If you are reading this, then the answer is obvious. However, a spiritual death might be a different matter. Sometimes we make the choice to die spiritually and put away the old man of sin. Yet, we don’t completely put him away. We just compartmentalized our lives. We think or operate like “This part is for God and this part is for me.” That isn’t how it works. We can only have a life lived in Christ as a result of death. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal” (John 12:25). Here are few passages to consider. A checklist of spiritual death.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). Has the “I” been crucified or is ego still in the way? Paul speaks of complete surrender of self. My identity and all that I am is hidden in Christ. It should not be possible to turn my Christianity off and on because it is who I am.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:1-4). Here we see when we should die. At baptism, I should die to self. My new life starts as I come out of the water. I need to die to sin. It is possible that we set one or two aside that we haven’t completely let go. Maybe we’ve picked up new ones. Either way, it is time to purge and get rid of those that hinder our spiritual growth.
“But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). The world has a way of trying to suck us back into sin. The temptations of the flesh and the devises of Satan are a constant bombardment. In Christ, we are properly armed, clothed, and continually cleansed. We need to make a conscious effort to keep the world out. Examine decisions and thought patterns. Are these of the world or of Christ?
“I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). It’s not too late. We need to choose every day to die to sin and live for Christ. When we can get there, then physical death will be a reward. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Lose self and gain everything.