“A part of me died” is a common phrase that refers to something significant to you. It is something that you identify with so strongly that once it was taken away, a part of you seems to go with it. That “something” could be a possession, belief, commitment, relationship, or spiritual attachment.
When that “something” is gone or taken away, you feel that a part of you just died. That is what happened to me when I became a believer in Christ Jesus.
The old things have passed away (Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17)
Before I became a believer, every part of me was corrupted by sin. Sin has negatively affected every area of my existence, including my emotion, will, and affection. I so strongly identified with sin that it was part of me. Psalm chapter 51 verse 5 states that all humans were born in sin. I was held captive by the love of sin. Sin was at the core of my existence.
However, that part of me died when I trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. The old things corrupted by sins have died along with all my guilt and shame, and behold, the new things have come. A new life began. In Redemption Accomplished and Applied,
Murray wrote, “How can a person who is dead in trespasses and sins, whose mind is enmity against God, and who cannot do that which is well-pleasing to God answer a call to the fellowship of Christ? Answer: God gives him life.” As part of me died, a new life in me also began.
No longer I who lived (Galatians chapter 2 verse 20)
Before I became a believer, the only person that I lived for is myself. I lived to the fullest extent for myself. I wanted to have a successful career, marry a beautiful wife, and live the American dream. In our corrupted and sinful state, we are bound to do what the flesh wants to do as Paul writes in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 3, “We all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.”
However, once I became a believer, that part of me died as well. It is no longer I who live (Galatians chapter 2 verse 20). Paul also writes in First Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19, “You are not your own.” So now, it is Christ who lives in me. I used to party all weekend, but now I can’t do that anymore. I used to profane and use God’s name in vain, and I can’t do that anymore.
I used to indulge in sexual sin, and I can’t do that anymore. I wished to live the American dream, but that dream died, and now I am looking forward to the eternal reward in heaven. All the things that were dear to me have died since I became a believer in Christ Jesus. I am no longer a slave of sin but a servant of the king, a son of the most high God, and a citizen of heaven.
Put to death what is earthly in you (Colossians chapter 3 verse 5)
Even though the old things have passed away, the battle with the flesh is still raging on. If the battle is already won, I don’t think the apostle Paul would command us to put to death what is earthly in you. Even the apostle Paul experienced the battle with the flesh himself. Even though that part of me died,
I still have the tendency to go back to the former life of sin. The desire to live for myself still lingers in my mind. Therefore, the apostle Paul tells us to make no provision for the flesh regarding its lusts (Romans chapter 13 verse 14).
One of the goals of the Christian life is the victory of the Spirit over the flesh and a changed life, which manifests in righteous living before God.
Even though a part of me died, the Bible commands us to continue dying to ourselves so that we can live for God. Although our struggle is real, God has promised that He will bring us eventual success over our flesh. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians chapter 1 verse 6).
Dat Nguyen is a student at the Master’s Seminary and a member of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, California. His desire is to be a faithful minister of the Word of God. He loves playing basketball and watching movies.