure the hardships of poverty, diseases, persecutions, and trials (1 Pet 4:12,16).
Yet, with all this, death has no power ever again over the Christian. As Paul said, “O death, where is your sting, O grave, where is your victory” (1 Cor 15:55)? For to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philip 1:21). But thanks be unto God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ“ (1 Cor 15:57). Therefore we must be the more steadfast and unmovable in the work of God that our labor be not in vain (1 Cor 15:58).
In this life we can either get busy living, or get busy dying, that is, either get busy living in sin or get busy dying for Christ. It’s a huge mistake to attempt both (Rev 3:15,16).. If we want to live again with the Lord Jesus Christ, we must die to sin, and live unto the righteousness of the Lord (Rom 6:12,13). We do this by obeying the gospel of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). We must believe that Jesus is the Christ and confess this belief before men (Rom 10:9,10). We must repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). Then, and only then are we added to the Church which Christ built, the church of Christ (Act 2:47 ff; Mt 16:18; Rom 16:16). And last, but not least, we must remain faithful unto death, continuing in the doctrine of Christ (Jn 8:31 f; Rev 2:10); A death which frees us from our mortal bodies to live again with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:12). Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord (Rev 14:13)!