Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You Are Dead

By David A. Sargent

     Donald Miller Jr. was declared legally dead in 1994.  He had vanished from his home eight years earlier.  Miller, 61, told Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan Davis, that he disappeared in the 1980s because he had lost his job and he was an alcoholic. His ex-wife claims that he vanished because he owed $26,000 in overdue child support payments.  Miller lived in Florida and Georgia before returning to Ohio around 2005.
     He said his parents told him about his "death" when he came back to the state.
     Miller went to court this week to ask the Probate Judge to reverse the 1994 ruling that declared him legally dead.  He wants to obtain a driver’s license and reinstate his Social Security number.
     But Judge Davis, admitting that this is a “strange, strange situation,” turned down his request, citing a three-year limit for changing a death ruling. "I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned," the judge said. *
     Because of our sins, YOU and I are dead!  The Apostle Paul diagnosed the condition of those in Ephesus before God saved them:  “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Ephesians 2:1-2).
     Even so, WE are dead in our transgressions and sins – separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), under the condemnation of death (Romans 6:23), and completely unable to resurrect ourselves!
     Despite our sins, however, God loves us and has provided the Way for us to have eternal life.
     To those who were dead in their transgressions and sins, the Apostle Paul wrote: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us ALIVE with Christ even when we were DEAD in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
     Because of His great love for us, God sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).  Jesus “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
     He suffered the “death penalty,” so that you and I can have eternal life!   “He died for us so that... we may live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10).
     God has promised to raise those who are dead in their transgressions and sins when they place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
     The Apostle Paul explained to Christians in Rome how God had raised them up:
“Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
     We are dead in our transgressions and sins but God provides eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son.
     Won’t YOU submit to the Savior so that He can give you new life?

* Information from: The Findlay (OH) Courier, http://www.thecourier.com
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

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