‘Give Me A Head With Hair’
by Jon Walker
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Romans 6:4-5 NIV)
Back when I had a full head of hair, a group called the Cowsills, who were the inspiration for TV’s Partridge Family, sang: “Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair ….”
Arguably, today the issue isn’t the length of the hair; rather, it’s whether or not there is hair. USA Today reports that in 2006 over $1.2 billion was spent worldwide for hair-restoration surgeries – and that does not include spending on “proven drugs such as Propecia and Rogaine or any number of disreputable gadgets and balms sold online or on late-night television.”
But in the category of “truth is stranger than fiction,” science is reaching a new breakthrough – the ability to transplant an entire scalp, as in a head full of hair from a dead man onto the head of a living man.
News of this bit of “progress” may strike you as a little creepy, seriously horrifying, or even just plain ridiculous (the TV comics have been having a field day with it). Then again, you may be thinking, “Hey, what number do I callí”
And, please, I mean no disrespect for the dead. I hope my funeral is filled with laughter. (But, alas, no one will want a transplant from my scalp; there’s not enough hair there!)
Okay, so what does this have to do with Romans 6?
My hope is it will help you to remember this truth: We are dead to our old, pre-Jesus life and have been raised to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:4-5 NIV). We are new creations in Christ; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Mere allegory? Not by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin … or scalp.
This means we are dead to sin. You are dead to sin. It means you have a choice – you can chose to sin or you can chose not to sin.
You don’t have to sin. You are no longer a slave to sin. Thank God Almighty, you have been set free from sin! (Romans 6:7-8, NIV)
Like the comedian Dana Carvey, imitating the first George Bush, you can say to sin, “Not gonna do it, not gonna do it!”
Read my lips: When you face temptation, you can make a decision to say “No!” to sin. You have the power within you, the spirit of Christ guiding you and empowering you to make the right decision – but the choice is still yours.
The problem is, most of us live as if we don’t have a choice. We live as if we were still slaves to sin, and if the enemy can get us to believe that – to accept it as Gospel Truth – then he’s defeated us before we even enter the battle.
The Apostle Paul, the smartest kid in the class, says we’re dead to sin, dead to our old way of life. He’s not saying we’ll never sin again. We are all human. We make mistakes – and we fall on God’s grace.
But Paul is saying sin is no longer natural to us. It was natural for the old you, who was put to death with Jesus Christ. It is not natural to the new you, who is alive in Christ. As we walk toward and in Christ-likeness, we stay obedient to the Holy Spirit – pushing toward the point where we can say, like Jesus, “I do nothing by myself; I only do what the Father tells me to do.” (paraphrase of John 5:19)
It’s easy to see this in people with addictions. They reach a point where they believe they have no choice but to chase after their addiction; we look from the outside and wonder why they can’t make the choice to abandon it. They’ve embraced a lie, and their belief guides their behavior.
I’m not suggesting addicts don’t experience a real craving, but even then there is a choice to get help. The addict doesn’t have to remain a slave to his addiction; we don’t have to remain addicts to our sin.
Sometimes I pray that God will bring specific people to the point where they understand they have a choice. They no longer have to live like slaves and bowing to temptations is no longer inevitable.
· You do not have to sin! – The Kingdom of God is present today, not just a faith-full hope for the sweet by-and-by. God’s solution is very practical. He broke the power of sin in your life, and now he’s empowered you with the Holy Spirit to guide you toward the right choices. Be still and know that he is God – and think upon this truth.
· Focus on God, not your ‘deadness’ – As you struggle to make the right choices, focus on God and not your “deadness” to sin. A God-focus will help you see his strength, power, and grace. On the other hand, if you focus on your “deadness,” you might slip into a legalism that deceives you into believing that the only way to walk away from sinful temptation is to do it on your own strength. The truth is, God is your strength.
· ‘Victory in Jesus’ – Take some time today to tell a Christian friend that we no longer have to sin. Explain this victory in Jesus to your friend.
· Praise God at the next baptism – The next baptism you witness, praise God that our sins are forgiven and now we can walk in new life with Christ.
· Pray – Ask God to bring you to a point where you can see clearly what your choices are – and which choices lead you into sin. Pray a similar prayer for others in your family or among your friends.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org