The Apostles’ Creed begins with the words, “I believe in God…” It then goes on to affirm the trinitarian nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Asking Christians to affirm this belief seems a bit like asking a bird to affirm the sky or a fish to affirm water. You are likely to be met with a quick “of course I believe in God” reply, along with a “how dare you ask that question” glance.
Ask a Christian if he agrees with God, and you are likely to get a pause, an inquisitive look, and maybe a follow-up question. “Agree with God about what?”
It is one thing to say that we believe in God and some specific doctrines about God presented in the Bible. It is another thing to agree with God about what he says is true and real, and then make decisions accordingly.
This is exactly what Romans is calling us to do. For five chapters we read about sin, grace, faith, justification, and union with Christ. We read how God sets us in right relationship with himself based on Christ’s work on the cross. By faith in Christ his death and resurrection are counted as ours, so that now we are dead to sin and alive to God.
Then, right in the middle of Romans 6, we read, “So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God.” That little word “consider” is so important.
To consider something in the Bible to be true is to agree with it. When we agree with it, we commit to do what it calls for.
Romans 6 says that in Christ we are dead to sin and alive to God. This is what God says to be true and real about us as Christians. With the mind, we consider it to be true. We agree with God that this is, in fact, the reality about us. Then, agreeing with God, we tell our bodies to live dead to sin and alive to him. You can see that agreement with God takes us to a whole new level of engagement with him. With our mind we agree with him so that in our bodies we will live for him.
We are so used to quickly saying we believe in God. It would be helpful to slow down, consider what God has said to be true and real, agree with him, and then make practical decisions based on that reality.
This weekend, read through Romans 6 first to understand it, then to consider it to be true. Use your mind to agree with God. Take your agreement with God further, to the point of presenting your body and all its capacities to God as one who has been brought from death to life. After all, it’s true.