About a year or two ago, my kid’s got me started watching the AMC series, The Walking Dead. You are probably thinking something strange about me right now. But the show is filmed around the area where I live–Atlanta, Newnan, Senoia. So naturally, I started watching to spot the filming locations, and then I developed a liking for the show.
Old man and new man
Body of death, body of sin
Crucified with Christ
Slaves of sin, freed from sin
Dead to sin
Put to death the deeds of the body
So what does Paul mean by all this, and what’s up with terms like “old man” and “new man?” The reason I even bring the question up is that it has an important bearing on our personal and spiritual growth.
After studying the Roman 6, 7 and 8 passages for many years, I believe Paul is saying following:
The old man was our life apart from Christ and God’s transforming work.
The new man is our life in Christ, having been renewed by God’s Spirit.
We have literally been changed in our spirit.
The change is real–not simply a legal transaction.
We can set our minds on the Spirit.
The new man no longer lives under the tyranny of sin.
We still lug around this body of death—our sinful bodies. As we groan, stumble and shuffle across this earth, we will disobey God–no doubt. These bodies are still infected with sin. In our current state no cures exist for this body. So, in a sense, a part of us is like the walking dead.
However–in our inner man–we are empowered by God to change. Paul is imploring us to live up to who God has re-created us to be. We’ve been made alive in Christ. It’s not through positive thinking, clever mind games or our power–but through God’s grace and His gifts. A holy lifestyle is finally a doable action item.
Some day these zombie-like bodies will be done away with. Hopefully, mine won’t get jabbed in the head with a knife–LOL. But I thank God that He has planted something inside me that is growing and developing into something greater and eternal.
Call to action: Go back and reflect on Romans 6, 7 and 8. What other important principles do you read in these passages?