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COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
 

      
The Living Dead
 
What brings death into a Christian's life?
What causes a people who had, at one time, been quickened by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead to now be spiritually dull and lifeless? 
What causes believers to have a name that they live, yet be "twice dead and plucked up by the roots"?
This message reveals 8 conditions that will snuff out the very Life of Christ in any Christian.
 
The Scriptures tell us that we, as believers in Christ, are "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord"(Romans 6:11). We have been "quickened...together with Christ"(Ephesians 2:1,5). We once were "dead in trespasses and sins" and the uncircumcision of our flesh, but have been raised by the "glory of the Father" to "walk in newness of life " - dead to sin, and alive to God(Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Romans 6:4). 
 
By the glorious energy and power of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, we, too, were raised from a state of death to new life. We, who were - at one time - void of any spiritual life, now walk in newness of life with a new heart - guided by new principles and rules.
 
However, in spite of our resurrection to new life, we find that much of the Church is suffering from spiritual death.
 
Oh! There is much activity, but hardly any life! There is much talent, but very little anointing. Many are "going through the motions," but beneath the surface, we find that there is very little proof of an actual union with Christ - no life, no power, no glory! It is all a form.
 
Sad to say, in many churches and ministries, we find "dead" Preachers, conducting "dead" services, while preaching to "dead" congregations about a God Whose power(they say) died out with the Apostles.
 
Like the Church at Sardis, many have a name that they live, but they are dead(Revelation 3:1). They have a great reputation for being an active "Social Club," but not a Church filled with the Resurrection Power of the Risen Christ. From Sunday to Sunday, lives are not changed. Everyone remains the same - as dead as ever.
 
Where is all this death coming from? How could a people - who at one time experienced the Resurrection Power of Almighty God - fall back into a state of death once again? What would cause such an atrocity?
 
The Scriptures offer 8 specific causes for spiritual death among believers. Let's examine each one and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of any areas where we may be allowing "death" to reign in our hearts and souls this day.
 
1. Being Controlled By The Flesh
 
Galatians 5:25 says - "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
 
When Christians do not live under the influence and government of the Holy Spirit and His Word, they most likely fall under the dominion of their own flesh and its desires, appetites, whims, fancies, and impulses. Self is not denied, and the works of the flesh are not mortified.
Resultantly, death and its fruits - "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife...envyings, murders,  drunkenness, revellings..."(Galatians 5:19-21) - result.
 
2. Not Living Truly Unto God
 
Romans 6:11 says - "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Galatians 2:19 says - "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."
Psalm 119:175 says - "Let my soul live, and it shall praise Thee..."
 
Any Christian who does not live solely to promote God's glory is a "dead" Christian. He should consider that the only reason why he is on this earth is to carry out the Master's commands and consecrate his time and strength to His service.  
 
3. Living In Sin
 
Romans 6:11 says - "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
 
Any Christian who practices sin is "dead" while he lives. He may claim to be a Christian - saying all the right words and cleverly acting the part. He may go through all the motions - shout, sing, worship, and dance - but underneath the facade, he is a "dead" man.
 
4. Harboring Hatred Or Bitterness Toward Others
 
1 John 3:14 says - "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."
 
Nothing wipes out the "Life of Christ" from a believer's spiritual life more than hatred, resentment, unforgiveness, and bitterness. Wherever these exist, spiritual death - like a cancer - is in operation.
 
5. Being Willfully Ignorant
 
Ephesians 4:18 says - "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart."
 
Willful Ignorance occurs when the believer rejects the truth to indulge in a "pet sin." Indulgence in sin then "alienates" the believer from "the life of God" - resulting in a weakness in the intellect or mental powers. The believer becomes insensible to the forceful appeals of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. His "understanding" becomes "darkened" - causing him to make stupid mistakes in judgment.
 
6. Living In Pleasure
 
1 Timothy 5:6 says - "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
 
One who lives in luxury is - more often than not - a dead" believer. He constantly yields to the indulgence of his fleshly appetites. His "god" is his belly. He is obsessed with food and drink. His gluttony causes him to be a spiritual dullard.
 
7. Cleaving To Earthly Things
 
Psalm 119:25 says - "My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken Thou me according to Thy word."
 
The Christian whose life is fastened to, adheres firmly to, or can't be easily detached from worldly or earthly things is "dead" while he lives. His soul never rises to a higher ground. His thoughts and affections are wrapped up in the affairs, amusements, and cares of this life.
 
8. Being Swallowed Up By Daily Troubles
 
Psalm 143:11 says - "Quicken me, O LORD, for Thy name's sake: for Thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble."
 
If allowed to work, discouragement and depression - resulting from great troubles - will repress the "Life of Christ" in a saint's walk. He will oftentimes find himself in a state of "death" where he cannot hear from God or feel His presence because he is so caught up with the distress or fears of His circumstances.
 
It is God's will that we as the Body of Christ live - live in His Resurrection Power. God wills that we "live in His sight"(Hosea 6:2).
Never should we ever be described as "trees of righteousness" - "whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots"(Isaiah 61:3;Jude 1:12). We are the "planting of the LORD" - constantly drawing spiritual Life from our union with Him.
 
If we should begin to lose our spiritual "life" due to any of the named causes, we should not hesitate for a minute to run to the foot of the Cross and cry out to God to "quicken" us once again. Through His Resurrection Power, He will enliven us to do His will. He will give us strength to break away from any and all causes that are stealing His life from us.
 
As a Christian, are you spiritually "alive" or "dead" ?
Due to one or more factors mentioned in this message, do you need God's revival fires to be ignited once again in your heart and soul?
 
Don't hesitate to cry out to Him in earnest prayer as the Psalmist did in Psalm 85:6 - "Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"
 
The Lord is watching and waiting to see who will respond.
To those who will, He will remove the "death" of "winter" over your soul and allow "springtime" to return once again.
Your "long, dreary winter" can be over now.
Don't allow pride or complacency to keep you from your blessing.
The Holy Spirit is saying "Now is the time." 
Why not answer His call?
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie

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